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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Bugs, Shadows and a Bucketful of Stars

This month's news that my most recent manuscript had been accepted by Scholastic coincided with a lovely royalty statement tucked between two lawncare fliers.  For an obscure writer as myself, such fortuituous nods from the publishing community are like having a bucketful of stars arrive on my front porch the very same morning I win the lottery. 

I write because the world and most everything in it (barring snakes, bats and shelter-seeking bugs) interest me. I write because the words and thoughts that bumble and bump in my mind sometimes shift into characters, diaphanous shadows that linger until, attention aroused, I notice them and discover a story worth telling. There are so many stories to tell - so many lives to discover -  including (I suppose) the lives of snakes, bats and shelter-seeking bugs.

For me being a writer is more than having a book published. Writers are like detectives, I tell school groups. They notice things. They wonder and ask questions. I was a writer long before my first books were published... Those who see the world and wonder, who notice the slant of sunlight between green leaves or the shadows that cross a stranger's face... Those of you who keep journals or write songs and poems - you are writers same as me.

And yet, being published is a gift whose splendor is beyond imagining. Having an editor work with me, challenge me, suggest new pathways to follow or explore, having a reader be touched by my words, having strangers open their hearts to share personal memories and stories that my characters have awakened ~ this is a rare and exquisite treasure that I will never take for granted.

The wheels of publishing move slowly. But every once in awhile the pushcart arrives at its destination and a bucketful of stars arrive on some lucky writer's front porch.  

I am heartily grateful!