Archive for September, 2012

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Chasing A Dream

September 16, 2012

It’s been another long while, since I’ve written in this blog, and it still amazes me that people continue to come here to read what I’ve posted. I have 50 new readers per week, who actually check out certain posts here, with 40 regulars who come here to read other articles. It’s highly flattering to me and therefore, I felt the need to pop in a share something special with you guys an girls. :-)

I am a writer. Yes, that’s not surprising at all, being that this was a blog that I use to update everyday with my own thoughts, opinions, and observations about life. And yet, even though they are just rants and riddles from an ordinary woman, a nobody in the literally world, people were entertained fully and felt a need to keep coming back. However, I’ve been writing since the age of nine, ever since my fourth grade teacher taught me how to put my words to paper. She recognized that I was a storyteller and would tell such entertaining stories to my peers, so she taught me how to write it down for class assignments and I was graded very well for my words, thoughts, and feelings.

At that age, I loved reading books and without any real friends among my peers, the books were my only friends. My peers all thought I was a weirdo and creepy kid. They were right, but even the weirdos of the world need friends! However, it was at this age, that I begin to dream about publishing my own book someday and that dream never faded. I also wanted to be a teacher and a FBI Agent too, but as I grew older those aspirations died, the only thing that stuck was wanting to be a published writer someday. I had dreamed of seeing my printed book on a shelf in a bookstore or library, with the logo of a publishing house on the back of it, and being able to point out to others “See? I wrote that!” And it has been my dream for all of my life, a very precious one.

So, I’ve been writing novels, short stories, drawing comics, and poems since age nine. Some are long lost, as I started out on a typewriter in ’89 and have lost many of those pages. Some I still have and they are what you’d expect from a nine year old, stories about monsters and unicorns, and one brave little girl who wins in the end and keeps the unicorns as pets. And a lot of poems and stories from my teens are on floppy disks or in very old notebooks, which I still have both in storage. They’re not very good either, just a ramble of teenage angst in the 90’s. And one story that attempted to be an emotional drama about a family, through the eyes of a twelve year old, but really turned out to be a cheesy soap opera. Yikes!

I kept writing through the ages of my youth, never stopping, but somehow along the way I lost faith in my skill. It may have been the cheesy soap opera, I don’t know, but I suddenly got the idea in my head that I’ll never be a good writer or reach my dream of publication. I kept writing anyway, because I really do enjoy it and it’s my passion, but then a funny thing happened. When I became an adult, my peers kept telling me that I am a good writer and not only that, they wanted more and more. It got to the point that people only became my friends, so I would write stories for them personally and privately. Even though it’s a compliment to my skills, it was a lot painful to me to be wanted and valued for what I could do and not because of who I am as a person. Trust me, it’s not fun when you’re not in the mood to perform and the people who claim to be your friends wave you off with an attitude of, “Then we really have nothing to say to you. We’ll be back, when you’re ready to dance for us again.”

Well, you know the story (if you have read my old blog posts) about how I wrote a novel in the fall of 2010. And I tried my best to get it published in the winter to spring in 2011. The response I got from publishers were that they liked it, but they believe that it was “not marketable at this time”. I’m good at reading between the lines, I knew what they were really saying, that they don’t believe it will make them millions or even a few hundred bucks for their troubles. And I have to agree, maybe it wouldn’t, because it’s not the cliche crap of today of vampires and self-help books. No. It’s a very old fashion horror/thriller, like the kind I grew up reading and enjoying. I wanted a chance though, but no publishing house would give it to me, their focus on dollar signs rather than a good story that people may enjoy.

So, I decided to do what most rejects of a publishing world do… I’ve decided to self publish.

The major issue was getting help with the editing, because publishing houses do that for the writer, and that’s really the most that they do. They puff out their chest and claim the writer like a cash cow, if the writer becomes wildly popular, and they pay for the printing of the books. They don’t really do much advertising of their books, but love to price them and take a huge cut of the proceeds. So, their main worth is the editing and branding the back of the book with their name, giving the material “street cred”. I give up on the cred, but I really needed some awesome editing done to my book. As you can tell, I have an issue sometimes with present vs. past tense. Also a few times of misspelled words or sentences that could be phrased better.

I can’t afford to hire a professional editor, I’m just a starving artist to be frank, so I turned to my best friend Julie and my sister. I offered them 10 percent of whatever I make from the book, once it’s published on Amazon.com. And when I offered it, I felt so sheepish for not being able to offer more than that, because I knew this was going to be a very huge project. I expected them to tell me to, “Get bent!” and laugh at the peanuts that I was offering. I only stand to gain a dollar per sale of my book on Amazon, which is fine with me because I never wanted to be rich or famous with this book. I just want something of mine forever out there and accessible to the public, I want to show off this very good novel that I have poured my heart and soul into, like a peacock pluming towards the world. This is my real dream.

However, my best friend and sister had a different reaction altogether, one I didn’t expect. They screamed, “No, Dani! I don’t need your money!” They insisted to help me reach my dream, without any payment at all, and purely out of love for me and the fact that they really do love the book. I had given up on it, after so many rejections from publishing houses, yet it was them who kept bringing it up and nagging me to don’t give up. I’m still going to give them something for their hard work anyway, although it’s very awesome that they want to help me out of love, and I appreciate that so much. But out of my love for them I want to repay them for their hard work and dedication. Even if this book turns out to be a flop, I must thank them for all that they’ve done for me. And they’ve done so much too! They gave me permission to dream again.

Julie has her own social life, a 50 hour a week job, and not to mention her own personal and family life. She edited the whole 90,000 word book first and did a phenomenon job! So much so, that when my sister came in behind her to do the second edits, she couldn’t find much to edit! Not only that, Julie is reading over it again in some chapters, to make sure she didn’t miss anything. I’m confident that the manuscript is good, being that I’ve read over it six times these last months. Without the help of her and my sister, I would have been dead in the water!

All three of us women have been working very hard to get this thing done and we’re down to the last four chapters. The book cover is done by me and I hope it’s good enough, I did my best with it. I do have an graphic artist in my family, so for the second book, I may ask her to help out. This project was just too short notice for her to be included, this time around. And yes, I’m working on a second book too, now that we’re near the end of wrapping up the first book. :-)

I’ll post here one last time, in October, when I’ll reveal the name, link, and summary of the book. It will be published on Amazon, the second week of October! Thanks to all of my readers and remember to never give up on your dreams!

-D

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