This blog was featured on 04/02/2018
A Door Closes and a Story is Born
Contributor

As a retired teacher, and divorced mother of two grown daughters, the path to the writing and publication of my book, Two Minus One: A Memoir, may appear to be quite circuitous, but, in fact, it was nothing less than linear and completely causal.

It was unbeknownst to me when I was living as a single parent that my life would change dramatically in just a few years. I was content in the life I had created for my daughters and myself and fulfilled in my teaching career. I was not looking for any changes to be made. However, after much convincing, and with great confidence, I remarried and relocated with a man who was completely attentive and the total opposite of my first husband. Indeed, he repeatedly assured me-through actions and words-of his undying love and reminded me continuously that I, “could quit waiting for the other shoe to drop (he was) in it for life.”

Of course, my fairy tale did not last a lifetime, and five years after the relocation, he unexpectedly announced that he was, “done and didn’t want to talk about it.” Blindsided by his startling change of heart, I was left alone to manage the betrayal and grief.

Throughout my life I have always journaled. At the suggestion of a friend, I turned my journals into scribbled notes, chapter titles, and my unfolding story as I tried to make sense of what I was experiencing. Steadily and amazingly a book began to take shape. Shared with a trusted few who were each profoundly moved, they insisted that I had a story that would resonate with others and encouraged publication-if I felt strong enough for such a process.

Untrained in writing and unaware of what the journey from writer to author entailed, I was naively confident that writing was much harder than publishing and began to research the steps of publication. Quickly realizing this was bigger than I imagined, and knowing that I was in over my head yet unwilling to step away from a challenge, with the support of those same few, I began to educate myself on the most effective methods to publish a book in the traditional way.

Having no idea of the obstacles in front of me by being an unknown and first-time author with no platform, it seemed that I would immediately strike out without even getting my feet firmly planted on the base. However, undaunted, and still with the unwavering support and encouragement of my core backers, after five months of research, drafts, and hard work, I had a proposal that I was ready to send to publishers. I knew I knew nothing about the process, yet I knew I wanted a collaborative approach to publication-as I have a collaborative personality by nature and profession. So I looked for smaller, more progressive, and less traditional publishers. Submitting to six publishers, I suddenly found myself with nothing left to do but to wait the ninety days each wanted for review and formulate follow ups to their anticipated rejections-after all, each would be receiving manuscripts from writers with MFA’s and undergraduate degrees in English!

Never did I imagine that I would be accepted by two publishers! Still full of self-doubt and unanswered questions, I happily signed on with Brooke Warner and She Writes Press where I have found a professional structure with a clear plan, excellent guidance and training, and a supportive community of writers. Annie Tucker has helped me shape and polish my manuscript into the “jewel” that Brooke confidently assured me it could be, and I am awaiting my publication date of November 6, 2018. A perfect example of cause and effect!

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