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Fame, such a fleeting thing…

Fame, or as close am I’m going to get to it…

When you go to submit your soon to be world famous novel to the lucky editor who’ll get to say, “I knew them when…” all advice tells you to include your writing achievements.   These accolades are not to include the research paper you did in high school and smoked all your classmates with, or the nifty little poem that made it to the state fair.  No, these noteworthy successes are to be final masterpieces that have been…gasp…published.

Now up until recently, I had to struggle with this lovely part of my dreaded query letter.  Why? Because the only piece I had “published” was a non-fiction short on National Public Radio which I wasn’t even aware was out there.  Here’s what happened.  A handful or two years ago, before I found my place among the Evil 7, I tried a few different writing groups. You know how it goes. You’ve been out of practice so you think, “I’ll find a little group, and start small. Just get those creative juices flowing.”  Soon each week I would end up in a room with other moms and we would present short stories, generally non fiction, for critique.  Or as I now know better, discussions.  Not a lot of critiquing, more friendly “perhaps you should…”s.   Nowadays, I have to say,  I’ve come to value the blood baths that I currently endure with the Evil 7.  They seem a bit more productive, funnily enough.

Anyway, I digress.  So we did these mom pieces, and I had one.  They asked me to record it for something, which I now can’t remember what it was.  Then two years later, a co-worker calls me up from Oregon and says,  “By the way are you the one who has two tattoos and tons of siblings?”  Color me shocked. Seemed  he liked to listen to NPR, and lo and behold my recorded story was out there.  Ah fame…gone before you even know you have it.

Fast forwarded to current times.  I’m trudging through the torturous endurance test known as a query letter, and I’m hitting up the other six for some advice, lamenting how I have no publishing cred.  Then Mistress of the Whip, Snarky, dryly points out that I do indeed have some cred, doofus.  Yep, she’s one of the few who gets away with calling me that. A few bloody slashes later, the notation of a piece on NPR made it’s way into the letter. Viola!

Recently I had a request from an e-pub who’s had my story for some time, but since it seems my book has disappeared into the great abyss, I’ve started shopping it out again. Since the notorious piece with NPR, I got to take part in another non-fiction anthology, also to do with moms.  Although it’s under my “real” name because it’s non-fiction, I’m doing this for two reasons.  The ever elusive publishing cred and the fact that all proceeds from the book sales go to charities.  You can’t beat that.

So if you’re looking for a sweet Mother’s Day gift for a mom or grand-mom, check out this site (www.oursharedwisdom.com) and enjoy the anthology, “A Mother’s Wisdom” edited by Cathryn Lomardo.  Lots of great stories from lots of great moms and grand-moms. Yep, I’m in there, on page 15. Have at it.

It’s all I can give you for now because somewhere out there is an editor just waiting to pick up my next great novel. And when they do, even you can join in the “I read her when…”

–Wicked

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