David Sharp is a noisy librarian. He has written three plays which have been produced six time altogether. He is a regular contributor to The Writing Bug, and he has written a novel for which he is seeking representation as well as numerous short works.
Lost on a Page
Life can be hard on a writing schedule.
I was in the middle of an unplanned move. My split-level apartment had become flooded during a sudden afternoon deluge. The result wasn't pretty, and it ended with my landlord and I renegotiating my move-out date. My car had only two working doors, and the money I'd been saving to replace it was now going toward a new place to live.
I'd been transferring boxes to the new place and pining for a truck with a trailer. I needed to take a break. So, I stopped into a nearby coffee shop. I was basked in the cool air conditioning and tried to forget I still had a full afternoon of heavy-lifting ahead of me.
My phone pinged.
From a publisher.
They wanted to "offer me a contract" for the manuscript I had submitted to them.
Confused, I reread the email several times. This was a foreign sort of missive for me. It resembled a rejection. Now those I had experience with. Polite opening. Formal language. It thanked me for my submission. But instead of telling me the piece was not right for them at this time and wishing me luck with my future endeavors, it seemed to be saying they'd like to publish my novel.
If this were a fictional story, this is the part where the writer would begin shouting for joy, his present hardships forgotten, and making such a scene that all the coffee shop patrons would stare at him like he'd lost his mind.
That's not how it really happened, though. My emotions were already so strained working through my current struggles (of which the move was only the latest development) that they just couldn't seem to fathom what was happening. I felt like I had blown a fuse.
Unwilling to trust my own comprehension, I did what any self-respecting writer would do. I forwarded the email to my critique group and asked them to tell me what they thought it meant.
Was this a different language or something? Perhaps the word "contract" in this email was the publisher's polite way of telling me I had come down with malaria. Because, of course they couldn't mean the kind you sign.
The truth is, you develop such a thick skin for rejections in this business it takes a while for elation to sink through it. (It did eventually, though. And I had a nice, dry apartment to celebrate in.)
None of this is how I'd imagined the fateful day I'd finally hook a publisher. The dream I constructed in my head had nothing to do with heavy boxes, flooded carpets or a car on its last tires. But I shouldn't have been surprised. None of the other steps in this journey happened the way I pictured them either. And lucky for me, they didn't.
My writing journey didn't happen in a vacuum. It was interwoven with life events and all their ups and downs. It was informed by them.
I'm a single parent of two children, one of whom has some special considerations. I'm a full-time librarian. It's a lot more work than you might imagine. (And no. I don't get to read books all day.) I complain from time to time that it is difficult to find time to write. It is! By the time I make dinner, help with homework, spend time being a parent and put the kids to bed, the last thing I want to do is boot my computer up.
But I've come to learn that only the last part of writing involves putting words on the page. It's all that other madness that gives me words to begin with
It's all writing.
I can now hold my own bound book in my hands. It has accrued several stars on Amazon. And now that I've "arrived" (whatever that means) my journey contains as many twists and turns as it ever has. Life hasn't let up since my book published in May, and I suppose that's a good thing. I have a sequel to write after all.
It's tricky to find a spare moment sometimes, but I'm never short on inspiration! In fact, I should probably cut this short, because I hear my children producing some inspiration right now. And by the sound of it, this is going to be on the epiphany level. The last time involved an intricate contraption of Lego blocks and duct tape and they...
Well, another time! It'll be a chapter somewhere; just watch for it
Joe Slade is a detective with a hot lead and a warm gun. He no longer believes in happy-ever-afters, but the jury's still out on plot twists. Good thing. He's about to discover the mother of all twists that will cure his doldrums like pliers to a toothache: Joe Slade is not real. He's the protagonist of a series of hardboiled mysteries. And when Joe finds out that all his strife has been in the name of boosting book sales, there will be hell to pay.
Vowing revenge on his author, he will band with the mysterious Ellodrine, a high fantasy wizard who suffers from reinterpretation. Together, they will set off for the World Where the Books Are Written. But the road will take them through new books with genres strange and foreign; epic fantasy, bodice-ripping romance, intergalactic sci-fi, and others even more dark and horrible. But what if this new life is about more than just living? And will Joe still come out on top when all the rules have changed?
Where to Buy Lost on a Page
I'm generally pulled in a million different directions and I wouldn't trade it for the world. Here's a glimpse of my life - hope you enjoy it! And if there's a big lapse between posts, well, that's the way life goes in Amy's world.