Lately I have felt a little like a clumsy cowgirl.
Not that I've ever been a cowgirl. Or ridden an actual horse. Except once or twice at a dude ranch at camp back in the dark ages.
But I have fallen off the figurative horse a few times.
Call me Calamity Taryn.
A manuscript I rather liked was roundly rejected in January. I'd launched it with the hope of it being my flagship of 2012. Instead, it sank like the Titantic.
I do love its hero and heroine. Who will remain in my heart and in the darkest recesses of my computer, at least for the time being.
This particular fall from the horse, coupled with how busy I am at the day job and the sorting out of family matters, pretty much sapped what was left of the frayed and tattered muse.
And damn, I was tired. Tired of the non-stop promotion that publishing books these days seems to entail. Tired of all the blah-blah-blah. Tired of the process no longer being the least bit fun, or the thing I most wanted to do or could not help myself from doing. The way it used to be.
All the stories I loved the best seemed to meet the most ignominious of defeats. I'm an awesome reader and a pretty good critiquer of other people's stuff. Why couldn't I see these things? Was it pride? Blindness? What?
(I think, actually, a lot of writers suffer from this: On the one hand, there is the insecurity of thinking you are a total fraud, have never done anything worthwhile and will never write anything again. On the other hand -- totally cramped from patting yourself on the back -- there is the voice that whispers, "Damn, you're good. Best thing since fried Twinkies. You go, cowgirl. But try not to fall off the freakin' horse.")
With the spring, I decided to reassess. Take stock. Try a new direction.
Both SLEEPY HOLLOW DREAMS and HEALING HEARTS were short books, written relatively quickly and easily (compared to other mss that have been with me for years in various incarnations and states of disrepair). They did not involve mass quantities of bloodletting, sweat and tears. I enjoyed them. I liked writing them. Unlike the struggles with some of the longer books that never saw the light of day.
So I went back to writing short. Something very short. Kinda sexy. It didn't take very long and it didn't feel as if I were trying to squeeze blood from a rock. It was kind of a lark, actually.
I am about to get back up in the saddle and send it on its way. Clumsy cowgirl that I am.
Maybe you'll even see it some time.
PS: I wrote the story, titled LIGHTNING, exclusively and intentionally for Decadent Publishing's 1NS (One Night Stand) series. Submitted the manuscript a few hours after posting this blog. And have been offered a contract by Decadent! So...looks like y'all WILL get to see LIGHTNING one of these days! And I couldn't be more pleased about that!