Do you focus on the negative?
On Friday morning went down to IF+D where my art is for sale. Kristen, the owner and fellow crazy coffee drinker, reminds me of the woman who had spent the last month reading my novel over her lunch hour. Once or twice a week, this woman was coming into the store and reading a bit more of my novel.
Well, Kirsten said, she saved up her money and bought it.
This copy of my novel was handmade because I have no publisher. I made a front cover and a back cover, taped, pasted, and stitched it all the pages together. Probably it took ten hours or more–not counting the actual writing of the story (editing and printing too). It wasn’t cheap. And this person spent her hard earned money on it.
I’m in shock–flattered, humbled, anxious, and happy. It is like magic coming real. Forgive my blather, but as one friend likes to say, “It’s a banner day!”
What about your work has made you happy lately?
17 thoughts on “The Reader”
Your reader is all the more wonderful because she kept coming back, drawn by your story to the point of wanting it in hand-made form. But the real “magic coming real,” as you so accurately put it, was the bringing of your world to the page, where it could be experienced.
One’s work is sometimes like an item of clothing discovered in the closet, seemingly too new or stylish or, somehow, too useful to give away or just toss but still not readily thought of when dressing to go forth. Some of my work suddenly appears amidst the chaos, and true happiness comes from recognizing it as something imminently wearable and immediate, something worth keeping.
Part of me thinks my reader may have come in through the back of my closet–as if there is a secret world back there filled with readers who like my wardrobe (so to speak).
Congratulations! That’s fantastic news! How exciting! Readers buying the work make it all worthwhile, don’t they?
I wish I didn’t need such validation, but it so does help.
How awesome! Congratulations to you! You have officially sold your work now. 🙂
Have you thought about something like a comb binder to make the binding process easier, so you can concentrate on your cover art?
I’m so excited and happy for you. 🙂
I know. Someone has willingly put down money for my book. I love her no matter who she is.
The comb binders don’t age well and don’t have the look I want. And besides, as frustrating and time consuming as the binding process is, I like the process too. It all goes together really.
And thank you!
Warmest, most heartfelt congratulations, Marta. All of the pieces have come together: the writing, the editing, the publishing . . . and the sale. The by-hand assembly was a remarkable step — how many other authors have experienced this facet of the art of writing? How many other buyers have purchased so completely a labor of love?
From where I sit, it feels like the perfect literary exchange.
This reminds me of my first (and only) sale, a short story that fetched a hefty $17.34. It turned out not about the money at all: I still have the uncashed check on my office wall. Compared to your efforts, mine were but a flash in the pan, but it still gives me a very complex emotional pulse when I happen to glance up and see it hanging there. I can’t help but think there is a writer/reader relationship that really is magic, and your experience with it may have been about as pure as it gets. Again with the congratulations. 🙂
As for what about work has made me happy about my writing lately, yesterday at Flipnotics, on a whim I dug out my 2007 NaNo effort and looked at it with long-absent eyes. Some of it wasn’t bad, not bad at all.
Talk about a double-edged sword though: the story’s only about a third finished, and I’ll never get it done without some serious discipline . . . the kind that NaNo imposes.
It’s gonna be another one of those Novembers . . .
Thank you, Tom. And I hope I see you at this year’s NaNo! Of course some of 2007’s novel wasn’t bad. You’re a writer after all.
Now do you believe you’re doing something worthwhile? I can’t wait till somebody reads my book without me asking first. It IS magical, just like your stories.
About my own work…The first big thing is that I’m able to write, with enthusiasm and understanding. The second is that according to my blog stats, a big publisher made two visits to my blog, a month apart, about my current work on submission. I barely held my water on that second visit.
I barely held my water
LOL, Sherri — I barely held a mouthful of hot tea just now!
My thoughts are so with you on the publisher front. And yes, it is magic to have someone read your wok without being asked. MAGIC.
Seriously cool news, Marta! Not sure which image I love more — the one of you sitting hunched over a table laboriously assembling the finished objet, or the one of The Reader (re)visiting it piecemeal and then acquiring/reading/admiring it all in one gulp. I’d be surprised if she doesn’t make a point of sharing the book with other people — not just passively, like putting it out on a coffee table, but actively, by putting it in their hands.
(Like Tom said: “the perfect literary exchange.”)
What’s made me happy: drowning in research, blacking out, and waking up at the end of a finished chapter. 🙂 (In which, true, 90% of the research makes no explicit appearance… But it’s there, all right. Oh, it’s there.)
Thank you, JES. I’m dazed by this entire experience really.
The stitching of the actual book as a metaphor for the stitching of the story and the whole thing like a fairy tale of, say, Rapunzel spinning her golden floss, and having someone recognize its value is so lovely a story in itself. I’m so happy for you.
Thank you, Squirrel. Love the Rapunzel imagery–which works very well in the new novel I’ve been working on.
That’s awesome. What a wonderful feeling that must be. All that work and sweat and soul and someone was that drawn to it. 🙂 Congrats.
Thank you, Rowena. I could barely absorb the news. Seems unreal.