I Have Created Something!

I have completed (and rewritten and revised and revised again and edited) an epic historical dark thriller. I have written a subversive Parsival tale in contemporary style, narrated by a a teenage orphan girl of unknown heritage, raised by a hermit of unknown origin, with no particular religion, certain race, or coherent social class, a girl who seeks identity and meaning along her adventures with assorted outcasts, misfits, criminals, and trailblazers. It's a queer, multicultural, interracial, boundary-blurring brick of densely woven subplots and big themes glued together with tears and profanity and bestial love. In other words, I have produced the kind of Byzantine journey saga that only the Millennial alumnus of an urban American public school with both gang violence and a celebrated AP program could have written.

I have no idea whether this work can be packaged and sold as a consumer product (though I sure hope it can), but in this moment, I am riding that high that comes after the labor and the birth. And I am confident that I have made something weird and new, something that nobody else in the world would have bothered to research and write.

Kurt Vonnegut wrote,
...go into the arts. I’m not kidding. The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.
And whether my creation ever earns me money, writing it has been cheaper than going to therapy.

I am proud of this thing I have made, so proud that this is my plan: I'll query a few literary agents in a couple of weeks to test the waters. And then I'll put my hopes on hold and wait.

I'll enjoy the rest of the autumn and the holiday season with my family, and in the winter, if I have not won the literary lottery and the agent of my dreams has not sifted my diamond out of the slush piles and offered me representation, I will review my rejection letters and look for clues about where my query, submission documents, and novel may need more work. After addressing any issues that become clear to me at that time, I will continue querying.

If I lose hope of acquiring a literary agent for this work, I will approach independent presses. If all hope is lost there as well, I will probably hire an editor and make an attempt at self-publishing.

One way or another, I plan to get some professional help to ensure the quality of the work, and then I'll make this book available to the world. Maybe someone will even read it and enjoy it as much as I have.


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