Eleven years ago ...

Eleven years ago, on my thirtieth birthday, I sat looking out the window at another end of the evening, at another winter night in Winnipeg, at a very particular kind of February blackness, when the word 'home' looms as large anything in one's mind, and there is no ambition, because you've spent the day pulled in as hard as you can to yourself, against the thirty-below weather, running from door to door. And I thought I should try to look beyond all that. So I made a promise to myself, that I should start writing, I mean really trying to write, to engage it straight on, as something I just do. And if I did this, if I truly worked at it, then there was no reason why I shouldn't have a book published by the time I turned thirty-five. And to hedge my bets I'd send out illustrations with every story, and get those published too, because I had ambitions there as well (almost everyone who goes through a graphic design program wants to grow up to be an illustrator someday). And so that was what I did.

I started with poetry because I didn't understand it. I thought, Well, if I don't understand it then probably nobody else does either. And the first poem I sent out, to a very reputable literary journal, was published. And I thought, Well, that was easy.

Turns out it wasn't. Poetry turned to short stories and those turned into a collection, and all of that turned into a fat plastic envelope of correspondence, ninety-five percent of which were rejections. And the whole effort was this thing pulled hard in against myself, this thing I just mined away at in private, because it paid nothing and no one saw the point or wanted to hear about it. But there were ecstatic moments as well, those white moments of total immersion, of having it *sing*. And these things, and the other accomplishments along the way, were all my own.

And thirty-five came and went.

The illustrations never really did go anywhere, but eventually the fiction did, and today I have a signed contract for a short-story collection, which is a remarkable thing in itself, and in Fall of 2010 I'll see an actual book come off an actual press, and that book will have my name on it. Promise kept.

Now, has anyone seen my soul?


  1. Congratulations on that book! Your soul is not missing. It is around somewhere & will resurface at some point in the future. Perhaps something large is sitting on it.

  2. Such an exciting time, two babies on the way! ;)

    Congrats D, you've worked and waited and now you are rewarded.

  3. Congratulations!! I enjoyed reading about your journey in pursuit of your dream. I feel inspired.

  4. 'All good things come to he who waits'

    Excellent news!

  5. Definitely an inspiring tale; I have yet to flesh out the tale that's due for my writing group, meeting a week Friday...maybe I'll stick with the verse.

  6. yay for dreams that are coming true!

  7. yes!!! this is AWESOME!

  8. Nice. I cant wait til Im 41.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts