After the utter failure of Onwards & Outwardsas an e-book, I decided to strive with my head to the proverbial wall of rejection and put some resources into putting my words into print.
In all honesty, I did not even really want to read my novel as an e-book. Call me a Luddite, but I am still unconvinced by long fiction in digital format. Some of my favourite things about reading happen in the visceral aspects of our material world. I was cheating myself by taking the easy shortcut and presenting my words unto the Universe as lifeless kilobytes…instead of dead trees.
You can do a quick search & probably find Onwards & Outwards paperback at your favourite online retailer. If you are in Canada, and specifically western Canada, message me and I can hook you up.
I would love to spend the next few months travelling around, particularly in warmer climes, to do readings and peddle my book and generally be the vagabond poet I was born to be. But alas. Much like this book, I too am of this material world.
At best, you can be in on the pyramidal ground floor of a cult classic. Or you can have some emergency 5×7 50 lb crème toilet paper. Either way, I think you will enjoy this.
Today I briefly considered joining my provincial writer’s guild. I thought being part of a guild will help validate my writing. Like being part of the club will mean I was in. I could make witty lit small talk at book releases and at the guild’s annual conference. Maybe I could run into Ibi Kaslik again and we would have one too many G&Ts and hop into a cab and let an ellipsis say the rest…
I visited the guild’s page, to remind myself why I have refused to join in the past, and I saw their notice about National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), which is November—or, if you are a writer, every fucking month.
The guild is advertising events in and around the provincial capital, far from my city in the middle of the prairie. But it looks exciting: parties, write-ins, presentations from authors. It is an encouraging event…as the guild’s website proclaims, NaNoWriMo is, “for anyone who has ever thought fleetingly about writing a novel.”
Fleetingly. That is a funny word, especially in reference to novels.
I never want to read a novel by someone who had a fleeting idea about it. That is the problem with pulp novels, isn’t it? I could never articulate it before, but the word ‘fleeting’ is poignant—what I find most irritating about ‘cookie cutter’ authors like Danielle Steele and E.L. James is that their work is flippant. Like they were making tea—or *cough-cough* reading a popular teen trilogy—and thought, fleetingly, ‘Hey, I could write a book.’
Sure, why not.
Anybody can write a novel, just like anybody can be prime minister or anybody can be a reality TV star. So go ahead and join NaNoWriMo, and write your 50,000 words, and leave them unedited to collect digital dust on your hard drive. Why not? Because maybe your whim to write is fleeting. That is fine. But let those who are haunted be read. Haunting words are anything but fleeting. And they are not exclusive to November.
Back in the bar where I first bumped into her there is no sign of life, it’s like an abandoned building overtaken by overexcited drunks who try to sing their own songs over the lone guitar man playing a bastard cover of Your Time Is Gonna Come. Well maybe his time, but not mine.
– from ‘Sorry (Sayonara)’
It’s always exciting to be published. I’m not proud of it, but the recognition, even if it is by a single person, gets my dopamine flowing. I am sure it is the same feeling the first poet had, when (s)he uttered the first verse and a fellow tribe member raised their head to hear.