|A CLOCKWORK CHRISTMAS|
Releases December 5th!
Well, we made it. It’s almost release-day for your special project—the steampunk Christmas anthology you and the Carina Press staff entitled A CLOCKWORK CHRISTMAS!
In case you haven’t already noticed, I’m new to the scene of publishing. Pfft, who am I kidding? I’m so new I squeak. I’ve had two other releases before my novella with you—A CRIME WAVE IN A CORSET—but since they both happened in the last ninety days or so, I’m still learning the ropes. *cough*GinormousUnderstatement*cough*
One of those ropes had to do with Twitter. I’d been told by one of my editors at Samhain Publishing that I needed to be on Twitter to be a presence online, so I dutifully made up an account on March 1st of this year. On March 6th, someone retweeted your call for submissions for a holiday Steampunk project, and I immediately had an idea for a story. I didn’t know anything about you or Carina Press; I just liked the subject. I didn’t have a long time to get things together, since the deadline was May 15th, but when the characters Cornelia Peabody and Roderick Coddington pushed their way to the fore, I knew the story was going to be all right. And when I had 15K written in the first week, I REALLY knew it was going to be all right.
When a story pushes its bossy way out like that, it’s always a fun ride.
I was done with CRIME WAVE IN A CORSET by the time May rolled around. I even had time to send it off to a beta reader for that all-important feedback. Twice I read the manuscript aloud, until I felt the character of Cornelia so keenly I actually perfected her faint Irish lilt, and I could see impassioned fire hidden beneath the professorial veneer in Roderick’s vengeful eyes.
But as the deadline inched closer, I weenied out. I just couldn’t make myself send it to you.
Did you know I teach figure skating? As part of that job I was also a gold-level judge in ISI. I’ve sat on countless competition panels, doing the job I had spent a lifetime perfecting, so that in turn, the people I judged could be made better (you see where I’m going with this?). The thing about judging a group of ten to fifteen skaters is basic mathematics—three will see the podium. The others won’t. And someone will know that terrible pain of coming in dead last. I know this sounds cold, so please don’t misunderstand. It wasn’t that I hated them, or that it was anything personal, and you can bet in my heart of hearts I wanted everyone to come out a winner. But in every competition I have ever judged, there are those whose efforts don't deserve to see the podium. That doesn't mean they'll never see it. There’s always another day, as they say, and that’s something I find myself reminding my broken-hearted students when they (inevitably) produce a bad performance. There’s always another competition down the road, another shot at the podium. As long as you keep entering, keep trying, there is no failure.
|My Dirty Birdies! I'm the dork|
in the glasses. :)
So this ends my (sort of) love letter to not just you, Angela, but to all editors who sit in their own kind of judge's seat, filled with the hope of being dazzled, and the determination to say no when they're not. We writers certainly don’t podium on every attempt, but you remind us—there’s always tomorrow.
Speaking of which… it’s tomorrow. Happy release day, Angela. :) Love, Stacy