Posts Tagged ‘tooth fairy’

No, I am not unemployed, I was touched by the novel fairy!

The other day, I finished walking the dogs at the arboretum and went to one of my favorite coffee places to grab some breakfast. I go in all the time between 10 and 11. I dress in jeans and a t-shirt. My hair is in a ponytail which I admit is undoubtedly loosened by the wind, but this is Seattle after all. Everyone wears causal dress.


They look cute and cuddly, but really they’re scheming ways to get a bit of my breakfast.

Rosie and Tycho are outside waiting in the car, mournfully staring though the window. They hope I’ll come out soon and that when I do I will give them a taste of whatever I bought.  (Not the espresso–no one wants to see them on espreso–but my breakfast) So I order my croissant and latte. As the barista is pressing my shot, she asks any plans for today. I say something about just walking my dogs at the arboretum and now I am on my way home to work. She says, “Job search?” My first thought is if I didn’t have a job, I wouldn’t have just spent money on breakfast out. “No, I am an author.” I went from impoverished to impressive in a blink of an eye. Did she think I said I was a mystical unicorn? “Wow, you mean you’ve been published?” she asked. “Yes.” I mentioned Other Systems. Then spoke about the other  some science fiction short stories published and self published some comics. Then we talk about her roommate who is an aspiring author. She wanted some advice for him. We write completely different genres. She didn’t really care what I wrote about only that I was an author. As an author, I am automatically: gifted, talented, lucky, articulate, MegaRICH, connected! Most importantly, I was a person who has been blessed by the novel fairy. I handed her a bookmark and told her if her roommate had questions he could always contact me though my book’s website. Wait…you havn’t heard of the novel fairy?
The novel fairy is kind of like the tooth fairy, but  more capacious. She leaves inspiration under the pillow. Sometimes if you were a really good boy or girl, the novel fairy actually leaves a manuscript with a favorable publishing contract attached. I tried to tell the barista my first novel wasn’t published and Other Systems was published by a small press. She did not want to hear it. She certainly didn’t want to hear that I worked fifty hour work weeks. Sadly, hardwork and struggle are not impressive. She would have been disappointed to know I live a comfortable middle class lifestyle is primarily due to my husband’s job. She would have been really disappointed to see my closet/office. She only saw that I was blessed by the novel fairy. I think some people write or want to be an author because they believe it is an easy way to wealth and fame. I wonder how quickly that idea shatters as soon as they realize it is actual work. A while back, Kristen Lamb talked about self discipline on her blog and honestly that’s what got me thinking about this. It is a pet peeve of mine when I hear successful authors say in interviews, “I never set out to be an author…” Ummm. I’m calling BS. “One day, I thought it might be fun…and before I knew it I pooped out a novel. Tee hee…” I’m calling Double BS on that one. Maybe when someone begins writing–it was just a lark, a way to express emotions, or [fill in the blank], however, one day that changed. One day, it became work and the author had to decide to keep going. We sacrifice hobbies, time with friends, a clean house, and sleep to writing a novel. More than that, writing the first draft is not the only piece. Then we rewrite. Then editing. Then another rewrite. More editing. Whether a book is self published, published by a small or traditional press, the author most definitely wanted to be an author at that point. Books don’t magically get published. Books don’t magically get promoted either. It’s a lot of work to bring a book to market. It is a beautiful thing to see a project come to fruition, however it is a lot of hard work. All I can assume is this is an unpopular message, because the myth of the novel fairy is perpetuated. What are some of your favorite or least favorite myths of being an author?

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