Spring struggles along, limping toward summer in fits of wind and rain and suddenly blue sky, the air wet and humid, heavy with change not yet realized. With things to come.
It has been a long and rarely easy year, but it has certainly been my most artistically productive nine months ever-- since late August, I wrote twenty-thousand new words of memoir and rewrote another forty-thousand words in a shift from fiction to essay until I had, after six drafts or so, a book I can stand behind. The unpublished chapters that resulted from that work that could stand alone got sent out and immediately taken by Gulf Coast and Creative Nonfiction, two of the finest magazines in the country. And then having finished that project, I returned to the dialect work that now had no home in the 'novel', and last week finished the second of two new dialect stories, some 16,000 new words written in this last eight weeks or so, all of that work together now in something that may be a book of linked stories or a novel-in-stories, whatever exactly that may be. Certainly, it feels good to be so productive, to make, to finish. But taking a breath now in the midst of so much, with this warm wet air so thick and disturbed, I suppose I have felt for a long time now that I'm on the edge of something and I would like to arrive. Bring me high summer and unbroken sunlight, days without rain; bring me a home finally for this memoir that has been the work of nearly a decade now, and an end to these stories and these voices of children who would speak. Give me breakthrough.
For nearly two and a half months now I have been waiting on word from agents who have the manuscript in hand. I would like to say that I have accepted such limbo, after so long, and perhaps for the first month I did fine. I know this pursuit requires a long patience. I know that even when things change, when a book is imminent and taken by a publisher, still it is a waiting game; still it is a long persistence; still there is only more work to be done, greater aspirations and expectations, the next project and the next one after that. Process. Sure. All of that sounds nice, except how I am no longer feeling patient. I would like to know what's going on and then get my manuscript into more hands until it finds a home; I would like some indication, yea or nay, so I can keep moving. Summer may be on its way, but I could stand some good news, some happy augury of reprieve. Some sign that on this journey there will be moments at least when there is more than work and the hope that the best is still to come.