Friday, November 28, 2014

Good news

The other day I had an email from Caren, one of my fellow Muskrats from when I was in Jane's workshop.  For years now she has been working on a non-fiction book about a woman who was a child in Nagasaki when the atomic bomb was dropped.  It is a story that will both break your heart and give you hope that good can be made out of even the worst of tragedies.  For several years I listened to this story, and the story behind the story as its pursuit led Caren down some unexpected paths.

Last month Caren's book was sold to a publisher, to be published in 2016.  I wish I'd been there at Jane's when she was able to share the news, and I can't wait to see it in print.

Many times after Caren read a chapter at Jane's and we discussed it, it came my turn to read.  And more than once I wondered what on earth I was doing.  Compared to a story about a woman who endured one of the most horrific events imaginable, what can a rabbit in a cape offer?  Last fall at the StoryMasters workshop I had a similar moment of crisis.  Caren brought me back to earth.  As we talked about our stories during a break, she reminded me "Carrot is important too."  Critiquing on the fly is not my strength.  I usually need to sit and think about a piece for a while first.  But I hope I've offered Caren at least a fraction of the encouragement she has given me.

A book in print.  How many people who don't write understand the countless hours, the years of toil that go into a book without we the authors knowing if that moment will ever come?  Congratulations, Caren.  If ever a book, if ever an author, deserved this, it is you.  I can't wait to read it in print.