Monday, February 14, 2011

That blue typewriter along the margin...

...was where it all started. My older sister, who recently passed away (love you, Shell), was born with cerebral palsy. She couldn't use her hands very well, certainly not to hold a pen. So she had a sky blue Smith Corona electric typewriter that looked something like this:

I loved it. I think I used it more than Michelle did. My first story (I was 5, maybe 6) was a ridiculous epic about a trip to a dentist. Had I known at that time that dentists would become a totally scary part of my future, I perhaps would've chosen a different topic to write about. Maybe bunnies or unicorns. Or maybe unicorns who spear bunnies with their horns and then host barbecues for their troll friends. Unicorns and trolls are friends, right?

My favorite part of that keyboard is the chunky, fat button of goodness on the right--the return key--isn't it just delicious?

The reason this is important: when you hit that button, you've moved onto a new line. Maybe that line is a continuation of the prior line, a sentence still incomplete. Maybe it's a new thought, on a line all its own. Maybe a poet is using the sky blue Smith Corona, like my buddy Shakespeare (although they didn't have typewriters, or electricity, in Shakespeare's day, I suppose), and that new line is an introduction to a sparkling-fresh, compelling thought that will leave its reader breathless and wanting more. Maybe you just like to hit the button because it's so damn big and fun and it makes the coolest sound. (I have yet to find a keyboard that gives me the same clicky sound satisfaction. Maybe my friend Lauren's keyboard--it has a nice click to it. Very satisfying, indeed.)

When you hit that button, no matter what you're writing or have written, it is a commitment to move forward. You're moving on, skipping to the next part of the page. After you hit that button 10 or 20 times, you've moved to the bottom of the page. Time to insert a new page. Clean, white, begging to be desecrated by whatever is clanging around in your cranium. It's weird, really, but the Big Blue Button wants you to hit it. It's begging you to hit it.

By hitting it, you're making a decision. You're moving ahead. You're moving.


That's the important part.

I'm trying to do that. I am awaiting my turn at an e-formatter (March 10th is my date); I'm working on cover art options. I'm going to offer my YA paranormal/magical realism tome as an ebook and perhaps as a print edition in the future. I'm moving ahead, even if it is in a way I never imagined I would consider. (I'm a snob. There are a lot of us out there. This guy is one: And this fellow has had mad success stemming from his self-publishing endeavors. He earned himself a fat, multi-book deal with Crown, subsidiary of Random House. He earned it, for reals. Lots of hard work marketing oneself. It can happen.)

If I do this, then maybe, someday, I'll be able to say thanks but no thanks to the folks who didn't believe in me the first (and fifteenth) time around. And I'll say LOADS of thanks to the folks who WILL believe in me, or who, at the very least, will believe in my story. It's not for everyone. I know that. But it's fun. I think you'll like it. If you don't, well, we'd probably still be cordial to one another in line at Starbucks. I might even buy your coffee for you. Well, that is if the book sells. Otherwise I will probably give you googly eyes in the hope that you'll buy coffee for me instead.

In the meantime, I'm gonna keep hitting that Big Blue Button. I'm gonna keep moving, one line at a time.

1 comment:

  1. You definitely need to get your book're too intriguing of a writer to let this talent not be read by the masses!

    And I think you need to get better soon, I think you're getting cabin fever!!! Teehee!