I told you the point of this website is for you to be a part of the journey — a journey that is long, twisted, difficult, exciting, terrifying and honest.
“Nothing worth having is easy.” How often have we heard that? It’s a tricky little statement, really, because it’s true and false at the same time. For example, many people have natural abilities. Whether they’re God-given or inherited (or both, as the case likely is), they ARE abilities that come easy. So . . . some things worth having are easy. That’s what makes the statement false.
Now, here’s what makes it true: just because you’re gift/talent is easy, doesn’t mean the path to sharing it with the world, or to succeeding at it as a career path that will provide enough financial stability that you’ll be able to happily do it the rest of your life, will be easy. As a quick example, I’ve seen many talented artists who paint out-of-this-world pictures that immediately take you to a world you wish truly existed so you could vacation there one day. Their sense of depth perception and ability to see the picture on the canvas before it’s drawn is something that (while it takes practice to perfect) comes easily for them. However, with scores of talented artists in the world and the ease of social media, it’s difficult to find the avenue that will get them noticed — that will make them stand out, even if their work does stands out as different and unique already.
The same applies for writers. When I was younger, I wrote for myself. I just liked doing it. After I finished writing (in my journal, a poem or a short story) I felt refreshed. The thought never occurred to me to share my writings with anyone. But this past several years, I began to understand the importance of sharing. I began to recognize the ability to put thoughts and feelings into words is not something everyone can do. Having recognized this, I started feeling obligated to share. Since then, I’ve seen first-hand how words can encourage and uplift. I’ve seen men and women cry because they realized for the first time they weren’t alone in feeling a particular way. I’ve observed individuals share a poem or short story with a loved one because it was the first time they could express a specific emotion.
My goal is not to be famous. It simply isn’t. I don’t even need to have my writing provide any source of income. What I need is to make my words available to anyone who can benefit from them. It’s why many of my poems are available freely on this site by clicking here. Unfortunately, it’s also why I still have to search routes for getting my material into readers’ hands. One route is publishers. These are the people who have connections needed to reach vast audiences; thus, the search for a publisher for Terrebonne Parish. It’s also the reason for visiting local businesses where books are sold, which brings me to the point of this post and the letter I said I’d share.
The Tamarack in West Virginia is self-described as “The Best of West Virginia” and the nation’s first (visitor’s) center that “draws half a million visitors annually into a welcome respite of visual beauty, Appalachian sounds, and distinctive aromas.” Common sense tells me it’s easier to take my product to the people rather than bring the people to me, so I went through the process of applying to have my children’s book, Yoba’s Bedtime, juried in (which is a fancy way of saying “being considered and accepted”) to be sold at the Tamarack. I made this request November 22, 2016. I present to you their response:
“Thank you for sending Avlen L’Rae’s (sic) book, Yoba’s Bedtime, to be juried into Tamarack. Unfortunately, this submission was not accepted into the system.
The jurors review criteria such as content, appearance, writing style, editing and display quality, amoung other items.
We appreciate your interest in the program. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at 1.888.262.7225, ext. 149 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
I told you I would share the good, the bad and the ugly. I’m not sure which of the two latter this falls under. The good is that I got rejected; as we discussed earlier, rejections mean you’re trying instead of sitting at the computer in the solace of your writing room where you prefer to be.
So, there it is. Another “No, we’re not interested.” My second, per se — unless I’m supposed to get 100 rejections per BOOK. Then, that’s one all. I’m greatly looking forward to sharing the many more that will surely come my way.
Likewise, I’m looking forward to sharing a “Yes, thank you” every now and then.