In the last three weeks I've had loads of wonderful things happening. The first I can't mention until next year, but it involves a contest that is very important to me and things are going very much my way. That's all I have been allowed to say. Top secret stuff this. But I can say it is a huge, big deal for me!
The second was an acceptance from Heartlines for my children's story The Witch on the Hill which will be used in their next collection. The story is about an old woman who lives alone so everyone believes that she is a witch, a common sort of belief here and quite sad. By accident a little girl discovers all of the rumours to be wrong and goes about trying to set things straight. The acceptance alone is a big honour but it comes with a big fat cheque of R10,000 for one story. I think that's about $1000 (US). And the story is short- 1000 words. That is good money this side of the world.
The third exciting thing is I have sent my short story manuscript off to Modjaji Books in South Africa. I knew Colleen Higgs, the owner of the publishing house, was looking for an editor to work on the collection with me and immediately I had a wish that it would be Colleen Crawford-Cousins who I met at this year's Cape Town Book Fair and fell in love with straight away -and my wish came true! She will be my editor! I was overjoyed. I know she'll pick my best stories in the bunch and help me polish them up to a beautiful shine. This will be the first book of mine that will be available also as an ebook so my friends in other place will be able to buy it. I don't know anything about the timeline for this project yet. Modjadji is a small publisher that publishes writing from women in Southern Africa. They have had fantastic success with their first novel Whiplash being shortlisted for the prestigious Sunday Times Prize and their first poetry collection winning the Ingrid Jonker Prize.
The last big news happened last Thursday. Regular readers of this blog might remember my whole big mix-up with my first steps into romance writing. After that, out of the blue I got an email from Kwela, quite a big publisher in South Africa, inviting me to submit a romance novella to their new imprint Sapphire Press. I thought that was quite handy since I had a half written romance novella on my hands. So I quickly finished it and sent it off.
On Thursday I got an email from them saying that they don't have the reader's report yet, but three staff members read the book and "loved" it and they"definitely want to publish it" and "we all agree that you have a natural storytelling talent" (!!!). How's that?
This writing job is so unlike any other profession. You have weeks of desperation when you convince yourself you are crap personified and a poser and why don't you just hang it all up and get a "REAL" job, and then you have wonderful things like this happen and you reconsider, and you think about all of the ways that writing fulfills you, and you are content. It's a manic depressive life, and funny enough, that might be the very reason I love it so much.