Recently, I was asked to read for Women’s History Month. I’m sure the attendees were expecting something from Fire in the Heart. I mean, what could be more historical than firefighting in the dark ages (Okay, the 1980s)? I looked at the book and sighed. I am sure I haven’t done especially well by it. I’ve not been too proactive for book signings, and I haven’t marketed like I should. I did a lot of that for Geography and I am not sure it paid off. Without a full time job, you can do a lot better, I’m thinking. When you are awake for only three or four hours of the day that don’t involve your day job, it leaves so little time.
But anyway. I pondered what to read and it came to me. Years ago an anthology of mine was featured here: http://www.bonafidebooks.com/permanent-vacation-home/. In fact, I was nominated for a Pushcart Prize for it, so this essay and anthology are dear to my heart. This summer, PV II is coming out and another essay of mine is in it. I would read that.
Anthologies are great ways to break into the writing market and also to keep you from feeling stale. I’ve been embroiled in the long manuscript realm for so long that it is a breath of fresh air to be able to write something short and contained. Essays take less time, but require spareness. Every word must count. It’s not a slice of life, but a tight circular story.
You don’t get a lot of money from being in an anthology, so that is something to consider. The editor walks away with the royalties. If you’re OK with that, it’s a fine place to be read and noticed. Several contributors to PV I have written books since.
In the end it was good to read something new. While I love both of my books, I am feeling the need to move on. Writing has been slow lately, but I am hoping to get back in the groove soon. Essays are a good way to shake off the cobwebs.