Tonight found me browsing #MSWL (manuscript wish list) one more time. I am shopping the novel because I believe in it. That’s all that matters, right? Even if it never gets published, I still believe in it. When I look at my other three books, I am incredibly grateful that someone took a chance on them. Lightning needs that chance.

I’ve been poring through my old file cabinets and getting rid of a flurry of old things. All sorts of gems showed up: a love letter from “the one who got away”, (but really “the one I let go”), divorce papers from the one I should have let go, emo poetry that I somehow convinced myself was good (it hasn’t held up to the test of time), sale papers from the Alaska house. None of those need to remain, so I stuff my wood stove (though I did keep the love letter and the divorce papers. I was bemused by that strange juxtaposition). My past keeps me warm on a cold winter night.

I persist. Despite the poor odds for getting another book published (in the pandemic, still), despite the difficulty in getting marketing out there, despite everything. I have written and had accepted more essays this year than in a long time, and been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. I believe.