Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Oh Thankful Days

I know exactly where I was a year ago. I was reeling from the curt letter I received from my then publisher, which called for a massive rewrite of the first book I sold. My editor and her senior editor seemed to hate it so much; I feared I could never make it right.

On Thanksgiving Day, when I should’ve been rejoicing with my family, I ate hurriedly and then whipped out my laptop to finish a chapter. I was on a strict deadline that I knew I had to meet. Failure wasn’t an option. I’d often bitten off more than I could chew of my own volition plenty of times, but never had someone else shove the stake in the ground for their favor.

This agenda was also the way I spent Christmas. Worrying about every minute that I spent away from my laptop and that I’d never finish. I managed to piece together a version of my book that would make my editor happy and satisfy me with a week to spare. But I realized I’d been robbed of those special holiday moments. And I couldn’t get them back.

This year will be different! My publisher ended up filing bankruptcy in July and finally after months of waiting I see the light at the end of the long tunnel. In a generous gesture of what marks this season, Siren Publishing, Inc. purchased 154 authors’ contracts. As of November 15th, they have released all the rights back to the authors, including myself. Within days a mere formality will severe my contractual ties with my publisher indefinitely.

Like many of the other authors involved, I though I’d feel like a weight had been lifted. I’d imagined myself screaming to the world of my freedom. But instead I’m modest, wanting to be sure all the I’s are dotted and T’s crossed before I give into my elation. With that being said, I also feel deeply sorry for the authors still in the battle. They believed they would be going to court today to get what was rightfully there’s. Instead the court delayed the hearing until December 4th, adding more hurt to injury and even more waiting. To them I say hang strong and have faith as you endure, your day for rejoicing will come.

Today, a year and eight days since that fateful afternoon when my will to write was almost crushed by that e-mail, I rejoice in saying I can shop the book of my heart elsewhere. But I would never have made it through without my unflagging family as well as my friends who did everything they could to pep up my spirit. Even fans I’d managed to acquire before my book hit the web bolstered me with e-mails, and lastly I must embrace my posting mates who let me stay among them as a person fallen from PAN status. I am truly blessed to know all of you, and in many ways blessed by this experience. Perseverance must be tested, so that a person knows their true strengths. Now I know I can take lick after lick, and still keep on putting one foot in front of the other. It may be slow going, but as long as I believe in myself I can attain anything.

This season I will write. I will reflect on where I’ve been as well as where I must go for my career, and I will continue to use my family as a source of inspiration. One of the regrets I have about this setback is that no one read my dedication. So I’m sharing it here, since the men in question played a major role in TAKE ME IN YOUR HEART and are on my mind this season.

To my Grandpaw, my Step-Dad & my Dad~ Your lives and good deeds are not forgotten.

May your Thanksgiving Day with family plus good food be plentiful and may you know love that knows no bounds. For one day, give in to temptation not to write or edit and simply enjoy living.


Lynda K. Scott said...

Skylar, what a wonderful post! I'm happy for you and the other authors whose contracts were purchased, and soon will be freed, by Siren Publishing. I've read some of your work and I know you'll find a new home!

Have a great holiday, my friend, and don't eat too much turkey :D

Skylar Masey said...

Thanks so much Lynda!

I truly wish the judge had stuck to the November 20th court date. But I know how they are with holidays and short weeks.

I hope everything goes smoothly on the 4th! I will be thinking of you!

But for now enjoy the day and don't eat too much turkey yourself! And if you'll be in the Black Friday rush, be careful!


Nancy said...

Hi, Skylar--

Your post sounds very calm and logical, but it must have been hard to gain such a perspective on so big a disappointment. I hope all goes smoothly at the hearing.

May you have another, more reliable writer-related celebration by the time next Thanksgiving rolls around.

Skylar Masey said...

Nancy, thanks so much for stopping by!

I think when hindsight is 20/20 people do gain a certain sense of calm. You can't change what's happened, only learn from what you've been through.

Every one of life's ups and downs marks a person in some way for the good or bad. I will say that through the ride even from July until now my emotions fluctuated almost daily. (In boiled down terms I was living my worst writing nightmare.) I'm not sure anyone enjoys coming home (almost daily) and finding a letter from the bankruptcy court in their mailbox, only to wonder with dread what the latest change is. But atleast I'm still writing...which means the future can be brighter.

And hopefully by next year you and I will both be able to celebrate contracts. :0)