Monday, June 13, 2016

Two Fires

I got the mail today and there was a package from a reader. It was so kind. Inside was a Notre Dame tee shirt (my family’s football team, and mine forever) and a sweet card. A little note of encouragement. I don’t know if you guys understand how much that means to me, how much it means to all of us. We have this ability as people to give gifts, and I don’t mean tangible gifts like tee shirts or money, but gifts of kindness, joy, love, appreciation. It is a currency we all have, and our checkbooks have no limit. We can buy coffee for the stranger behind us in the Veteran cap. We can tell the lady at the library how beautiful her earrings are. We can put out our fists in solidarity when we drive past a runner trying to make it up a hill. We can tell someone their dog is beautiful. We can send a card in the mail for no reason at all. We have the power to make other human beings feel good. We can write unlimited checks for other peoples’ smiles.

Encouragement sure is needed around here. I am writing a new book, and it is the most excited I have been about writing in a while. In the past every project was bought before it was written, meaning every book you have seen with my name on it was a contracted deal. They paid me half up front to agree to write it and I got the second half when the manuscript was edited and approved for publishing. So I was writing because I was legally obligated too, and that (for me at least) does two things: sets a fire under my arse and turns passion into obligation. I still write, but it is coming from a place of duty some days and not the quiet thrill of needing to write.

This book I need to write. I have to make myself stop writing it at night.

Now, my excitement certainly doesn’t mean a publisher will match it. Right now the book isn’t sold and this is actually a total rewrite of something I already had about twenty thousand words in. But I am excited. And getting little messages with tee shirts and kind letters, it makes me feel like that is one book already sold. Someone out there will pay me American Tender to write down my feelings about a farm and a stubborn horse. I have the evidence in my hand, a note and a shirt.

My life right now is a combination of trying to figure out how to keep this farm and how to create this story I am burning to tell. It is a dangerous alchemy. Half of my fire is fear of losing the roof over my head. The other half is passion to talk about the darkest parts of myself publicly, and how this farm and a dark horse helped me through them. The last five years have been more life-changing than the rest combined. I am a very different woman than the girl that started this blog, who walked out of the corporate world and started this experiment. I refuse to give up, if it doesn’t kill me first.

That is where I am. Fighting fear and writing words. I am proud to say the farm has never been better, animal wise. The flock is bonnie and braw, the goats happy and producing so much milk! The piglets will arrive soon (a trade from a local farmer for archery lessons for his wife and daughter!) and the hive, gardens, rabbits, horse, dogs, and cats are all hail. There is green grass, new friends, hard work, personal goals, and good food ahead. There is regular music lessons and a fiddle that stopped collecting dust. There is joy, and sometimes other people give it to me for no reason other than they can.

The fireflies are out. Summer is here. The farm is magical. Gods willing, I get to stay a little longer.


Blogger mdoe37 said...

I'm votin' for ya!

June 13, 2016 at 9:23 PM  
Blogger jules said...

Speaking of writing, how's Birchthorn coming? I can't wait to get my copy to see how it finally ends!

June 14, 2016 at 10:57 AM  
Blogger Kelly said...

Love your passion and gusto for life!!!!!!

June 14, 2016 at 12:41 PM  
Blogger Pet Lover said...

Excuse me but weren't you also "legally obligated" to write and complete the "novella" your backers paid over $15K for? The same one which is in arrears for over a year now??

June 15, 2016 at 3:13 PM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

Jules and Pet Lover: Birchthorn has been written, edited professionally, and is in the preproduction stages. Updates have been made on the Kickstarter to keep up with all the backers (the last one a span of days ago, I believe?) and anyone who didn't want to wait was refunded (all four of them). It seems that most people are understanding about the novel taking longer than I guessed having never self-published anything before. And Kickstarters of all sorts mess up their completion dates.

Birchthorn will be printed and ready to go within the next few months. Ebook first, emailed to the backers. Then paperbacks and hardcovers. Discussions about printing, ISBN numbers, pricing and all have already happened. It's the home stretch!

June 15, 2016 at 4:28 PM  

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