A Wish and a Prayer

April 13, 2015|Posted in: book biz, Books, News, The Doris Diaries, work, writing

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy non-fiction proposal is with an acquisitions editor right now. A new publisher who deals with nonfiction, with the kind of story I tell in the Doris Diaries. I would gnaw my fingernails, if I was a nail-gnawing kind of gal. I’m not. I’m a harp-on-it-in-my-mind kind of gal. Harp on it until I have a meltdown. Which I just did. (Sorry, honey.)

Mind you, I did not “submit” this manuscript, and I’m not awaiting “acceptance” or “rejection.” I eschew those labels. No one owns my reaction. I know my work is good. Either they like it or they don’t. Nothing personal. And I’ll move on if this manuscript is not a fit. On to the next publisher on my checklist. Easy peasy.

But it gets a little grueling. My talented friend Mike Copperman submitted his collection of essays about teaching in rural Mississippi to some 125 agents and kept getting nos. He finally got a yes, and his book is forthcoming now (see his story here).

My gifted friend Jordan Rosenfeld wrote a whole book on persistence (called, amazingly, A Writer’s Guide to Persistence, out NOW from Writer’s Digest Books). She, too, has been plugging along in search of the right book with the right publisher, the right reader wanting what we have written.

I have been wgirls-riding-donkeyorking with my Great Aunt Doris’s diaries since summer of 2011, when I first opened the box of mysterious papers after her death, and realized what a treasure I held in my hands. I have published two collections of her diaries from the teen years in the Roaring Twenties. The things I know about the Prohibition era astound me. The lengths to which I’ve gone already in pursuit of sharing the Doris Diaries with the world – well, 5,000 miles by train, four states, three years, countless hours, and many speaking engagements, period costumes and hairdos later – well, now it’s time to move into World War II and Doris’s San Francisco years.

Will this be the right publisher? Is this the right time and place? I don’t know. I was promised a weekend read, so I have fingers crossed for a speedy answer this time. Trust me, you’ll know if there’s good news.

It never gets old, the thrill of the chase – the elusive unicorn in the woods. It gets very old, however, hearing no. So one day at a time. One page at a time. If you’re on this same journey, hang in there. We’ll go together.

Blow a dandelion with me and let’s see what happens.

Facebook Conversations

comments

Julia Park Tracey is an award-winning journalist, author, and blogger. She is the author of "Veronika Layne Gets the Scoop" and "Veronika Layne Has a Nose for News" (rep'd by Booktrope). She is the Poet Laureate of Alameda, California. She's also the conservatrix of The Doris Diaries, the diaries of her great-aunt Doris Bailey Murphy. Her articles have appeared in Thrillist, Quill, Paste, San Francisco Chronicle, and in many magazines; her latest poetry appears in The East Bay Literary review.

3 Comments

  1. mbathiany@gmail.com'

    Mara
    April 13, 2015

    Leave a Reply

    You GO, Girl! Doris’s grit is in your blood. Strong, capable, and enough self-confidence to admit vulnerability. Perfect recipe for an excellent writer – and published author!

  2. fittymac@yahoo.com'

    Fitz Rush
    April 13, 2015

    Leave a Reply

    A journey for you and the diaries. Good luck and wellness for you on this adventure. Thanks for sharing!

  3. mishka824m@gmail.com'

    Michelle Chouinard
    April 13, 2015

    Leave a Reply

    Interim congratulations! I’m so glad this lead is working out for you so far, and I have you on my ‘cosmic order’ list. You’re more lucky than you realize, not for this opportunity, but because you have the self-knowledge that your work is good. Not all writers do–including this one–and it can be paralyzing to never know if you’re being rejected because the fit isn’t right, or your manuscript is just bad. I’d give anything to have an answer to that simple question. 🙂

Leave a Reply


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

*