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Live Through Us at The Burrow

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April 2018

Balance

I recently rewatched one of my favorite lines:

Seven of Nine is toasting at a baby shower and says, “May all of her desires come true except one, so she always has something to strive for.”

I have had many goals and dreams in my life, and I have pursued most if not all of them. I have been a complete homesteader, making or growing all of my own and my family’s food. I homeschooled my child. I have sang on a stage to people literally chanting my name. I even finally got that book written. OK, several books written. And I finally, after several years, got a picture book published, albeit independently.

I’ve failed at more than I’ve succeeded (We outgrew our land and were never able to make a business out of it), but I’m pretty sure that’s normal for everyone. If we all succeeded at everything, as Seven so elegantly put it, what would we have to strive for?

I still have a goal, of course. I’m sure it’s more than obvious. I wish to be traditionally published. Will it ever come true? My doubt is growing, but that’s OK. See, I have something to strive for. We all need dreams. We all need something to look forward to.

A coworker friend of mine cruises a lot. At least once a year, sometimes several, and he told me that without the next cruise to look forward to, he gets horribly depressed. As any longtime reader of this blog knows, I have anxiety, but ever since I started writing, that anxiety has become manageable. Oh don’t get me wrong! The veins in my arms are presently burning with the desire to get something done. That will, unfortunately, never go away. But I can function far better now because of my writing, because I have something to strive for. If that desire is taken away, I become lost. It isn’t pretty. Does this mean that once I get my dream of becoming published I will no longer know what to do? Absolutely not! There are awards to yearn for, accomplishments to be had. I do not believe I could, or will, ever reach the top.

This blog post made an impression on me. Although it’s mainly about people who have peaked and therefore need a new life direction, it can be beneficial to us all, I believe. I’ve often pitied those who have reached the top, especially at a young age. All the athletes and gymnasts, now what do they do? It’s a shame really. We all envy them then, but in reality, their lives are but a tiny flash of joy sandwiched between the desire to reach that joy and the depression which follows.

So maybe I’m better off never reaching this goal. Maybe this is my one desire I will have to strive for. And I’m starting to be OK with that.

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POC on a book cover

POC is a broad term including pretty much everyone that isn’t stereotypically white, and since a great deal of the world bunches all us “white people” together into one very stuffy, very stale bowl, it obviously doesn’t include everyone. But I recently watched a presentation by Barry Goldblatt, literary agent for Barry Goldblatt Literary, that spoke to me. He said there is still a firm belief within the publishing world that placing a POC on the cover of a book will keep it from selling, at least as well.

I don’t doubt that. But not for why you think.

As a child, when I saw a POC on a cover of a book, I groaned and moaned because I knew the book was going to be one of those serious “teach kids a lesson” books that would bore me to tears. It was usually a girl with some detrimental look on her face who had lived some terrible life of slavery and concentration camps and while very interesting and educational (probably more interesting to me now as an adult 😉 ) they were not fun. In fact, they were often depressing.

Fast forward to today. We pretty much have the same thing, only now the POC’s are Arabic and Indian.

But wait.

I’ve seen a very very few books with POC on the front that looked fun. Of Giants and Ice is one (although they left the POC off two of the four covers, never figured that out), Princess Cupcake is another. This blog post shares 12 books with POC where the topic isn’t racial. Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion looks cute.

I did an internet search and an Amazon search. Both came up with pretty much nothing but serious books that completely turned me off from the get-go. I had to really search to find a book with a POC on the front that was just for fun, like the ones I mentioned above. And I truly think that’s the problem. I think that’s the reason “POC covers don’t sell”. If the publishing community would quit treating POC like some sorrowful event we all have to read with our heads bowed, they would sell more. But that’s just my opinion.

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