The Night before Publication

‘Twas the night before publication,

When all through the house.

Not a creature was stirring,

Except my computer mouse.


My spouse was nestled all snug in his bed,

While visions of royalties danced in his head.

And me nodding off at my computer so late,

Desperate to give my blog an update.


When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from my chair to see what was the matter.

Away to the window, I flew like a flash,

Tore open the curtains and threw up the sash.


The moon on the breast of the garden below,

Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects, ya’ know.

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But the ghost of Ray Bradbury, purposeful and clear.


He strode boldly toward me as though on a mission.

His purpose was clear; rein in my ambition.

Seconds later, in my humble office, he stood.

His bushy brows furrowed, his expression not good.


I had written a book, a modest tale,

Which I promoted fanatically, desperate for sales.

Ray came to tell me this promotion must cease.

Focus on the craft, not on the release.


He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

He finished this blog entry, then turned with a jerk,

And giving a nod, out the front door he strode.

No fear of policemen upon this dark road.


He walked away, whistling, a spectre of the night,

But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere leaving my sight,

“Your intuition knows what to write, so get out of the way.”

And these words began my publishing day.

No more excuses.

On Wednesday, Tirgearr Publishing in Ireland offered me a contract for my first novel, “The Celebration House.”

In the past two days, I’ve thought and thought. I asked fellow unpublished writers for advice. I contacted the leader of my local writing guild, but no response. I queried the local law school, asking if a professor or a law student would review the contract. I was told their services are for senior citizens only.

So I turned to the people I trust most: my husband, my daughter and my mother-in-law. They all diligently read the contract. None of them could find a questionable clause, i.e. author shall sign over first-born child. Real sorry about that, Meg.

I googled the company. Tigreaar has more than 30 e-books available for sale on Amazon. My contact, Kemberlee Shortland, has published numerous romance novels.

Last night, I attended a new writing group. I sat and listened to these other writers for two hours. They shared their words, and they shared their excuses. One young woman said she hadn’t worked on her novel for a year because she was too busy with college. Another writer said she was too busy with her newest grandchild to write. Few of them brought in printed versions of their work, so they read aloud. More excuses: the printer was misbehaving or they didn’t have time before the meeting to print their pages.

And I think of myself. All of my life, I have wanted to be a professional writer. I always talked about this, but I never actually did it. Until “The Celebration House,” I had never finished writing a book. Now I have. My middle-grade novel, “Bone Girl,” is complete and next weekend, when I attend the western Washington children writers’ conference, I’m shopping the manuscript around for an agent or editor who loves it as much as I do.

And so it comes down to me: do I take this leap of faith? Tirgearr Publishing is a small, independent publisher that opened its doors in February, 2012. Nothing haughty or high-brow. No six-figure advance. No office in New York City. Do I leap?

Yes. I do. “The Celebration House” will be published this summer.

Hands and arms inside the cart: Next, the business of self-promotion.