UPDATE: Blacktop: Driving Across America is now available for purchase.
When I was in Grade 4, I had a poem published in a school-board chapbook. I was thrilled. But what stays with me, what makes me smile every time I think of it, is that Miss Wills wrote on the inside, “One day I will see your name in lights.”
I was just like every other girl, in that I wanted to be an astronaut and Lady Di. Being a princess and flying in space were things I wanted to do, but what I actually did was write stories about those things. Those things, every thing. I was always stringing words together in notebooks, always with a pen because I’d heard my dad, the editor, say, “Pencils are for people who make mistakes.”
I was writing Star Wars fanfic in the ’80s, decades before “fanfic” was a word. I joined MUSHs in the early ’90s so I could tell stories with other people. I had my heart broken and wrote a novel about it. I scored a job where I am surrounded by writers, where I can help them tell stories. I jumped on the LiveJournal bandwagon. Eventually I found WordPress and hollowed out a little home for myself.
Writers in general are shy and insecure, award-winning author Mark Abley once told me. It’s so much worse for women writers, he said, encouraging me to keep at it and to speak up for myself. That was more than 20 years ago.
Which is just a very wordy way of giving one reason this project, transforming a selection of blog posts into a book is so very important to me.
But it’s good for you, too! There are some fun stories in here and some pretty damn good pictures. It’s not just that I want to see my name on that cover—it’s that I want to see it in your hands; it’s that I want to share all these things with you.
Phew. If you’ve made it this far, I’ll ask you to go just one step farther, and consider purchasing a copy, as a trade softcover or ebook. If you like, spread the word.
And, hey, thanks for reading. I love you people.