Girl Trouble

As a junior high English teacher, I require a certain level of patience to make it through the day. My students are at that awesome age where they're starting to figure out who they are, but they still want my attention. A lot of it. Every period. They crack me up, and I love them, but I definitely have to go into work nine months of the year expecting my patience-power to be stretched to the limit.

The same is true for us as writers. We need a whole lot of patience: waiting to be accepted (or rejected), to have edits approved, to be published, to be paid, to be reviewed, to gather a following. I wrote a story in mid-2011: "Girl of Great Price." It was accepted by Criminal Element a few months later, and they paid me for it in early 2012. But it has yet to be published.

There have been a few setbacks on the publisher's side of things; terms had to be renegotiated; contracts had to be reissued; more paychecks had to be sent out. (I didn't mind that part.) "Girl of Great Price" is now going to be included in a themed anthology; here's the lineup of contributors. Believe me, I'm stoked. But I still have to wait.

The sequel, Immaterial Evidence, was accepted by Musa Publishing last year and is already available. It includes a prologue that bridges the gap between "Girl of Great Price" and the rest of the story. At first, I wasn't keen on the idea of a prologue, but my editor insisted it was a good idea. After a couple attempts, I can honestly say I'm pleased with the final result. (You can read it on Amazon with their "look inside" feature.)

Would I have preferred "Girl of Great Price" to be published first? Of course. But things don't always go according to plan; we all know that. And in the end, maybe it's for the best. Immaterial Evidence is garnering some great reviews, and with more readers buying copies, maybe they'll be curious about how Charlie Madison ended up in Little Tokyo with a price on his head in the first place. I could pretend this was all part of my master plan, from the start. Maybe I will...

But for now, I wait. I write. I enjoy this summer away from the demands of my classroom, and I look forward to the day I can announce "Girl of Great Price" is available for the masses.

How about you? How toned are your patience muscles these days?