Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I am a Published Author

I have spent the last year and a half debating whether or not I can call myself a writer or if I should more readily accept the term 'writing enthusiast', but today I have better news. I was asked several months ago if I would like to participate in an inspirational book with writings of bloggers from all around the world. For my contribution, I offered one of my short stories that I felt very close to. In fact, I pulled it from consideration with a magazine that I had submitted it to in order to use it for this publication.

At first, I will admit, I was not sure about whether I should join the efforts. Many years ago I submitted a poem of mine to a poetry contest that I saw in the back of a writing magazine. Imagine how excited I was when I was notified that my poem, one that I had a special connection with, was selected for their anthology. As the time for publication drew near, I noticed that I was starting to receive a lot more promotional mail concerning things that I could buy from the company. After a while it really started to get ridiculous.

I can't remember how much I paid for the anthology, for the honor of seeing myself in print, but I think it was anywhere from 20-30 dollars. That was a lot for me back then. I cannot explain to you in words the agony I felt when the book finally arrived. The best I might offer you is an enraged howling or a demonstration of fingernails on a chalkboard. My poem had been mangled, severely. It was not done so in a manner of editorial improvement, something that I may have understood on some level. No, the edit was clearly to better fit it into the page as the book itself could be compared to a flimsy tin can teeming with sardines. And that was it, my poem, the bleeding of my heart, was turned into nothing more than a sardine.

This time around, I am receiving a contributor's copy for the donation of my story and any money earned beyond the cost of producing the book is to be distributed equally among the authors. Have I really come this far? Can I finally let go of that experience being burned so many years ago? Sometimes it seems like we want to hold on to the pain. Is it because it makes us remember our failures so that we do not repeat them? Is it because we have some kind of delusion that pain somehow makes us human or that it makes us better writers? I'm not sure, but I can tell you this, if ever I was a hoarder of anything, it would be my agony that I hold onto most.

So here's to a new day, a new beginning. In celebration of this event, I would like to share with you the poem that broke my heart. I was young, and so the writing may also seem young, but with it came my heart -- as unrefined as it may have been. As a bit of a warning, it was eight days before my 17th birthday when I wrote this:

The Healing

Lives lived in simplicity
Are simply things we'll never see.
For a man will sow just what he reaps,
And in his heart those things he keeps.

So with heart in hand he walks to you
And gives those things in plainest view.
When he then does speak a word,
He's bruised and beaten and never heard.

After that he pulls away,
Even if you wish he'd stay.
For mortal wound his heart acquire,
And your hate becomes a blazing fire.

With head hung low he starts to leave,
And sees again he is naive.
But now he holds his broken heart,
So once again the healing starts.

-Brady Frost © 1997

Now, if you wouldn't mind, would you check out the book and at least consider if it is something you might be interested in? There is no obligation to buy, just take a look and comment back to offer your support. If you decide to buy a copy, make sure you do so because it's what you want to do and not because you feel like you need to buy one to make me happy. Just let me know you're proud of my accomplishment.

The story that I submitted is called "The Boy in the Window". It is a story about a boy who discovers that he is not alone and finds his path through hardship with the help of an old man on the other side of a window. Here's the link.


Poetic Shutterbug said...

First, congratulations of becoming a published author. It's a fantastic feeling and certainly increases the confidence level when sending out work. I will check out the link to the book. And, great poem by the way.

Jena Isle said...

Congratulations Brady, you're a published writer now. Although the book is not as glossy and grandiose as those of Sheldon or Dan Brown the contents are priceless gems.

Now I understand the reason for your hesitation. I hope this occasion would renew your faith in your writing skills. You're a dynamic writer.

Your poem brings back poignant memories. Considering your age when you wrote it, it's one of the best rhyming poems I encountered.

Way to go!

Brady said...

Poetic Shutterbug, thank you so much for your kind words. I really do appreciate it. I cannot fully explain how badly it hurt to see my poem mashed and mangled in the anthology that I had such high hopes for. It feels so good to be vindicated now after so many years.

Thanks for pushing me to submit my story. You must see something different than I do when you look at my writing. Thanks for having faith in me and for all of the gentle nudges you have sent my way since I met you. You're awesome!

Laura said...

I remember when you posted that story about the boy. Congratulations Brady.

Jim Murdoch said...

Yes, the very first time I appeared in print I also paid for that privilege. I still have the anthology and that's about 35 years ago now. I'm also in this collection so I guess we'll see each other on the page in due course when our contributor's copies arrive.

Jena Isle said...

Oh ,by the way Brady, Roy of the struggling blogger (who also contributed to the book) said that he enjoyed your story so much, he was able to read it till the end. He does not usually read long posts, but he did yours. I would like you to know. Cheers!

Kate Broan said...

Congrats on becoming a published author. I enjoyed your poem!

Lori Metcalf Dolls said...

I had no dout that this day would come! Congratulations on being a published author! I'm sure this is just the first step to much more success!

Jena Isle said...

Hello Brady,

There are actually many orders for the book but I still haven't reprinted it. That would be my next project.

Let's keep our fingers crossed. Good luck to us.

God bless.