Which is what the writing life is like, really. I sit here in my study and I make shit up, and then I send it out in the world and hope that it clicks with an editor and s/he will buy it. I get a happy squee moment when I sell something, and again when I get the check (because this is my job, after all) and the comp copies. A positive review is a bonus, and someone taking the time to personally let me know they liked something is a bonus with awesome sauce on top.
But even still, I don’t assume People Out There notice. I’m not sure how to explain this, except to give you an anecdote from high school. I was shy, growing up. (People who know me now are no doubt falling over in astonishment, but it’s true. Painfully shy.) I hung out with friends and I did things I enjoyed doing, but I didn’t assume people other than my friends were aware of my existence. Then, towards the end of senior year, yearbooks came out. And all of these people started asking me to sign their yearbooks. People I “knew” in terms of “I’ve been going to this not-very-big school since first grade” but not in terms of “I hang out with you.”
And honestly, all I could think was, “What? Me? You know who I am?!”
(Now, the fact was, I was A Joiner. There’s a picture of me on something like 20 pages of my junior yearbook, because I was in ::deep breath:: band chorus pep band marching band special chorus yearbook newspaper Olympics of the Mind Student Council swim team and other things I’m forgetting right now. I shouldn’t have been surprised people knew me. I was always there, even if I was mostly sitting quietly in the corner. Working on my novel.)
I still get this way, though, sometimes. I send out my stories and sometimes someone buys them and they get published. I don’t expect or assume anything beyond that.
So awhile back, when Violet Blue included me in a list of “legendary erotica heavy-hitters,” what I hit was the floor. In shock.
My point (and yes, you’ll be glad to know I’m getting to the point) is that even that didn’t really clue me in that People Out There notice.
I recently learned that an anthology I have a story in has been nominated for a LAMBDA Literary Award. (I’ve been in several nominated anthologies in the past, including on that won in its category, wooh!). “Queens Up” was reprinted in Best Lesbian Erotica 2010, and I’ve got my fingers crossed that lovely editor Radclyffe is recognized with a win.
(I’d like to point out also that “Queens Up” originally appeared in Lesbian Cowboys: Erotic Adventures, which was the Lammy winner in its category last year!)
When I heard about the nomination, I clicked through and discovered something. The “Product Description” on Amazon and wherever the book is being sold, which I assume was written by someone at publisher Cleis Press, includes this line: “All readers will enjoy these stories of romance by the best in the genre, including Sommer Marsden, Sacchi Green, Evan Mora, Andrea Dale, and the grand master Radclyffe herself.”
My name is in a list of “best in the genre”? With those other awesome writers? Bguh?
Go ahead and laugh. I’m used to it. I’m just not used to people noticing….