When I was a kid, I was made fun of by other kids. I don’t know what I did to them. I was always nice to everyone, and I was painfully shy so I kept to myself most of the time. But for some reason, people found things to laugh at. They also pulled some horrible pranks on me: once, they locked me in a closet (and to this day, I’m terribly claustrophobic); another time, someone tried to set my long hair on fire. These weren’t harmless pranks, and they hurt me badly. For years, I existed as a joke, not a real person with real feelings.
As you can probably guess, my self-esteem was non-existent. When I was fourteen, I contemplated suicide. Going to school was traumatic and not fun. I had no real friends, no one to talk to or to care about me. I was nothing. I was worse than nothing.
I was a freak.
All I wanted was to be accepted. To be acknowledged as a person and not treated like crap. I wanted people to look at me and see me, not the girl who’s the butt of jokes or my imperfections. I was convinced that I’d never find that, that it just wasn’t possible.
Enter Job’s Daughters.
I took my dad out to lunch recently for his birthday. As we talked, I was struck suddenly by how old he looked. Okay, I’m no spring chicken myself, so this is hardly shocking. But I looked at him and could see shades, substantial shades at that, of my grandfather. He seemed smaller, even, I dare say, wizened.
Why do people let me near the blog? They should have patted me on the head and then taken away my keyboard.
Do you like the logo? I drew it and then gave it to more talented people than me to make it pretty.
This month marks a milestone that’s being celebrated all over the world: it has been six months since the idea of Turtleduck Press was first floated. Oh, and it’s 2011. Happy 2011, readers! Here are just some of the things we’ve learned in our first six months:
1. When the time is right, things start to happen very quickly. The idea was first proposed on July 8. Within a week, we had our own venue for private discussion. In less than a month, we had three (already edited) long works going through our approvals process.
Knight Errant is available for sale. Wow. It’s hard to believe.
Taro has been with me a long time, you see. More than…wow. More than fifteen years. He first appeared under a different name and far more bland aspect, in the book about his sister Eve Marcori, former Marine. It wasn’t until years later that he came alive.
Oh, I tried. I changed his name. I invented a background for him, more than just “Eve’s long-lost adopted little brother.” I investigated his family, and the years between Eve losing and finding him. I changed his name again. I said he was sneaky and mouthy, but I couldn’t seem to make him be either. So I followed time-honored avoidance techniques, and I moved on. He didn’t matter that much anyway. Minor character. No big. I finished the book. Over years, I edited the book. In my new novelist happy shiny glow, I sent that book off to DAW–all 249,000 words of it.
Guess what happened. It took them a week–and some of that was transit time.
I got angry. I got determined. I got to writing.
I love Christmas. It is my favorite time of the year: family, friends, gifts, magic…the snow, the tree, the lights…
What isn’t fun for me, though, is wrapping gifts. In fact, it is so not fun that my gift wrapping skills are legendary. Mind you, my gifts look fine, but I was born without the Gift Wrapper gene because my gifts are never wrapped perfectly. There’s always some bumps and the seams aren’t perfectly straight and sometimes my bows are lopsided. Sometimes, I use handmade tags (from the wrapping paper) and apparently that’s not done. Oops. Anyway, my mom and I were discussing what else? but gift wrapping and how awful mine is. She and my sister have double the Gift Wrapper gene because their gifts are always wrapped perfectly. There are no ragged seams; the bows are perfect; there are no bumps. They’re gorgeous. Works of art. See, they are into the whole “presentation” thing and it shows. And that’s really cool…if you’re them.
So you’re probably asking yourself, “Turtleduck Press? Where did that name come from? And just what is a Turtleduck anyway?”
Don’t feel ashamed of yourself for not knowing. The turtleduck myth is not widely known outside of the more arcane academic circles, although it has made some unexpected appearances in pop culture despite this obscurity. Today’s blog post is to help spread the word about this stunning beast.
As we delve deeper into the holiday season, each one of us finds ourselves with more and more to do, and it might come to pass that you wake up in the middle of the night on a Saturday and realize that you have a blog post due the next day.
Not saying that’s what happened, noooo.
Welcome to the inaugural post of the Turtleduck Press blog! Here we hope to divert, horrify, amuse, and shock you (pick two). We’ll be blogging for your entertainment five times a month. There will also be free short stories going up elsewhere on the site at the beginning of each month when we’re not putting up longer works for sale.