Transparency. People supposedly like that in an author/artist/celebrity, right? ‘Cause it makes them come off as relatable or human or some such thing.
I don’t know. I can’t think why anyone would really want me to be transparent. What good would it do them to know how I really feel the majority of the time? The truth would sound an awful lot like whining/grousing/b*tching, and there’s already more than enough of that in the world. I don’t want to hear it from anyone else, so why would I foist it upon my public?
But this is an Open Journal post, meaning I’ll come closer to telling the whole truth, instead of just the bits I can deliver with a pleasant smile.
So. My launch/farewell party for The Wilderhark Tales.
I put a lot of time into planning it. Came up with a variety of content to try to keep guests engaged – games, read-aloud videos, topics of discussion. Worked hard on making the prizes – from fighting a charm onto a chain for a necklace, to formatting and printing pages for a wall calendar. I personally invited all my Facebook friends, and threw the link up in a couple of Facebook groups, and talked the party up on Twitter live, during those five straight days of all-day, upbeat, smile-with-exclamation-points socializing.
I wore. Myself. Out.
And I had about five regular guests.
Out of the thirty-ish who said they’d come. Out of the hundreds I invited.
A handful more poked their heads in, on rare occasion. But it was mostly just those stalwart five. And I appreciated their presence.
But transparently? It was nothing like what I wanted.
Other authors – not realer, not better, just not me – get parties and signings and readings in bookstores. That is what I wanted. That is what I tried for months (years?) in advance to get. Y’know what happens when I contact bookstores? I show up in person, and the person to talk to isn’t there. I send them an e-mail, and the e-mail goes forever unanswered. Basically, it’s the same thing that happens just about any time I have to rely on other people for a thing to get done: It doesn’t.
So, yeah. Behind the scenes of the only party I could make happen for myself, I was privately miserable. In between moments of painful excitement when it looked like people might actually be interested in what I was trying to give them. My heart jerked up and down, up and downer, up and downest, all day for five days. I sighed a lot. I cried surprisingly little. By the last day, I kind of got numb. I just wanted it to be over. To not have to care anymore. Since all but five-ish people didn’t.
I could start getting really angry now, but it’s not worth it. Instead, let’s cut to a song that pretty much encapsulates how I felt throughout most of the party. (Credit to my sisters, one of whom stopped by a couple times to troll the party. Thanks, Di.)
We ain’t got no money
We ain’t got no friends
Roll up in a Caravan cuz we ain’t got no Benz
We just lost the lotto
We behind on all the trends
But we gon’ keep on rappin’ even though we got no fans (leggo!)
Yo. We out on the floor
We in this heezy all alone
All we wanna do is be successful in our craft
So it’d be nice if we had some support
Don’t worry. I gon’ keep on rappin’ regardless.
For better or worse, I can’t seem to help myself.
In an effort to go against my personal grain and focus on the positive, here are some of my favorite moments from the party.
– The shameless ogling of Welken lookalikes
– Ionquin Wyle utilizing the phrase “Netflix and chill”
– Tirzah’s flawless “Sun’s Rival” selfie
– The utter adoration from every quarter for Lumónd #TheySeeHim ❤
– The straight-up prettiness of the graphics for the “Words of Welken Translation Game” *pats self on back*
– The fact that I was given cause to look at a side-by-side pic of Edgwyn Wyle and “Once Upon a Time”s Rumplestiltskin
– Me: “Discuss! The Anarchwitch has appeared in a lot of guises, over the course of the series. How do /you/ tend to envision her? What do you suppose she /really/ looks like?”
My sister: “Never heard of her, but I would guess she wears a jacket like this” *posts pic of an anorak jacket*
– When ‘twas agreed that Ruban was the side character MVP (not counting Jeromey Gant, ‘cause hello)
– When Tirzah jumped in with a brand new piece of Gant-o’-the-Lute fan art
– Maritime legumes
– Tirzah puns
– All the incredibly nice, sometimes profound things my dedicated guests said about The Wilderhark Tales and the people therein … like my little books have deeply impacted their lives or something
The work I do may be for too little. But it is not for nothing.
Godspeed, Wilderhark. And I’ll see ya when I see ya, Ever On Word blog, but for now, I’m Europe-bound. Let the sorta-kinda-hiatus begin!
4 thoughts on “Open Journal: #WilderharkParty Recap”
😦 Sorry to hear that you felt that way. Let me know if I can help at all.
You already do much, Aisa dear. And I very much appreciate it. Thanks for being a part of my Wilderhark adventure!
There are so many disappointments in publishing, aren’t there? We get our hopes up high and they’re dashed by one thing or another–people not coming to your launch, editors not responding to your work, closest friends not buying a copy, bad reviews, no reviews, your book quietly disappearing–and some of us end up losing that drive or that playfulness that we had before we were published. It’s disheartening–you really do have to separate the joy of creative writing from the joy (or otherwise) of publishing.
I think you have just the right attitude, being open about your sadness but focusing on the positive. Sometimes it’s just one reader who really gets your book that helps you keep writing and publishing. And you don’t know all the impacts you’ve made, or if a future book will reach thousands. So keep it up – but don’t wear yourself out.
I’m sorry I didn’t come to your virtual launch, Danielle–I don’t go online much anymore and I’ve been self-absorbed of late and I never even took note that it was coming up. I’m sorry–I should have paid attention and visited. I’m so glad you had that fantastic five to support you.
Thanks for the honest post. I hope your trip is thoroughly refreshing.
All so true. It’s a terrain full of ups and downs. The up, we love. The downs… well, at least we can sometimes indulge in the catharsis of laying down real talk about it.
Your apology is of course accepted, Catherine. Really, part of me can only admire people who can set limits on how much time (and life… and soul…) they allow the Internet to suck out of them. You know I’m pleased to hear from you whenever your own life permits. And I’ll be shouting about other book-related celebrations eventually, so odds are you’ll have opportunities to get in on similar events in future. ^_^