Saturday, March 1, 2014

Lost in Bookland

Writing a book was so simple.  Some may find that hard to believe, but The Seamstress of Jamestown flowed from my fingertips.  The characters were compilations of the hundreds of people I've known in my many years of life.  Choosing a publisher wasn't too hard either.  But now the snag!  Winepress Publishing closed their doors on January 1, 2014, with no warning.  I don't want to speak badly of them as I enjoyed working with the Winepress staff; however, this left me in quite a predicament.  There is money from sales that I will never receive.  But, alas, that's part of the adventure one should anticipate in business, right?  This unexpected turn of events is requiring much of my time in endless phone calls, changing my ISBN number, meetings, reading emails, blogposts, Facebook posts, ad infinitum.  Don't "they" know I started working on January 6 after a two-year hiatus?  How do "they" think I have time for this?  A new, excellent publisher seems to have fallen across my path.  So, I shall muddle through this murky swamp, but this brings up some questions.  Why doesn't life go smoothly?  Why do some people let you down?  And who are "they" anyway?

So, we know the answer to two of the questions has to do with Eve and an apple.  But who are "they"?!    You have met them.  At the most unexpected time in your life they go out of business owing you money, bounce a check you were counting on, slander you before your boss, steal your best friend (or spouse), or succeed in a hostile takeover of the business you poured every penny into.  How can there be so many of "them"?  I fear the answer is because "them" is sometimes "us". 

I find it interesting that I have been on both sides of an issue several times in my life.  I have been friends with parties on both sides in churches that split.  I have had neighbors divorce and tried the impossible task of remaining friends with both parties.  I have lost dear co-workers who left a company convinced the Board of Directors were evil monsters.  When one weathers these divisions, it is like standing with one foot on the wharf and the other on the boat pulling away from the dock - sometimes drifting, sometimes with oars paddling, sometimes with an outboard motor powering the dingy out to sea. 

I do see life as black and white in many situations.  Good and evil sometimes present themselves vividly.  However, in the above-mentioned experiences, it was not clear.  Each side had good and sound reasoning.  I often see clearly the truth of both sides.  It leaves me standing on the shore holding hands with the one on the dock and the one on the boat trying to overpower the force of the boat pulling away.

Alas, this is an adventure of life common to all.  Surely, we have all experienced some division that broke our hearts because both sides were good people believing they were doing the honorable thing.  The biggest battle is that over one's tongue.  If I could learn to listen to both sides and not spread the muck perhaps I could be a true connector - like a ligament holding the body of mankind together - instead of cutting friendships and relationships apart with my sharp tongue.  So, God bless Winepress and my new publisher, all those who have betrayed me, and those who simply couldn't remain united as one and had to break away.