Of Change, New Beginnings and Texas Weather

Publishing is all about new beginnings. I'm good with that. Stay with one thing too long and I feel antsy and stagnant. I like to shake it up - even if it SCARES ME! We have a saying about the weather here in Texas --- that if you don't like it, wait a minute. It will change.

And change it does -- the weather extremes here in the Lone Star state are huge! Cold fronts -- when we get them -- blow in fiercely, rattling the windows, knocking down branches, pouring oceans of rain. Just a few weeks ago there was a dust storm in Amarillo -- which is at least 700 miles west of Houston where I live. The next morning, our cars here on the Gulf of Mexico were covered in red mud. It had blown here over night. Crazy! Hurricanes and tornados and blue northers and ocean breezes and humid air so thick you could cut it. Sometimes we use the heat and the AC all in one day. Although it feels like it in August, our weather never stands still. It is volatile and unpredictable -- and that doesn't even begin to touch on any climate issues!

We like it that way. I think of this passage from one of my favorite novels, Willa Cather's My Antonia, where the narrator describes the prairie:

"As I looked about me I felt that the grass was the country, as the water is the sea. The red of the grass made all of the great prairie the color of wine stains, or of certain seaweeds when they are first washed up. And there was so much motion in it; the whole country seemed, somehow, to be running."

I feel that way about publishing. Always in motion, always changing, always starting fresh and new. At least that's my career. New editors, new publicists, new books. Each one filled with hope and promise. When THE SWEET DEAD LIFE arrives on May 14th, not that many weeks away, it will be new in many ways: A new series. A new publisher -- Soho Press. A new imprint - Soho Teen. My first book in hardcover, which is ever so exciting.

If you are new to writing, just starting out, I say embrace those new beginnings. Every rewrite, every revision -- it's your chance to tweak and get it right. To make your work the best it can be. To feel that promise and that adventure.

Like Cather's red grass prairie, let's be writers in motion. Ever changing. Ever reinventing. Ever beginning anew and anew and anew.


  1. Texas weather sounds just like publishing LOL!

  2. LOVE this. I'm with you--a writer in motion!

    1. *fist bump* I LOVE that Cather passage from My Antonio. There's just something so gorgeous about it, so cinematically visual. And she gets it just right, too, if you you've ever been out there, which I have. So it's always felt like this great metaphor to me for so many things.

  3. Ah, My Antonia. Such a beautiful piece of literature, thanks for that. :-)

    And we have that same saying down here in FL/Lower AL, too!


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