Friday, August 16, 2013
Guest Post: Author Arleen Pare
Next year I will have a third book. This is a minor miracle. I have come to believe that the process of making books, who gets a manuscript published, how a book comes into the world with my name on it, for instance, is a mysterious thing. Each of my books has been a surprise. Not that I didn’t write them or that I don’t take responsibility for them, but every time the process has felt precarious, unpredictable. I am grateful each time, but I don’t understand anything more now than I did when I first started submitting manuscripts for publication.
This may be that I have come to writing late in life. For most of my salaried work life, I worked as a social worker. I understood the field of social work, how an individual would apply for a job and be hired -- or not. I understood job descriptions and how jobs were managed, how decisions were made. I respected the levels of work, the chains of responsibility. But a career in creative writing is different, more, in fact, unwritten, without clear job descriptions or hiring processes, more shrouded, obscured.
My third book will be a book of poetry, themed, about a lake I knew when I was a child, the Lake of Two Mountains, which will be its title, and it will be published by Brick Books. I am thrilled, over the moon. I feel like I’ve won the lottery. It is the third minor miracle. And I have a fourth manuscript that I am editing right now. I will send it to various publishers when I think it’s ready to be sent out, but I will still find the process confusing. I will still feel like I’ve entered a lottery contest. If I win, I will be delighted. Of course. If I don’t, I will keep sending the manuscript to more and different presses, hoping each time to have the winning ticket. But how will I know when I have finally and for sure - not won?