I have news.
The day I got the email from Adria asking me if I’d be interested in working on this book was the same day I got rejected for a job I really wanted, a job that would give me health insurance and regular work in a time when those two things were hard to come by. I’d just left the company I’d been with for two years, hoping I’d be able to make it on my own in freelancing. I had yet to sell or even pitch anywhere as a freelancer, and was seriously considering going back to school because everything in December of 2016 was so incredibly uncertain that I thought some stability might help.
Since then, I’ve published my first piece as a freelancer (it’s on white supremacy in Harry Potter, and you can read it in the current issue of Bitch Magazine). I’ve pitched elsewhere and been both rejected and accepted, and I’m formulating new ideas all the time. I also apparently wrote something good enough that Running Press is willing to publish it, with beautiful illustrations by Lily Seika Jones and tons of support and hard work from Adria.
It’s been a weird journey. I keep feeling like I have to quit, like I won’t make it, but something drags me back in. I keep finding ways to tell myself this doesn’t really count, that I should quit before everybody realizes I don’t actually know what I’m doing. But it does count, and I have improved, and I will continue to do so because as much as I tell myself I really ought to quit, I just can’t bring myself to do it.
Anyway, here’s a drabble.
(v.) from Latin re-, again, and virescere, to grow green
To grow fresh or young again.
Lena holds a dandelion between her fingers and wishes its seeds back on. They drift backward against the wind, trembling, struggling against the direction they know they’re meant to go. Slowly, they slip back into place and perch daintily atop the seed head, waiting to be breathed away again.
She turns the flower in her hands, willing them to stay put. The wind is strong and the seeds desperately want to dance upon it, carrying their little package of life to fertile soil, but Lena wishes them still, tightening her grip until she crushes the stem in her fist, crying.