Writing is my passion, it always has been. Some days the creative juices have left me more parched than the Sahara Desert, other days they’ve made Niagara Falls look like a babbling brook. But always the desire to write is with me. I always knew I would get published, someday.
Someday is NOW!
At this year’s Southeastern Writers Association (SWA) conference at Epworth By the Sea on St. Simmons Island in Georgia, I was fated to meet a lovely lady named Pam.
Pam was a newbie to SWA. The great thing about our very small conference, is that at each meal you can dine with everyone, faculty, board members, new members and veterans. And even though we are few in number, there are plenty enough in attendance that one rarely sits by the same person at any two meals running.
Chit-chat with newbies invariably revolve around writing, the genres, the process, and your stage within that process. “What do you write?” is the most common greeting when getting to know writers for the first time.
One breakfast time I was fortunate enough to sit with Pam and the conversation began as expected. Over a plate of grits and bacon I recounted the story of my new found fetish, toilets. I explained how this fascination began on a school trip to the UK and flourished from there. I had taken so many photos I had to put them somewhere, so I created a toilet pictures album. (See the tab above marked Toilet Pictures)
Pam very politely listened, hanging on every word of this very odd tale and at the end her face lit up. “You’re going to publish that, right?” She asked, smiling almost as wide as a donkey eating briars.
I dropped dead silent. The thought of making an actual book out of these pictures never once dawned on me. I thought surely one of my novels would be more worthy of publication than a bunch a pictures taken by a questionably sane person in public restrooms.
“It would make the perfect bathroom reader,” she continued. “If you published it, I would buy it for my bathroom.”
I paused a moment, trying to discern her sincerity. Still scratching my head I walked into the bookstore, a small room set aside in our main lecture hall for published authors to sell their books to other accomplished or aspiring authors. There I found Lee, a fixture of the SWA conference and a seasoned publisher in his own right.
“You are not going to believe what just happened,” I laughed as I began my tale, still not sure it was real.
“That’s a great idea!” Lee’s eyes lit up at the idea of a full color paper back. “If you want to do this, I’ll publish you.”
For the second time that morning I was rendered speechless. Not an altogether easy feat given my gob. Was this really happening? Was my dream of publication really coming true? Was I really going to become The Toilet Book Author?
Nothing lasts forever, and least of all any time in paradise, which is what my time on the island is, my writing paradise. The next month I was off to Ireland with my newly graduated son and then back to work, the start of the school year followed. What happened then? Life. Oh, I did try to devote time to compiling all the pictures and the little bit of text to go with it. Lesson plans and grading and parent contact took center stage, for the whole first quarter of school.
Finally, six months, dozens upon dozens of photos pulled from my phone, and over 3,000 words written later, I had a book ready for publication. And here it is, “We All Gotta Go Sometime: One Woman’s Obsession with Public Restrooms”.
My first publication is due to the printers by Friday this week.