So, I was feeling pretty down, earlier, but then, things got a little better. Firstly, my dentist didn’t charge me for my replacement filling - ILU NHS! And secondly, I finally cracked open my copy of Speculative Fiction 2012: The Best Online Reviews, Essays, and Commentary.
As some of you may be aware (because, like, I was SO SUBTLE about promoting it, and I have never mentioned it when the subject has come up since) my essay, ‘Remembering Margaret Cavendish’, was published as one of those ‘Best Online Reviews, Essays, and Commentary’. But… I have a confession to make. I received my electronic copy aaaaages ago, and I haven’t looked at it at all. I didn’t even open the file. That’s awful, isn’t it?
It’s 100% imposter syndrome. I never got around to sending in a bio, so I didn’t want to read what Jared and Justin had said about me, not because I thought it could be bad, but because I was so embarrassed of not having done it myself. And despite the fact that it was accepted, and even that I thought it was a good piece, I didn’t want to see what my essay in print in case it looked awful and amateur. I worried that my casual blogging style would look weird and unprofessional next to all the ‘proper’ essays and reviews. I didn’t want to read those other pieces, either, in case they made me feel ashamed about my own work.
It’s weird. I’ve never been like this about my fiction. I always want to see it ASAP and read it through and imagine how other people would feel reading it. And I’m like that with my blog posts when they’re on my blog. But something I’d written about passionately, with my own feelings displayed, not a character’s, being presented to the world as a serious essay, outside of its natural medium that was just my tiny little blog… that was really scary, for some reason. I wanted to tell people about it, I wanted other people to read it, I believed passionately in its message and in getting across the important of not forgetting Margaret Cavendish. But I didn’t want to see it in its final form myself.
But I finally decided that I really ought to buy a paper copy, and it arrived today. And even then, I sort of didn’t want to open my Amazon parcel. It wasn’t until after I’d seen the dentist and was feeling a little better about myself that I did so. And…
It was wonderful.
There was my name. It was on the back. It was in the table of contents. I turned to the article itself. There was my name again! There were my words and thoughts in print! And Jared and Justin had done a lovely job, giving me real footnotes, rather than the asterisks I had relied upon in WordPress, and footnoting all the links in the article as well. There, even, was my strangely casual language. I’d actually got someone to print the word ‘Wooyay’ in a piece of serious criticism, and I wasn’t embarrassed about that, I was oddly proud.
I even did my own little photoshoot with my book:
So, yeah, I’m pretty excited by this.
And, you know, if you’d like to buy this book, too, it’s a pretty awesome and excellent compendium of what what people cared about and were thinking about with regards to speculative fiction in 2012. Buy it here, for £8.99/$11.99, or on Amazon UK for only £7.06 or Amazon US for $11.02 at time of posting.
There are some really neato things in there beyond my own essay.
Also, if you’ve liked any of my posts here, or over at the Proper Blog, please do consider nominating me for Speculative Fiction 2013, which is being compiled by the awesome ladies over at The Book Smugglers.