Back on February 4, 2016, I was having a problem with two characters who were insisting that I tell their stories right then. Neither character was in the manuscript I was working on at the time. I posted on Facebook about it just to try to get these characters to shut up. A few friends, all fellow Sirens attendees commented about similar characters or story ideas my post brought to mind.
Eight months later, I’m sitting at my computer and looking at a release date (Thursday!) for Queens & Courtesans.
I’ve spent a lot of the last eight months with the refrain of “What the heck just happened/is happening?” running through my head. It’s still there. It will still be there later this month when I attend Sirens – the conference that inspired all the people involved in the anthology to lend a hand. It will still be there as discussions begin about a follow-up anthology.
Had I planned on being involved in a benefit anthology this year? No – at least not according to my 2016 planning page on this site. Did it through my writing schedule complete out of whack for most of the year? Yes! Did I know what I was doing? No – and neither did many of the people involved. Could we have done it better? Most definitely – and I have no doubt that the next one will be more organized and run smoother.
Would I change anything now? No.
This anthology was a labor of love for everyone involved. It was a perfect combination events that I would barely even hope could happen – never expected and still find hard to believe. I know I learned an immense amount – especially when people thought I knew what I was doing! I didn’t really – not most of the time, anyway.
Sirens is a wonderful community to begin with. Being able to do something to help the community and the conference grow is extremely satisfying. That I made new friends, learned new things, and got to see one of my personal goals come to fruition are all side benefits.
At this point, I know I’m not dreaming, but it feels like I am. And I don’t want to wake up.