If I had a hammer…

I don’t know why I wrote that title. I have a hammer. I have three hammers. If I had a hammer, I guess I would hit a few things…maybe even crush them to rubble. But not to release hostility…just to see them crumble.

It’s a new year and I don’t know what direction my writing is going to take me in during this year of our lawd, 2011. What it has shown to be so far is a year of holding patterns. Or, at least a month of holding patterns. Here are the things I am waiting on:

1. I recently received an invitation to participate in the 2011 Trafalgar 24 Play Creation Festival. The invitation is not a guarantee that I will be one of the event’s 6 chosen playwrights…it’s just a formal invitation for me to submit my intent. I have replied to the invitation by pleading to be considered for the role. During previous festivals, there were actually 10 playwrights, so with 4 less spots to fill…the competition has really heated up. So…I sit. I wait. I pray. By the 25th of January, I will know if I get to participate again this year. This playwriting gig has quickly become my favourite writing project. If I receive an acceptance to participate this year, it will be my 3rd play. I learned a lot writing for this festival (in 2009 and in 2010)…it was where I honed my passion for playwriting. Where I saw my first play come to life in the very unique setting of an 18th century castle basement. Here’s hoping!

2. Just before the New Year, I mailed off two copies of the contract I received from ‘my’ literary agent. I am now in a holding pattern awaiting the signed returned contract from the agent. At that point, I will finally be able to say that I have agent representation. It’s been a couple of weeks now, but I have to take into account the holiday season as well. Soon. Soon it will come. Holding patterns suck.

3. Half Dead & Fully Broken. That’s the title of the YOUNG ADULT NOVEL I wrote during the 2010 Muskoka Novel Marathon this past July. The novel went on to receive the Best Young Adult Novel Award for the marathon. It is now in the hands of my DREAM publisher. They have had it for almost two months now…so I should be hearing back from them very soon. Will they like it??? I don’t know. I’m dying to find out. It’s one of the few novels that I wrote that I feel okay about…so it will be interesting to get feedback from said publisher (who shall at this point remain nameless). This is yet another holding pattern.

4. My YOUNG ADULT NOVEL Summer on Fire is due to be released by Museitup Publishing out of Montreal this coming July. July is a long time away! This is truly a well oiled holding pattern. I signed the contract in July 2010. Edits. Cover. Etc. And much worrying. Will people like it? Who knows. I can’t wait for its release…but it also has me pulling my hair out with worry. Please like me, said the writer. Once it’s out…that’ll be it. No turning back.

5. The 2011 Ontario Writers’ Conference is almost here. It will take place in Ajax on APRIL 30th. Myself and eight very good friends have organized this event…with much excitement. Now that the registrations are being taken, the excitement builds. The workshop presenters are booked, the keynote speakers are booked, the agents and mentors and panelists…they’re all booked. It’s just a matter of fine-tuning the festival and watching as the date draws nearer on the calendar. CAN’T. WAIT. Oh…and WAYSON is booked. Yes…you too can enter the Church of Wayson on April 30th…all you need to do is register for the conference.

6. There is no six. Six is me. I have myself in a holding pattern while I await these things. I’m dying to participate in the Trafalgar24 event as an agented soon to be published novelist. I’m so strung out by everything that I have not been writing. Yes. I’m taking a break. Maybe getting these issues resolved will help me to move forward and start my 2011 writing life. No. I don’t have writer’s block. I don’t believe in writer’s block. I’m just chillaxing.

By Kevin Craig

Author, Poet, Playwright. Author of The Camino Club, Billions of Beautiful Hearts, and Book of Dreams, all from Duet Books, the LGBTQ Young Adult imprint of Chicago Review Press. Other books: Pride Must Be A Place, Half Dead & Fully Broken, Burn Baby Burn Baby, The Reasons, Sebastian's Poet, and Summer on Fire.

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