About eighteen months ago I had a painful constricting around my chest. It lasted for a couple of hours and then abated. I saw my doctor two months later. (You must realize that I don’t get sick or injured outside of my annual case of poison ivy and an occasional cold.) My doc was alarmed by my symptoms. She told me I probably had a stroke, and the next time I feel anything like that to call 911.
It took me over a year to get back to moving or walking like I had before the squeezing incident (without medical care, because, you know, me and doctors…). I went from before this and mowing our entire yard at one time, to mowing four swipes before having to go inside and lay down for a while. It alarmed me, too.
The biggest result of this episode and recovery was thinking I’d really be ticked off if I got to Heaven and hadn’t had a kid’s book published. Not that it will really matter to me once I’m there. Still, I’ve been storytelling and writing for my entire life. There had to be more to it than keeping the stories on various storage devises (and sending them through my critique groups, etc., to become a better writer).
Also, looking at my high school class reunion pictures from this summer, and people making sure they get all the obituaries together before sending out the next class list…! What?! Wait one minute. Who are these old people claiming to be my age? As my writer friend Rose says, I’m only 12-years-old – the age of my main characters in my stories. But looking at my former classmates, I realize this mortal body isn’t made to last forever. My eyes will dim, my hearing will fade, my muscles and bones will grow old. Sad, but true.
I don’t need to be immortal in this life (e.g., by letting my books outlive me). I just want to be a storyteller, here and now, until I die. I want to be a good storyteller. I want to be a moral storyteller where right is right and wrong is wrong, but also letting kids know that sometimes things don’t always work out the way they’d hoped or the way they should.
So reason #3 for finally chosing to self-publish: I want to be a story-teller until the day I die; and by publishing, to reach as many little ears and eyes as I can.