Diverse Futures: the myth of the high-stakes Smithie

anxious waves

contract 2014 in two items.

Above is a photograph of my contract with St. Martin’s Press. At the age of thirty-eight, I sold a novel to a major publishing house. My life’s goal, realized.

Two months after I sold the novel, I fled the relationship with the man I loved but had grown afraid of, and the city where I’d moved to be with him. I ran home to Austin and to Abe, who I’d met at Smith but who had become one of my dearest friends during my post-college Austin years. I was nervous, fear-soaked, and crying nonstop the day Abe fetched me at the airport, a bouquet of flowers in her hands. She took me to her home and put me to bed, and talked me through what I had been through. Someone who has had their brains scrambled by a narcissist needs to talk about the things that…

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