A Reflection After 5 Years
October 8, 2018
If you had asked me all those years ago while writing Embracing Heathenry, cradling my newborn in one hand, and penning the book in the other with a stylus that I would have the fortune to not only meet the women who I am proud to call sisters but also bring in the authors that stand here with us, united in the mission of preserving the legacy of writing. I never specifically sought out to build this house, but here it stands. I am not one who does well with praise or to see myself as anything other than a person who just stumbles around like everyone else, trying to scratch out a legacy to be proud of. I hope that is what Saga Press will achieve someday. As I reflect back on the road here, I have many people that have helped with the building of this house, it was not built alone. Firstly, there is my husband. Not many people know how much he actually contributes to Saga Press, including spending his evenings helping with layout and art. He has supported me financially, and stepped in when I needed his help to provide time and space for me to work. Without him, I doubt I would have such freedom.
My life changed dramatically when I met Sarah Strickland and Sheal Mullin-Berube. These two women have been pivotal to our success. Sarah and I had always seemed to be working in and on heathen community things. I am not sure why we bonded so quickly, but we did, I think this is more about the divine hand than I care to believe or think about as my life and its random nature has always seemed to be without much direction, and yet she arrived just at a time when I needed her, and she became someone who saw something in me. She saw me as someone who was trying to do an impossible task, and it was not too long before I convinced her to come on as an editor to help me. I have a certain ability to get help when needed not by begging or looking sympathetic although I can make the biggest puppy dog eyes if I REALLLLY want to. Instead I recruit to me those that I feel have some similar goals, life or ambition and in them I see myself. I have always been able to emphasize with others, and Sarah and I spent many nights chatting about life and supporting each other.
The same was true for Sheal. When I put a shout out on Facebook looking for a cover artist, she was the first to answer, it was not long after that, this one thing turned to two than three, then we were up chatting all night about kids, life and our past,. In these things our common threads were woven like a carefully done quilt, all lining up to specific moments that defined us. She joined me as a cover artist and the press went on. It seemed like between that start and now so much changed, evolved and grew that now, I can’t piece together the threads of the quilt, as it all has blended together in a seamless, tightly formed blanket that is not distinguishable from one square to the next, yet each hold a memory of a challenge that was met, conquered and sometimes lost, fuzed together to keep the whole unified.
I am proud to call those two women, who have lifted me when I am at my weakest, who believe in me with such conviction and who have given their own time, attention and loyalty to the authors we represent. As time went on the idea of us grew from ONE to now a trinity of THREE. Three women who have spent the better part of five years working on process, contracts, websites, articles, layout, art, author management, marketing and more. The decision to bring them on in a more whole role was an easy one, I wonder why it took us so long to realize that it has never been me alone, but three of us united.
That realization helped form the board that will be sitting as the chief officers of our llc (in progress). Sheal is now our Executive Co-Ordinator. She helps in all administration tasks, helps with editing, layout, art, video creation, hiring and more, I am pretty sure she works as many if not more hours than I do. She is someone I am grateful for, and I try every day to tell her how much she means to me. If not for her, things would have collapsed when my mother died, but she took up the reigns and helped me in the bleakest of times, she was there for me in the darkness and light and without her I am pretty sure Saga would be short of an amazing woman that is vital to us.
Sarah..she is my muse. There is something about her that makes you feel like you are near the thing that all ideas brew forth. She has been paramount in the creation of our children’s line. Not only has she been vital in editing but, her vision in terms of creating new themes and titles opened up an entire new world for us to play with. She has been near and dear to me, and like Sheal, she helped hold the fort down while I was in mourning.
She has taken my calls when I have been battling with my health and has had my back on many issues. She is someone that I feel is very much the spark, fire and passion that guides Saga Press and Little Bird Books to achieve the goals that we have. The gushing I can do about these women is far beyond the length of one article, so I will end it here, they are two women that I am proud to call sister, and I am honored that they include me in their lives. I hope that everyday I live up to the trust they have in me. Over the five years we have won some and lost some, and both of these have formed our way to become stronger and more dedicated to the goal. I am deeply excited to see the things that we have planned role out. I know that many out there think that we are sometimes too slow releasing, but there is a reason for that. This house is small, and in its doors are dedicated people that spend countless hours focused on books. That focus is long, but the end product is worth the wait. We have a small staff of primarily women who edit, create illustrations and cover art, layout the interior of books, create ads, work on projects, support authors in marketing, write articles to boost our publishing house, make public appearances about the press. We are a place that does believe in authors, and does believe that stories matter, regardless of how small, how new, or how old, each of them adds another square in our quilt and makes us a force that is unified under one banner, one message. Your voice matters, BE HEARD!
I hope that whatever happens to us in the next five, we can reflect on the things that we do well, improve the things that we need to improve and forge ahead in the goal of making words count! We know that many of you are looking for specific titles, and I promise they are coming!! But, we urge you and ask you, share out our links, participate in social media with us, because in order to bring you the books you want, we need to maintain a presence and that component requires readers like you! Be part of our publishing house! Become a fan!! Join Saga Press and Little Bird Books Press and become part of a community that supports indepenedent authors, LGBTQIA authors, authors that believe in our future, and those that fight against the darkness! Join us, and be proud to be a memeber of a community that supports all people, who stands against hate and discrimination and more, this is the house that was built by those that believe in something and it stands waiting for you!