Shelley Widhalm of Shell’s Ink Services holds up a copy of Northern Colorado Writers’ 2019 anthology, “RISE,” featuring her short story “Quiet Refusal,” during the launch party Nov. 8 at Gilded Goat Brewing Co. in Fort Collins, Colo. (Photo by Genese Carsrud)
By Shelley Widhalm
Have you glimpsed your longtime dream and realized you still have work to do? Lots of work.
I did just that when I attended the launch party Nov. 8 at a Fort Collins, Colo., brewery for the publication of Northern Colorado Writers’ anthology, “RISE, An Anthology of Change,” released Oct. 8 by Northern Colorado Writers, LLC. The anthology features short fiction, narrative nonfiction/ memoir, and poetry from more than 35 writers, and it is up for the 2020 Colorado Book Awards.
The Launch Party
The party was at the Gilded Goat Brewing Co., and I walked in to the buzz of Friday night fun, went upstairs and saw a few fellow writer friends. We exchanged copies of our books to sign, and a couple of clever writers had bookmarks and their own marketing materials to go along with NCW’s stickers promoting the book.
Readers, too, sought signatures, going around the room looking for name badges stating “Writer” or “Editor.” I had “Fiction” on mine. It was my first time signing a book, and it was pretty exciting.
My brother, Brian Widhalm, his wife, Kim, and their friends, Shane and Genese Carsrud, and Shane’s mother, Sherri Carsrud, also came, showing their support. Sherri bought a copy, and we took turns getting photos of us holding up the book.
I put the event on Facebook and immediately got lots of Likes. I realized maybe a few people are interested in my writing, so I figured, umm, maybe I should self-publish, alongside my attempts to get traditionally published. Writers are advised to separate out their work, so anything self-published isn’t something to pitch to agents, unless the book hits the best seller list, then the rules change.
My short story appears on p. 90 and is called “Quiet Refusal.” In 2,500 words, it gives voice to a 93-year-old woman named Christina Walker who stutters following a stroke and can’t get her words out. She believes her children refuse to listen to her need not to be sent to an assisted living facility, and she makes every effort to make them hear.
The book I’m considering self-publishing is a novel I wrote a few years ago about an old man and a young woman who also have trouble being heard and end up saving each other through their uncanny friendship.
If I do self-publish, I’ll have to promote, promote, promote! And also do more of what I love, writing! There’s where the dream comes in—I’ve wanted to be a traditionally published author since second grade and have been working on it since (off and on), publishing short stories, submitting my novels to agent and not giving up.
Anyway, here’s to “RISE” and to dreams!
Where to Get Copies
Copies of “RISE” are available on Amazon.