Congratulations to Hunter Liguore for her short story, “The Writer Who Slept for a Hundred Years: A True Story”. We couldn’t think of anything better to publish as part of our New Voices category. Especially considering our shortlist authors are eagerly waiting to hear guest judge AM Homes’ decision regarding publication for our printed anthology. Take a look at Hunter’s truly wonderful story. She hit the nail on the head with this one, folks.
The Writer Who Slept for a Hundred Years: A True Story
by Hunter Liguore
On February 18, 2013, President’s Day, Hypatia L., a forty-year-old writer from Wakefield, Massachusetts, settled down to take an afternoon nap and didn’t wake up for a very long time.
She had spent the earlier part of the day in her usual manner, scoping markets for her unpublished novel, checking her inbox for acceptance letters from agents or publishers. She had a finished novel that she had spent the last twenty years writing, perfecting. It was more than ready, and despite her published credits in shorter work—including some well-known publications—or her extensive education, her social media outreach to cull an audience, her leadership in an online writing group, her editorial efforts with a well-known lit journal, her informative seminars and teachings on the Art of Writing, or her drive and relentlessness to the craft, she could still not land a book deal.
On that very day she had also spent the morning reviewing the work of Dr. Dwayne Briar[i] about the many points of manifesting one’s destiny. According to Briar, the world wasn’t the issue—not the influx of would-be writers, or the clog in self-pubbed books, or that the Market wasn’t right for her book, or even that for every agent there were 7000 writers a week attempting to barge down the door to become a client—instead, the problem was Hypatia.
Briar’s four main points, which Hypatia had studied from various books written by the wise teacher, were quite easy, and something she reviewed before bed and then upon rising; on the toilet, over tea; she recited them when she fed her cat, Pippin, and during her long walks in the park, or while feeding the ducks in the pond: wish, ask, intend and believe.
According to her assessment, her book deal rested solely in her hands. It started with a wish: I wish to publish my book. Followed by asking how she could get that done exactly. What steps can I take immediately in order to fulfill my desire to publish a book with a reputable publisher? The answers were said to just come and to be ready and listen. Next came the knowing and sure-fire intent to manifest. I know I will publish my book. Followed by the most important step, belief: I will publish my book regardless of the good opinion of others. In other words, no matter how many doors were closed, no matter how many people said no, no matter how long it took, she must not, under any circumstances, have a shred of doubt that she would succeed.
I will publish my book regardless of the good opinion of others.
The element of doubt was a tricky thing, and the reason Hypatia gave up on emails and scouting that day, and decided instead to take a long nap. In sleep there would be no room for doubt. “I have done the work, now all I need to do is have patience and wait.” According to Briar, the Universe was working on her behalf all the time to bring the experience that matched her desire, right to her door. “I need do nothing.” And rather than sit around and dwell, and be a self-defeatist, she shut down the computer, and curled up on the couch beside the cat.
“Pippin,” she addressed the cat. “I will not awaken until my book is sold. Please make sure no one disturbs me until such time.”
And so it was, that Hypatia L. took the afternoon off from worry, and fell fast asleep.
As Hypatia slept she daydreamed about her novel coming to print. She saw the ink hit the page, and the binding get glued, and the perfect cover drawn, until finally, lots of little books, with her name on it came zipping down a conveyer belt, boxed and taped, and sent off to bookstores, homes, colleges, airports, and so on, all around the country, and then the world. Translators stepped up, and soon, she saw her book written in foreign languages, traveling over prairies and rice fields, and the Himalayas, and under the ocean to submarine workers, who no doubt valued her book too. Next came the reviews from all the top newspapers and journals. Soon television personalities, like Oprah and Ellen, began to ring her phone. This went on for some time, until all the critics everywhere couldn’t say another good thing about her book, and were asking for the next one. Then came the literary awards, followed by movie producers—Kevin Costner was the first to step forward. Her book, The Arrow-Maker’s Daughter, was an obvious choice. He loved the West, and resonated with the character of Ryley; he couldn’t get enough of the Native storytelling done by Little Sparrow, the arrow-maker’s daughter. “A true American masterpiece,” he said. “Ryley is the Odysseus of the West.”
To continue reading Hunter’s story, click here.