Once upon a time there lived a sheltered girl with long, golden hair. She spent her days in a tall two-story house in the wilds of a Texan suburb. She had been found by her prince over ten years ago and they had a happy marriage, but alas she still found herself daydreaming at her desk by the window. A worn binder lay open on her lap. Red lines and scrawled notes covered the manuscript pages. Four more such binders filled her shelf.
“Rapunzel! Rapunzel! Let down your hair.”
The girl leaned out the window to see Princess Allessa smiling and waving at her from the ground.
Five minutes later, the Princess climbed in through the large front window and Rapunzel made a mental note to thank her husband again for the new-fangled pulley system he rigged up for her.
Allessa hurried to give Rapunzel a hug. “Zel, you’ll never guess what happened. I wanted to tell you first.”
“Dragon Press is going to publish my book!”
“Wow. Allessa, that’s wonderful!”
Allessa beamed. “You remember that Book Magic Agent I met a the Conference? That’s how it all happened. I’m telling you, you need to come with us next year. You need to get out and meet people.”
Rapunzel cringed. “Yeah, probably. I’d like to, but you know how it is. Mostly it’s the money and travel.”
“But think how it might help you? I met some of the most amazing people and it was so fun too. Kylie went and now people are asking to see her book, too. Your stuff is good enough.”
Rapunzel remembered all the red lines and revision plans. “Is it?”
“Of course it is!”
Rapunzel smiled. “Thanks, Allessa. I’ll think about it, but I’m really excited for you about your book.”
Allessa bobbed her head. “‘course it means a ton of work. Still have the cover art and the final edits and only a few months away.”
“You’ll do great.”
Hours after the friend hurried home to dive into her work, Rapunzel sat at her magic looking glass. “Mirror, mirror, search book Conference.” She scanned the lists again, reading here and there.
Her husband had to use the secret staircase when she failed to hear his call at the window. He groaned as he sank into a chair nearby. “I swear those steps are magicked. They multiply when we don’t use them.” He laid his head back and peered at his wife. “Whatcha working on?”
She winced. “Um, nothing.” The wince flipped to a grimace. “I mean, nothing serious. Just story stuff.”
He raised his eyebrows.
She swiped her hand across the glass, clearing the words. “I was just about to start dinner.”
Rapunzel lasted about thirty minutes into her work. “Love, I heard that there’s going to be a writer’s conference happening near your family in the spring.”
He sighed. “You know I’d love for you to be able to go, but aren’t they expensive?”
“About five hundred.” She held her breath, watching him.
“Plus travel. It’s three realms away. I don’t know.”
Rapunzel bit her lip. “What if the money wasn’t a problem?”
He gave her one of his patronizing looks. “Dear, I don’t mean to cast doubt on you or your magic, but we have to be practical about these things. There is no money spell. Yes, you do great things with your gifts, but I don’t see how you are going to pull it off. I would love an excuse to go see my brothers, but we agreed to pay off the robber barons and clear them from our land.”
She rubbed her arms and glanced aside. “But if there was a way, …?”
His look softened and he hugged her. “You know that there is no magic solution to getting published, right?”
“I know. It’s more than that. I’m still have so much to learn. I need to be able to interact with others professionally and be confident in sharing. You’re so much better at that sort of stuff than I.” She smiled and laughed. “Sometimes I wish I could just write and have you do all the in person stuff for me. We could even say you’re the author.”
He frowned. “And you would be fine with that? With never getting the credit?” He searched her face.
Rapunzel sighed. “Maybe not. I know it’s not really practical or realistic but I’m just saying that I struggle with that side. I want to learn but I don’t know where to start. I like the safety of my tower, but if my dream is ever to have a chance…”
He took a deep breath and watched her for a long moment. “Tell you what, if you are serious about learning, and really want this, I will help you as much as I can. Deal?”
She smiled and hugged him tight. “Deal.”
To be continued…