Where did it go wrong?

When did the change occur?

How did I evolve from the talented writer with so much promise to the afterthought? The one who doesn’t matter? The one whose only value stems from her ethnic/cultural background?

The one who’s passed from editor to editor and publisher to publisher, and no one know quite what to do with her?

Was it when a publisher decided they didn’t like my book and decided to cancel the contract? Was it when another author took offense at my name and decided to attack? Was it as far back as when I argued for a better title for my first book?

I don’t know. I just know it happened and it’s kept happening.

So I have to think it has something to do with me. Some intangible I have yet to identify.

It’s not the talent. That much I know. The talent’s still there—always acknowledged. The work ethic, too, since I’ve never once been late with a deadline, ever, and have worked diligently to give editors all they ask for. Those books I’ve worked so hard on have consistently won awards (even the one that was canceled by the publisher) and critical reviews. So it’s not about the writing. It never is.

It should be, but it isn’t.

So I don’t know what it is.

And I don’t know when it all went wrong.

All I know is it did.