March Lions and Lambs
by Rita Goldner
As the time rolls around each month for me to write my post for the Phoenix Publishing and Book Promotion blog, I think what a serendipitous choice I made, opting to write on the first of the month. As I’ve mentioned, I chose it arbitrarily because we started on October 1 and it was my birthday, so I figured it was a good omen. Little did I realize that I would have a bunch of fun topics fall into my lap, like Dia de Los Muertos and New Year’s Day. (And just wait ‘til I tackle April Fool’s Day next month!)
Each time, I have to segue into writing and publishing. Today I’m using the saying “March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.” I researched* its origins online and came up with a few versions:
- Playwright John Fletcher wrote “I would chuse March for I would come in like a lion… But you’d go out like a lamb when you went to hanging.” (in his play A Wife For A Month in 1624)
- John Ray, naturalist and writer, wrote “March hack ham [hackande = annoying] comes in like a lion, goes out like a lamb.” (in “Catalogue of English Proverbs” in 1670)
- The phrase “March came in like a lion” shows up in Ames Almanac in 1740 and William Byrd’s Another Secret Diary the same year.
- My favorite explanation is the scientific one: It’s the relative positions of the constellations Leo the Lion (eastern horizon) and Aries the Ram (western horizon) at the beginning and end of March.
In any event, this centuries-old saying still relates to authors today (at least in the way I craft a segue)! Authors, like anyone involved in a creative pursuit, are balancing their aggressive, lion-ish side – the one that does the marketing and promotions – with their lamb-ish side, the one that writes privately and therapeutically.
Personally, as March blusters in, I am up to my furry mane in running a very public and energetic Kickstarter campaign to fund my printing costs. The real thorn in my paw is the fact that I’m not aggressive by nature. The only thing that keeps me going with the campaign is that I’m passionate about putting this important book about orangutans into the hands of children.
By the end of March, I’ll be involved in the quieter, more peaceful task of making up crossword puzzles with orangutan fun facts, coloring pages, dot-to-dot, and mazes for a blog I’m starting for kids to accompany the book. I’ll let you know how that’s working out on April Fool’s Day.
Rita Goldner is the author of the children’s eBooks Jackson’s History Adventure and Jackson’s Aviation Adventure, both titles in Jackson’s Adventure Series. Rita’s forthcoming book, Orangutan: A Day in the Rainforest Canopy, will be released in print in May 2015. To view additional illustrations and other books in progress, visit Rita’s website. Contact Rita here. Follow Rita on Facebook.