August 9, 2012
Please be patient . . . I literally JUST created this website and am busy trying to fill in all the pages with everything you might want to know! (And yes, I realize there is a cup of coffee in the background photo, and I don't drink coffee, but it's a stock photo, and they didn't have one with a bottle of Mt. Dew! At some point, I will change the background photo to a personal photo, but until then . . . enjoy your coffee!)
August 14, 2012
Ok, after creating all the other pages here I am finally coming back to Home page. I wasn't quite sure on that first day what I wanted to say here, so I skipped it. I'm still not entirely sure what I want to say. However, since the overall theme of this website is "my writing life" I've decided that (for now) this page should be about just that . . . my day to day writing life . . . struggles, triumphs, big victories, small (hopefully, very small) tragedies. But first, I think I need to catch you up on the last 40-something years of my writing life, so here goes!
In the beginning, . . . wait, has that already been used? Why does that sound familiar? : )
Seriously, I can't remember exactly when I started writing for pleasure, but I do remember being very young (around 7) and sending poems I'd written to a friend. My love affair with words (both my own and those written by others) only continued to grow as I aged. In high school, I literally (pun intended) thrilled at the idea of being given a writing assignment. I wrote anything and everything - poetry, haikus, short stories, dialogue, non-fiction first person tales, opinions, how-tos . . . whatever the assignment might be, I was happy to write it, as long as I was writing. Poetry was (and still is) my main interest I loved to read the rhyming poems - they were always my favorite. So many friends find it curious that I rarely ever write rhyming poems. I am not ashamed to admit that is just not where my talent lies . . . and I believe that contributes greatly to why I enjoy them so much. In almost every area of my life I am especially fascinated by the things for which I have no gift; organization, cooking, time-management, bodybuilding, rhyming, etc. etc.
By my senior year in high school, I had three notebooks full of poems I had written. Most of these were written during junior high and high school. I am heartbroken to say that almost all of what I wrote as a child is lost forever. I didn't understand the concept of keeping a copy for myself, and I believe only one or two of my childhood poems survive to this day. I dragged those three notebooks with me everywhere. I was always eager to share a poem or two with someone. The boys I dated back them often got more than their fill of me reading poetry to them! I still hadn't learned the lesson to keep a second copy - these notebooks were my only copies of these poems. I did realize the importance of the notebooks though and had my name, address and phone number listed on each, as well as "Reward if Returned". Apparently, no one bothered to read that note though or didn't care about the reward because when I lost one of the notebooks, it was never returned. With that, I finally learned the importance of having a backup copy. And perhaps I learned it too well, because now I keep saving and re-saving poems I've written. I find them everywhere . . . on my computer (in more than one file), around my house (in hard copy), in my office at my real
job (on the computer and
in hard copy). (Did I mention that organization is not a skill I've mastered?)
By graduation I knew I wanted writing to be my career. I even entered a poem in a poetry contest to be published in an anthology and I won! My first published work! In all my exuberant innocence I told my father that I wanted to be a writer. He responded, "Can you make any money at that?" I was crushed. Trying to somehow marry my love of writing with making money, I looked into journalism, but the thought of my only writing being about the news or current events bored me to tears. I continued to write my poetry, and eventually, even an outline for a novel, but my father's words hung in my head. They completely sucked the wind out of my sails. I put my writing dream on the back burner because I knew
I needed money to live. 20-some years later I feel like a fool. It's true that I needed a job making money, so I could live, BUT I should never have lost faith in writing. It is my passion - that thing that makes life wonderful, joyous, and worth living.
When I was 20 years old I had a boyfriend who encouraged my writing (difficult for him since his ex-wife was also a wanna-be writer) and bought me a word processor for my birthday. I blossomed anew under his frequent praise of my work. I even began to contemplate entering my work in contests again. A few years later I had another boyfriend who also encouraged me to write. While with him, I submitted my work for publication and was accepted to a small literary publication (now out of business) and in another anthology - this one a collection of local artists with the common theme of saving the Earth. They even hosted a reception in honor of the artists who contributed to the anthology. I even read my work in public at an event that garnered the attention of the local news! It was a wonderful little taste of success. That Christmas I bound select poems of mine and gave a book to each of my parents. My mother cried while reading the book and my father said he didn't know I was so talented. THIS was sweeter than any taste of success.
Writing got lost in the shuffle with not one, but two emotional break-ups with boyfriends, a car accident, getting fired, being laid off, a brief stint in the United States Army, and finally my move to the East coast. Once I settled out here, I began to write poetry regularly again, but writing was basically all I did. I entered no contests. I sent no submissions. I did start a novel . . . and was very excited about it, but abandoned it in the middle of Chapter One. Why? I have no idea.
In 2005, I met a young girl (22, I believe) at my office who had written three books. THREE BOOKS! I was flabbergasted. I was scared to calculate exactly how much older than her I was and I hadn't even finished ONE book! She became a great friend . . . who was also gently prodding me to really
get back to my writing. She even bought me a journal and a fancy pen. (The fancy pen took me tears because one of my encouraging boyfriends had also bought me a fancy pen to help me write.) Still I languished, even as I proofread her novels, even as I watched her get the first in her trilogy published.
Finally, in 2009, with prodding from yet another friend, and a guy I saw only on our four-hour long first date, I decided to seriously start writing a novel. Not the one I'd already started, but a new one. I'd had this idea for a specific romance novel for years and now I finally going to put it on paper! I found a writing group near my home and in that first 2-hour meeting, I wrote 10 pages longhand(!) and spent the next day nursing my sore wrist. I couldn't remember the last time I'd felt so happy and alive. I was horrified at all the years I'd wasted not living my dream.
While I am still living my writing dream, I am also living real life. Writing while working a full-time job, running a part-time business, dating, traveling and just doing day-to-day things like grocery shopping is exhasuting! And I am still struggling with organization and time-management, two things very important for a writer. I am still working on the romance novel. Yes, I know . . . it's taking a while. However, I am proud to say that I have quite a lot done, and I am so happy with the story thus far. It's true that your story really does take on a life of it's own. I had definitely plans for this story and those plans are still a part of it, but my characters have brought and extra journey to the story, a dog, an old close friend, a new friend and so much more that was never even thought of until I put pen to paper and let my characters start to live their lives.
At this very moment, I am in a bit of a writing lull. Hence, the website. I needed something to fire me up again, get me excited. And this website makes it real! Someday (soon, hopefully) my book will be on this website, but until then . . . I am already
August 31, 2012
Great news!! My friend, Frank Steiger, who is a FANTASTIC photographer has agreed to donate the cover art for my poetry book! I'm so honored by his donation, and so thrilled to be able to showcase his work in this way! I had been eyeing a photo of his for quite some time thinking that I'd love for it to be the cover of the poetry book. However, I was unsure if I would be able to afford his asking price. I am so lucky to have such great friends. Thank you so much, Frank! I'll make sure you are the first person to get a copy of the book. ; ) (Check out Frank's great photos on his Facebook page: Frank Steiger Photography)
September 16, 2012
I have been spending time going through all my poems (a little daunting) trying to decide which ones to include in my first poetry book. The book centers primarily on just one subject area, so that weeds out quite a few poems. However, the abundance of what I've written falls into the subject matter of the book. It is no easy feat deciding which piece makes the cut and which doesn't. It is said we are all our own worst critic and I am no different. I always find myself pleasantly surprised when I read a poem I've written and my initial reaction is, "Wow, that's pretty good." And, of course, I have to immediately re-read it to make sure I'm not mistaken. Obviously, those that are still "good" after the second reading are making the book. However, I have found a few others that stand out for other reasons. The first thing I notice might be that they are not what I would call "my best work," but something about them makes me gasp or stops my heart . . . just for a moment. For this reason, they too, will be making their way into the book.
I must say, I am anxious for the finished product. To see my name in print upon a book cover. To feel the my book in my hand and thumb through its pages. To read my printed words, these poems from heart, all together, and feel their impact. To hopefully hear, even from just one person, that my poems moved them. That last is the real reason why I put pen to paper.
Oh, and do not feel sorry for all those poems that I am passing up . . . I am already making a stack of poems to be included in my second poetry book!
October 6, 2012
It is my birthday and I am doing some soul searching. Statistically, my life is half over. I know, I know, what a horrible thought! However, it makes me feel as if I don't want to waste a single day, or even a single hour, doing something that is not important to me. It makes me want to prioritize all the things I want to do "someday" and decide which ones deserve to be done RIGHT NOW. Writing the romance novel, finishing the poetry book and finalizing this website to show it to world - these are the things that took the top slots on my list of "things to do."
As an aside, I mentioned the "life half over" item to an older gentleman I know and he laughed. He is 79 and he said, "Oh, hell, knowing what I know now, if I were your age I'd be happy to continue with my current life for 10 more years . . . and then start another one. You have plenty of time!" It was exactly what I needed to hear. I think in the second half of my life I want to be ONLY a writer!
October 11, 2012
Today is the day! After beginning to design this website in August, I am now finally ready to unleash it on the world. Let me know what you think! (Unless, you think it sucks . . . then just keep your thoughts to yourself.) ; )