Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Roller coaster ride

Writing has it's ups and downs, and to borrow on a tired cliche, that whole "one door closing and another one opening" thing is totally true.  I'm not in the position to be more specific than that, but I will say that if the events of the past few days keep moving in the direction they have, I will indeed believe that perseverance and timing have made all the difference for me in the publishing business.  Keep your fingers crossed.

“Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.” John Qunicy Adams

Saturday, September 11, 2010


On September 11th, 2001 I was a librarian in an elementary school and ironically, that morning, the faculty was walking the evacuation route should we ever have to get the kids away from the school. When we got back from our drill, we heard about the first plane going into the tower.  Everyone was stunned.  I turned on the TV in the library and we watched the second plane hit.  That's when we knew it was no accident.

Then there was The Pentagon.  And the flight that went down in Pennsylvania.  Buildings collapsed. Thousands of lives were lost. Everything changed.  Living just an hour away from Ground Zero, fighter jets flew patrols over my area for a few days.  Transportation was disrupted and everyone was walking around in a daze.  Driving by train station parking lots was chilling.  There were hundreds of cars, sitting for days, waiting for owners who who would never come to claim them.

I knew people who died.  I know people who were in NYC when it all happened.  I heard stories of people running for their lives, thanking God for making a train late so they weren't at their desks, and of people who walked out of the city over bridges and through tunnels like refugees. People were at their strongest, their kindest, their most resilient that day because they had to be.  There was no choice.

There's a lot of talk about making 9/11 a holiday and I don't know if that's appropriate.  What I do think we should do is remember all who were lost, all who continue to suffer, and then we should go on with our lives.  We shouldn't let the twisted people who masterminded that plan win by making us afraid, making us intolerant or keeping us from enjoying the lives we've built.

So in memory of 9/11 do something positive--make a donation, help a friend, find time to call someone you haven't talked to in a while, learn something new.  Be a force for good.  Because then the people who try to bring us down will never win.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Letting the Work Speak for Itself.

In my case, being a parent has helped me with my writing.  Not everyone can say that, but I can.  I especially feel that having children who are nearly adults has given me great preparation.  You see, slowly but surely I've had to let my kids go.  They've gone to school, on dates, they've driven cars and two of the three have gone away to college while number three waits on deck.

So sending off a book should be no problem, right?  I mean I've sent my flesh and blood children into the world, so the book should be easy.  It's just a book, right?  Wrong.

Over the past two days, as I sent my work into the void, I was a nervous wreck, and I knew I had to calm down. The book I recently finished revising is not only back with the publisher who gave me such incredible input, but it was requested by an amazing agent in NYC. (Did you all hear me squeal from coast to coast?) If I should be signed by this woman, I would consider myself incredibly lucky and I'd know my career would be in good hands.  So why was I having a meltdown?

Simple. I had to let go.

Just like parenting, I have to let my work stand on it's own and accept the loss of control.  The book is really good, but there are no more training wheels, no more safety nets--the book, my literary baby, is going to succeed or fail on its own.  And it's hard to face that.  However, just like my children, I need to believe in what I've done and have faith that I've crafted a good story.

Of course, I'm scared to death, because I've been down this road before and the possibility of rejection is very real.

But it's also rewarding to know I took the step, that I made the attempt and that I was brave enough to let go.

It's the only way to move forward and as writers that's what we need to do.  What are you doing to move forward?

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Ack! I won something? Really?

I received a Bloggy Award!  I’m tickled because it means that someone appreciated my silly, and often erratic, musings.  Thanks a bunch to Michele Shaw for the honor!  I love these kinds of things because it shows the incredible support in the blogging community.  We are each other's cheerleaders and I appreciate Michele listing me with so many other great bloggers.  It's flattering.

So, I’m supposed to pass these on to other bloggers whom I think deserve recognition.  There are a few rules attached so pay attention so you can pay it forward. 

The Rules for The Versatile Blogger Award:
1. Thank and link back to the person that gave you the award.
2. Share seven things about yourself.
3. Pass the award to fifteen bloggers that you think deserve it.
4. Lastly, contact all the bloggers that you’ve picked for the award.

One Lovely Blog Award Rules:
1.      1. Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award and link back to her.
2.      2. Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you’ve newly discovered.
3.      3. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

Seven little known things about me:
1.       1.   I know the difference between boarding, roughing and cross-checking.

2.       2.  I got a tattoo when I turned forty. It’s awesome, but I wouldn’t do it again.

3.       3.  Sleeping annoys me. I fight it and do it as little as possible.

4.       4.  My favorite guilty pleasure is chocolate frosting right from the can.

5.       5.  I’m a bag whore.  I love totes, purses, clutches.  You name it; I love bags.

6.       6.  I really like ABBA.

7.       7.  I’ve been in more than one professional sports locker room.

So here are the bloggers I’ve chosen to recognize because their blogs make you laugh, cry, think or all of the above:

Blog Like You Mean It- Kelly Breakey

Romance Puppy-Dawn Berkoski

Are You Ready? -Helen Sayers

Muse Ink-Ami Hendrikson

Fiction Groupie-Roni Griffin

Builder of Worlds-Claire LeGrande

Hot Diggity-Jenna Glatzer

Lost in the View-Heather Faesy

The 7th Woman-Dee Karl

The Write One-Valerie Haight