First blog post

I have always had a very active imagination.  My husband likes to tease me about the fact that when I was little, I used to have not one, but two imaginary friends.  But, what he finds the funniest is their names, Rhonda and Fonker (I have no idea…  Don’t even ask), and the fact that Rhonda and I used to run away from Fonker.  He almost doubles over in laughter when he talks about it.

Then, there were the Barbies and the Cabbage Patch dolls.  I would play the most elaborate story lines with my toys as the players.  Oh, and the hours spent on the playground playing Battlestar Galactica, organizing a fairly decent sized group of kids into Cylons and Colonials.  I could make up stories with the best of ’em.

I was also the kid in school who never dreaded writing papers.  I loved writing essays and later, in college, papers.  I enjoyed seeing my ideas pouring out on the pages, pushing myself to get every last fact and detail included.  I recall reorganizing sentences over and over until they read exactly they way I wanted them.  Most people would call having to stop and think while writing a form of writer’s block and would start to panic.  I saw it as a mental exercise in tenacity, ruminating over the language, finding relaxation in deep and poignant thought.

So, I guess it shouldn’t come as a surprise that when this past year got tough, probably the toughest we have ever endured, save perhaps 2001, that I would find relaxation and solace in creative writing.

The muse struck me one day in early January, standing in the shower.  The story line played out in my mind in those 15 minutes, and I knew my beginning, middle and end.  Next came the challenge of actually writing it.  I sat down at an ancient laptop we had purchased for our oldest son for school 3 years earlier, which was missing some keys, and began to write.  Before I knew it, there were 20 pages.  Then 30, 40, and so on.  In the beginning, I wondered if I had enough material in me to make it 100 pages.  At the end, I worried if I could stop at 330+.

I wrote at night, when the rest of the house went to bed and I would sit on the couch doing a medical treatment while typing happily away. It was quiet and a nice way for me to center myself before going to bed.  I would write while I was in waiting rooms for occupation therapy for family members and doctors’ appointments for myself.  I never went anywhere without my laptop bag.

While I found it peaceful, what shocked me was the speed and ferocity in which the characters’ stories needed to come out.  My brain was formulating sentences faster than my fingers could type. My focus was occupied not by the chaos around me in my life, but on a world I could control completely. At one point, a dear friend who is also a librarian, asked me if I had storyboarded or done anything else to help me organize the plot, but I told her I hadn’t:  Ian, Jen, James and Kat where like real people whose stories I had already been told and was just writing down.

I asked a few people to read my first book and they liked it.  Meanwhile, I mourned that it had come to the end.  All of the characters had become like friends and I truly missed them.  Then, the stress and anxiety of all that was happening around me that I couldn’t control came back again and another story was born, mostly written over the summer while the kids swam and other mothers talked around the poolside.

Once again, the characters came alive and this time, I pulled deep from my Nevada roots and wrote about my beloved home state.  I thought I knew about early mining in Nevada.  I sure had a lot more to learn.  Jonathan, Eliza, Fredrick, Charles, Jane, Patrick and Felicia became my new group of friends and their stories came flooding out, as well. The same people who read the first book were gracious enough to also read the second and they liked it, as well.

Now, then, comes the journey in publishing. I have talked to authors who have self published and those who have published traditionally.  I have heard about the good, the bad and the ugly with both.  I have decided that I would at least like to try my hand at traditional publishing just to see if I can do it. I may change my mind. My skin may not be thick enough for the 100s of rejections it sometimes takes.  But, I hope that you will enjoy coming along on this journey with me.  I hope that at some point, I will have incredible news to share!

 

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