*Yes, I’m still trying to finish Noah’s Boy. On the good side, my health really is better. I’m starting to look at the TBR pile and going “mmm” instead of “Not fiction, not fiction, it engages emotions and I’m TIRED.” And today I walked the usual three miles, without undue huffing and puffing. I PROMISE to get you a post of Witchfinder, and maybe the whole end by Sunday evening at the latest. — The con in town is this weekend, and I’m booked solid through Saturday. I’ll take the laptop, like when don’t I, but… I SHOULD be done with NB by then. We’ll see. These might be the longest cursed fifty pages EVER. Anyway, meanwhile give a kind ATH welcome to Cedar Sanderson. Now, I don’t agree with EVERYTHING she has to say, but … I’ll write my own opinion on Saturday, shall I? (Possibly between panels!)*
On a misty January morning I took my youngest daughter to see the Hobbit. We went in partial costume, both of us wearing floor length cloaks, and we went because she had started writing a story, and then quit. All of my girls have written stories at one point or another, and they never finish them, a problem I had for years.
I took her to this particular movie so I could show her how a great book starts: writing for love. I have been looking forward to seeing the Hobbit movie, I’ve read it many times. But taking her to see it was a snap decision. You see, I try to encourage my kids to read, and write. I thought taking her to see the movie would help with both. After the movie we talked about Tolkien, writing that timeless tale, and within the move, Bilbo writing a story down for Frodo. She started telling me about her story right after that. Will she finish it? Time will tell.
My own love affair with writing started with reading. I used to read a lot, sometimes a few books a day. When my children were born I had gotten mostly, er, clean of the habit. But nursing an infant and tending a toddler meant I was stuck at home all the time, and I needed to read. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get to the library, definitely could not afford to feed my ‘habit’ with a growing family, so I turned to the internet.
At some point, I came across the concept that if I’d run out of things I liked reading, I could write what I wanted to read. I’ve told myself stories in my head for a long time, so it was a natural progression to start putting them onto the computer. Paper and I don’t work well for long stories. Long story short, I wrote off and on for a decade, but never sought publication.
During that time, I’d been told that the short story market was dying, and that it would take years for a novel-length manuscript to see an editor’s desk, much less acceptance and publication. So I metaphorically put my stories in the desk drawer and closed it. I was going through a very dark phase in my life, and for a long time I could only cling to my children and weather the storm.
When the light came out from behind the clouds, I could see that putting the stories in a desk drawer was not my only option. I started to send my short stories out for publication. I got involved with a writing group. At the insistence of my eldest daughter, I wrote a novel. Then my writing group encouraged me in the world of self-publishing.
I’m pretty stubborn, lots of people will tell you that. My life hasn’t always been peaches and cream, so if I can do it myself, I will. Self-publishing, the ability to be my own publisher and have control over my writing, that seemed ideal. I took the bit in my teeth and ran with it.
I now have a handful of short stories available through amazon, and more coming. I just finished editing and creating a cover for my first novel, the one I wrote for my eldest daughter. Last couple of months, I finished a short story and a novella and will have those out soon. And to top it off, I did actually sell a few stories over the last year. One is out in a print anthology (it’s a very short story) and I’ve now been able to sign my name to books. Which is addictive. I highly recommend book signing!
I’ll never earn a living as a writer. I don’t even expect it to be a lot of income. What it is, is inspiring to my children. All four of them are writing, at levels appropriate to their ages, which is sometimes humorous to read. I know they write because they see me writing, they sometimes get to read the stories, and they see that I love to write. If nothing else, that’s why I write.
Sometimes I write around them. Literally, in the years I typed one handed while nursing. I often write in spite of them, one sentence at a time as I referee fighting, cleaning, and feeding times. Once in a while I write because of them, creating stories I know they will like. But if they write, and read, and grow up valuing art the way I think they will, it’s worth everything, and that’s why I write, ultimately, for my children. Telling them stories for love.