‘TIS ALMOST THE TIME TO SAY HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Two more days—just 48 little hours—when the New Year’s Eve gatherings will be in full swing and we all step into 2018. I must admit, in my youth, I never considered what my life would be like in this future. I certainly didn’t imagine that I’d be a writer, or that a majority of my writing efforts would be amazingly blessed by helping other writers fulfill their dreams of being published. So, as this year of 2017 slips into memory, I’d like to share a few highlights of my writing life with all of you, and hope these will trigger thankful remembrances of your own writing career—encouraging you to look into your writing future.
First, I am so thankful for the English teachers who encouraged me in elementary and high school. After listening to experiences from other authors, I know my classroom days were filled with miracles—encouraging words (and grades).
I am also thankful for the university professor who gave me very poor grades, adding comments that belittled my writing style—and writing voice. Even though I totally stopped writing for a few years, there was always something inside nudging me to put pen to paper and share what was on my heart. Christmas card notes became the impetus that helped me start writing again.
My Aunt Sherry (my Mother’s youngest sister) was also an encouraging force. “You have such a natural way with words,” she’d say. And when I started writing essays and short stories again, she was the first to lovingly critique them. She was thrilled for me when one of my Sci-Fi short stories was published.
By the time I was in my 30s I was happily a member of a writers’ workshop that met once a month. Each one of those gatherings (of 8-15 people) was filled with love and laughter, critique and word-play, and spontaneous combustion of ideas to further plot and character development. These marvelous people will always “speak” to me in my “inner-writer’s-ear.” However, I most often hear the gentle, poetic voice of our leader, Lois Beebe Hayna. She left this planet this year at the age of 104, but will never leave my heart and thoughts and her poetry books will bless many generations. I strongly suggest you Google her name and listen as she reads her own “Last Will and Testament” poem.
There were also many years of my writing life when I was employed fulltime (to pay those monthly bills) and happily found myself in positions where I typed (read and gently critiqued) the papers of anthropologists and archeologist, department and company managers and owners. The pattern of writing—and building my skills all along the way—continued as I was recruited to become a high school teacher. Student assignments came flowing in and, again, my writing (and communications) background proved useful.
Then came the day when my husband read one of my short stories. “This has to be published!” Neither of us knew anything about the publishing world, but we did realize that no traditional publisher would publish one short story. So, we printed it. The title is DEPLOYED: A Christmas Story, and the initial printing of 500 copies were mostly given to detachments of soldiers being deployed. It is now a paperback and eBook on Amazon.
Writing is such a passion in my heart that I had to produce a second book in 2015: FIREPROOF PROVERBS, A Writer’s Study of Words. This one was done the correct way with Outskirts Press where I hope publish a fiction work soon.
Today I continue writing almost full-time! My writing life story is unique to me and yet I’m certain you’ve recognized similarities to your own journey. Each day for me is a balance act between writing for clients and helping them publish their own books, and writing my own stories—always researching some unique element no matter which project is before me.
THE writing life (our life) is full of those “construction” and “scaffolding” pieces shared with you this month. It is also a path with Bright Stars along the roadmap highlighting the writing we’ve done, the authors, publishers, editors, creative consultants we met, and books we’ve published. May you continue the journey and enjoy every moment of 2018 and beyond… ‘til we meet again. ⚓︎