Chasing Inspiration

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Writing News - Passing on the love

I recently discovered that some of the women I used to know from my local writing group are doing very well. One has sold her first book after years of writing. Congratulations Helen Brenna! I'm thrilled you made your first sale and look forward to Treasure from Harlequin Superromance this coming December.

I also learned that someone I hold as a mentor during the time we served on the board together made an amazing deal and is coming out with her first hardcover sometime this year. Monica Pradhan is a jewel of an author. She has written three Silhoutte Intimate Moments under the name Monica McLean - each and every one of them amazing. Her upcoming book is being published under Monica Pradhan and is titled The Hindi Bindi Club. I'm sure it will be wonderful. From what I've heard already, and that's very little, it made her editor cry. Monica writes with an emotion I long to have present in my work. She also has an amazing heart. I am truly blessed to have known her and wish her nothing but the best as she makes her HC debut. When the book comes out, I'll be sure to let you all know.

As I congratulate these women I know, I reminisce on times gone by. Times when I was young to the world of publishing and was more active in my local writing group. I drew inspiration from both these women. Both never gave up on their dreams. Both worked hard. Both followed their heart. Both showed me that the road was not a road to travel completely alone. I'm so happy and proud of Helen & Monica. I wish you both well and hope there are many more books in your futures. I'll be looking for both of these!

Virgin Territory

Well, not really. And I'm not talking about my sex life. Married 10 years so if I were a virgin something would be very wrong with me. Too wrong for words. Pathological even. The thought makes me shudder.

No, this is my first post on this particular blog. I have others but they are for very explicit purposes. I have one through which I keep in touch with a small group of friends. It's better than email and instant messaging and not as finicky as Yahoo Groups. I have another I use with my critique partners for the wip *side note: wip = work in progress*. I have yet another that is just a place for me to express myself anonymously. Its wonderful to be anonymous at times, isn't it?

But I digress. The purpose of this particular blog is twofold. First, I'm rather narcissistic and believe that everyone must be interested in my creative journey from frustrated unpublished writer to successful author. Second, I've been thinking lately about inspiration and creativity and want to explore just how we humans are driven by creativity and where do we find, or make, our inspiration. Lofty goals but if you don't reach and all that rot.

Let me share some background. I have been writing off and on for about 5 years. There are three completed manuscripts, or mss as they shall henceforth be known, in my filing cabinet, several aborted attempts in my computer and at least three partials in various stages of completion. There are no books out on the shelves with my name on them. Quite a few rejection letters in my file drawer, but sadly those don't count.

I work with a life coach regarding my writing and while she assures me I have turned the corner and am an author, I'm not so certain. I keep wondering when the jack-in-the-box will pop up and with his garish clown face inform me that I am a poser and should give up the pretense and grow up already.

Neurotic to the core, every night I look under my bed for evil writing gremlins. I don't think my friends and acquaintences would say I'm neurotic. Unique in a strange way perhaps. Certainly not neurotic. But those pesky gremlins lurk just beneath surface. Most days I'm able to ignore them. Then there are days like today when the words don't flow, I recieve yet another rejection letter in the mail and emergencies eat away at the time I so painstakingly carved out to write. Days like today make me question my calling, my talent, my desires and wonder if it has all been one big delusion.

Still, I push on. And this blog is just one way for me to push on. Publically declaring for all who care (and right now that's just me) that I am going to finish the damn ms and I am going to be pulished. Not just once. No, I aspire to join the ranks of those authors who make a living, albeit often a meager one, from writing fiction. Genre fiction at that.

So, join me if you wish. Or not. The choice is yours. I'm sure there will be days I wax philosophic or delve into my theological roots. Perhaps it will evoke discussion or be entertaining. Either way, it will be interesting. Long and strange and interesting.