Monday, April 30, 2007

Celebrating, big time!!!

    It's Party Time!!! My debut Blaze, DOUBLE DARE, is hitting bookstores (and WalMarts, and KMarts and Targets and OMG the grocery store, if you can believe it!) everywhere.

    It's wild... and totally a dream come true! We work so hard, struggle, strive and push to realize this exact thing - and now that its here? I alterenate between giggling, dancing around (those who know me will tell you... this is NOT normal) and clenching my fist so I can punch anyone who wakes me up *g*.

    I remember a few years ago when one of my gifted and brilliant CP's sold. She spent the next few months in a fog, commenting on how she felt like a fraud. At the time, I just figured she was a little... well, crazy. But I get it now. There is definitely this wierd layer of unreality to it all. Like I'm experiencing it all through a pitcher of margaritas. (Except the revisions I just turned in... those were done completely sober... just in case my editor reads this LOL).

    My book, DOUBLE DARE, is about... well, Dares. Its that fun, naughty challenge of going beyond the comfort zone and really experiencing all life... or love has to offer. It was the first book I threw away all the rules and just wrote, completely for myself. I had the best time with it, and hopefully it shows. My neighbor came dancing down the sidewalk today chanting "guess what I got?" She'd bought the last copy of the book at Barnes & Noble this morning and she was already half-way through. And... best of all, she was loving it! OMG That was so exciting. That fun, wrote it for me cause it was just so fun, story - being read and loved by someone. It was the most empowering feeling!!
    One of the things I'm doing ot celebrate is having a contest on my website. It's the Widlest Dare contest. Fun, huh? All you have to do is send me an email of YOUR wildest dare, 100 words or less. I'll pick 10 and post them to my website for readers to vote on. All 1o will win autographed copies of the book, and chocolate. And the Dare with the most votes? They win a fabulous tote bag filled with goodies, including Sees chocolates, a stunning necklace from Poppy Laurel designs, a Victoria Secret gift card... and tons more stuff. So - if you have any dares, give it a shot. 100 words or less emailed to
    In the meantime... what's YOUR dream come true??
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Dinner Parties

    I'm co-hosting a dinner party for six of my favorite people this Saturday. And we're throwing a bene magazine soiree on Wednesday. So this week will be all about parties...and the debauchery that ensues.
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Travel Fantasy #3: Rollercoasters

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Come sit on my lap

Fence sitting (or, could someone get me a cushion)

    I'm a fence sitter. No, it's not that I can't make up my mind about a topic. This type of fence sitting is what those of us who have been writing a long time and had a good amount of success in the realm of the unpublished writer do. We sit up here on this fence looking over at the Land of the Published (which I visualize as looking like Hobbiton from the Lord of the Rings), wishing for that elusive call from a publishing house that will finally knock us over to the other side of the fence. I've often joked that I've been sitting on this fence so long that my butt hurts.

    Last weekend, my local RWA chapter celebrated its 10th anniversary. That made me think about where I was 10 years ago compared to where I am in my career now (and it is a career even though I'm not published yet). Back then, I was muddling through my first romance manuscript, which went through so many different versions that I eventually lost count. It was the only historical I wrote, but over the intervening 10 years I've written 17 additional manuscripts ranging from romantic suspense to young adult. Back then, our chapter had one or two published authors. Now, roughly a third of the chapter is published, including my two long-time critique partners. One of those CPs won a RITA last year; the other is a RITA finalist this year. Back in 1997, being a Golden Heart finalist was this dream way out of reach. But it was a goal that I worked toward, and when I finally finaled for the first time in 2003, I about passed out. Literally. I had to sit down on the side of the bed because I was shaking so much. In 2004, I accomplished yet another dream -- I won a Golden Heart. And what did I do when I got on the stage to accept it? I bawled like a baby. I'm told I made many of the people in the audience bawl too. Sorry if I ruined your mascara.

    As I began to have success in the Golden Heart and other contests and began to get requests for revisions and encouraging words from editors, as I signed with my dream agent who had such glowing things to say about my writing, I felt that my big dream of getting published just might be on the horizon. I felt I was so close that in January of 2005, I left my full-time job as a magazine editor to write full-time. Then the editor who had two of my manuscripts and gave me every indication a sale was just around the corner left the publishing house and those manuscripts came sailing back so fast that I was stunned. Yes, tears were shed, and I wondered if I'd done the most stupid thing I'd ever done in quitting my job.

    I could have quit and gone back to a full-time job, but I didn't. I've had this dream for so long, and I've put so much time, effort and trips to the post office into it that I'm not quitting. If I do, it will have all been for nothing. And I've never been a quitter (okay, I quit running track and playing basketball after two years, but let's be honest -- I sucked at both).

    I'm not saying that there aren't difficult days. When manuscripts that my agent and I really, really believe in get rejected, there are still tears and brief dips into the dumps. Dairy Queen makes a mint off me when those things happen. Chocolate Extreme Blizzards are the best comfort food. When people see me at conferences and ask, "So, when's your book coming out?" and I have to respond, "I haven't sold yet", to which they say, "I could have sworn you'd sold," -- yeah, that's a bit of a bummer.

    We're writers and thus a bit neurotic, so those little devils on my shoulder often whisper things like, "It's never going to happen. Quit wasting your time, and get a real job" or "Yeah, Golden Heart finals are great, but aren't you getting to the pathetic stage? Maybe you've plateaued, and this is as good as it's going to get." You know what I do after I inevitably listen to that little devil? I punch him in the face and get to work on a new story idea, the one that's going to wow the editors and start a bidding war and finally push me over this fence. The view's nice from up here, but seriously I think I'm getting calluses. :)

    If you're a fence sitter, try to enjoy the success you've had so far but keep pushing yourself to do more, do better. Believe that you WILL sell. Do not let defeatist thoughts take over your mind or darken your speech. Reaching the Land of the Published takes timing, hard work, belief in yourself and a positive attitude. I'm hoping we all are having a nice sunny picnic on the other side of the fence very soon.Source URL:
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Saturday, April 28, 2007

Pruning Back The Deadwood

    The weather in Dallas the past couple of weeks has been great. Highs in the mid-seventies and lows in the low fifties. So Rocky, the seventy-five pound wonder dog, and I have been puttering around in the garden. Okay, I putter. Rocky lays on the grass like an imperial sultan keeping an eye on his domain.

    Armed with the new set of pruning shears my husband bought me, I attacked my rose bushes. It was a daunting task as I'd let them go last fall and now had numerous branches nearly seven feet tall. Yes, things grow bigger in Texas. Working as my father taught me years ago, I clipped back the branches over my head first, then selectively cut those limbs that crossed over others, as they would prevent the best growth from coming through.

    Finally I stood back and studied my work. I wasn't happy. This was going to require more pruning to get the desired results. I continued cutting through the thorns and thicker stems until I'd cut the bushes back to within five or six inches of the soil.

    As I knelt and worked the dead leaves from around a root ball and turned the soil to mix in fresh peat moss and fertilizer, my husband wandered over to see what I'd wrought upon the thorny bushes. "You've killed them," he said, shaking his head.

    "No. This pruning is a sort of tough love for my plants," I explained as I spread the new mulch. "I've simply cut out the deadwood to allow new, fresher plant life to grow. It will give us a more abundant supply of flowers and healthier plants in the long run."

    Sometimes that is how a writer must view their work. The characters or the plot can get so cumbersome that it grows way past the manageable stage. At this time the writer must put aside their trepidation and pick up their pruning shears to try to tame the mass before it withers and dies from neglect. This task can appear daunting to the novice and cumbersome to the more experienced.

    Occasionally only a small pruning is needed to tame the work back under control. Chopping off the wild shoots to center the plot. Trimming back those secondary characters, no matter how much we love them or their quirkiness, whose cross purposes deflects from the story's core. And sometimes a simple trimming will not finish the job. Then the writer must gird her loins and do a full scale cut back in order to restore the story's central theme and produce a final book that thrills both the reader and the writer with its passion and beauty.

    So today Rocky and I were back out inspecting the roses. Dozens of new shoots with their red furled leaves covered all the plants. They'd come alive from the severe pruning and I anticipate yellow, peach, red and white blossoms to fill my house soon.

    I get the same thrill when the story I've trimmed back and reworked touches me deeper in my soul than the original mass of tangle limbs.

    Have you ever had to cut back a story or wished a writer had done the pruning to produce a better product?Source URL:
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    Our local RWA chapter meeting wasn't well attended today. Vacations, family commitments and probably Kentucky Derby Festival events (LOVE the hot air ballon race) all lured our members away.
    And it was a darn shame. We had as our guest NYT Bestselling author Liz Bevarly. She's a hometown girl whose generosity in sharing her experiences, her knowledge and her insight has made her one of my favorite authors.
    We've talked about it before here on the blog and countless other loops etc. the wonderful examples of authors who take of their time and their talent to share with the novice, the intermediate, the "dear God I'm allllmost there" writers. These authors are gifts to be treasured and we are lucky to have so many of them in RWA.
    And now I'm starting to feel some of that. I have beginning writers looking to ME, a GH finalist for advice and insight and bolstering of spirit, the skill needed to balance reality based expectations for dreams of publication. It's a big responsibility and will do my best to be there for any who need me.
    Enough blogging for this weekend. That next manuscript won't get written learning how to put my computer enhanced picture in this blog LOL.
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Have a great weekend!

Friday, April 27, 2007

The Art of....Hanging Art

Coffee Maker Love

Chandelier earrings

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Interview With Stacey Kayne

    Last year, Stacey Kayne was a double finalist in the Golden Heart (and thus became one of our esteemed "Packer Pals"). Well, that was just the beginning for our Pal Stacey, who then went on to sell not ONE, not TWO but FOUR books to Harlequin Historicals! WOW-DE-WOW WOW! "Mustang Wild" was a March 2007 release and "Bride of Shadow Canyon" is out this month (April 2007). Both are rip-roaring good Westerns, and your old Aunty is now a DEVOUT FAN! So here's a little "interview" Aunty and Stacey did not long ago, sit back and learn a little about our Packer Pal. Then RUN don't walk, to the nearest bookstore (or online bookseller) and snap up a copy of "Mustang..." or "Bride..." Aunty guarantees you won't be sorry!

    AC: Please tell us your "call" story:

    SK: It was July 24th of last year, two days before I had to leave for RWA National. I was particularly depressed on this Monday morning, as I had been for a while. National was a couple days away and I had told my hubby I wouldn’t go unless I‘d sold a book, but being a double GH finalist, I had registered anyway. This was my third year as a GH finalist, so some of the golden glow had worn off, but I still viewed every final as an opportunity I couldn’t waste—I had to go! Fighting the guilt and sense failure, I walked into my office with my morning cup of tea, as usual, plopped into my chair, as usual, hit my email and thought, “You are so pathetic. Coming in here every morning, checking your email as though some message is going to change your life.” And then I saw it. The subject title MUSTANG WILD, the sender a Harlequin editor I’d emailed some westerns to just a few weeks before. I clicked on it, and did a scatter read, “We’re interested in Mustang Wild…convenient to call…really like this discussion before you leave for Atlanta...” I bolted from my chair, ran into the living room, looked at my husband and shouted, “Holy shit!” Then I ran back to my computer, with my hubby chasing after me calling, “Holy shit, what?” I emailed that I was home (and awake), unplugged my dial-up and the phone rang—that fast. In the midst of THE CALL, my hubby sniffled behind me. Of course he WASN’T crying (wink, wink), but his sniffles meant so much to me. By the time I’d talked to my editor and my agent I was late for my son’s orthodontist appointment and had to dash out the door—reality waits for no one. I did go out to lunch with my hubby and two sons afterward, and then out to dinner—my favorite Mexican restaurant. My hubby & boys surprised me that afternoon with a cowgirl hat and roses. There was champagne at some point. The best part was being able to board the plane for Atlanta guilt free :)

    AC: What other books and/or writers have influenced you thus far?

    SK: I started reading romance novels six years ago when I realized I was trying to write a love story. When I say I started reading, it was more like cramming for a final exam--I read about 300 books in a span of two months, trying to figure out the layout of a story and how to unlock the rhythm between prose and dialogue. Having no preference of authors, I quickly became fans of Dorothy Garlock, Laveryl Spencer, Elizabeth Lowell, LL. Miller, and few sporadic authors. I wondered why I consistently liked their books the best. I wanted to figure out what captivated me about their writing, why they drew me in more than the others. For me, it was the rhythm of their writing, the way they integrated prose and dialogue, so that the story didn't have to slow down for either one, but had a smooth continuous flow. As an unpublished author, I felt I wasn't trying to sell a book, but the way *I* told a story. I like to think that early obsessive compulsive reading was influential in developing my own style.

    AC: How do you keep your characters and plots feeling "authentic" instead of like every other cliche of the Old West we've all seen/read?

    SK: Other than that early burst of reading in 2000, I don’t have a very broad reading base, so I haven’t a clue of what’s been overdone or categorized as cliché. When developing a story, I don’t look outward—I look inward. Because each character has their own unique past, characteristics and quirks, so do the events that surround them. And then I strive to make my characters as real and vivid on the page as they are in my mind.

    AC: You have two more Westerns due out from Harlequin Historicals but what's next for you after that? I know you said elsewhere that you were poised to try something different than Westerns. Is that still true?

    SK: Truth be told, I stopped writing western historicals three years ago when it became very apparent the rumors were true—unless you were a western romance icon, new western historical authors were NOT being picked up by the major publishers. I do believe there was a high interest in werewolf cowboys and erotic western lovin’, but that just ain’t me. If I was going to sell a western, it had to be MY kind of western. My agent said I could do one of two things, wait out the market or focus on something new—I did both. I hung up my literary spurs, but kept testing the waters with my finished works, and I focused on writing romantic suspense, a place where cowboy justice could still rein and an adventure was waiting to be written. I do intend to pursue the publication of my RS manuscripts as well. They’ve won numerous awards and PLAYING FOR KEEPS was also a Golden Heart finalist last year. I’m currently working on a new series involving a certain hunky hit man—once I turn in my fourth western, that proposal will be at the top of my FINISH list.

    AC: Any advice, words of wisdom or general comments you care to pass along to your AYU (As Yet Unpublished) buddies to help them down the long rocky road to publication?

    SK: When you think you’ve hit bottom and there’s no way in high heaven you will ever publish…KEEP WRITING. To quote my pal Marlene’s sig line: “If at first you don’t succeed…try to hide your astonishment.” *g* Persistence is everything. Study your market, polish your craft, start a new book and keep SUBMITTING.

    AC: Finally just for fun...Casting Call! Who do YOU want to cast as Jed and Rachell in the film version of "Bride of Shadow Canyon"? Or Tucker and Skylar in "Mustang Wild" the movie?

    SK: Oh wow—that’s hard. I don’t use movie stars as character models. The characters in my mind are completely unique. The only actor who has come close was Sam Elliot and the hero in BRIDE OF SHADOW CANYON, Jed Doulan. That was before my editor shaved off Jed’s mustache *pout*, and stripped ten years off his age. But the hot velvet voice, OH YEAH, that’s still the same. Perhaps the equally gifted Josh Turner could make his acting debut in BRIDE OF SHADOW CANYON. After a quick internet search, I have to say Lindsay Lohan is good match, physically & vocally, for Rachell.

    As for Tucker and Skylar in MUSTANG WILD…Skylar is already on the cover of the book *g* and I suppose you can’t go wrong with a Stetson man, Mathew McConaughey could pull off the wiry and playful Tucker Morgan.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Learning To Let Go

    One of the questions writers are faced with is: How do you know when a book is done? To me, a bigger question is: How do you know when to let a story go? Most writers I know have a book (or two) under the bed or in a drawer that will never again see the light of day -- let alone an agent or editor's desk. These are usually our first books, a way for us to begin to learn our craft as well as the business side of publishing. One of the things I've learned is that we should start a new story once one is completed, to keep moving forward, to always, always be working on something new. Sound advice indeed.

    And for me, easier said than done.

    I'm a rewriter. In the past five years I've written four complete stories, and while my first book is a lost cause, I still see promise in the other three. So much so that I've spent the remainder of those years reworking plots, characterizations and conflicts to make those stories the best they can be. Luckily this method has worked for me and each time I've rewritten, I've made the stories stronger. Which isn't to say I don't occasionally wonder if I've made a mistake. If all of the time and effort I've put into these stories hasn't been wasted.

    I don't think it has. While I haven't written a dozen books, I have learned my writing process, my strengths and weaknesses and discovered my voice. I've even managed a bit of success (three GH finals and the interest of an editor). So no, I don't have any regrets. But after handing in requested revisions on my current GH finaling book, I've realized I'm ready to move on. I'm now working on an idea for a Young Adult book that's been in my head for over a year and there's a certain Bad Boy hero who keeps whispering in my ear to hurry up and write his story.

    I'm letting go -- for now :-)

    Anyone else have an idea or characters they can't let go? Any other rewriters out there?
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The Return of Mom Jeans

A Good Old Clock

    At a dinner party a few weeks ago, I couldn't stop admiring the clock on the wall across from me. It was totally basic, but its simplicity complemented the room's artsy surroundings. (You can kind of see it in the top pic here.) The next day, I couldn't find any similar versions on the expensive design sites, so I ended up at Crate and Barrel, where, lo and behold, they had just what I was looking for! Nothing self-conscious or overly "designy"--just a nice, normal, good old clock. (Bonus: It's less than $20.)Source URL:
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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

I Always Wanted to Be a Tenenbaum.

Peacocks, now you can wear 'em.

Playing Nice

    A while back, I joined a group of fun women who are passionate about romance. They meet once a month to review and discuss romance novels. I love the discussions and I pick up recommendations for great books—too many for my limited reading time at the moment! But when it comes to giving my critical opinion about a romance, even in that relaxed forum, I hesitate.

    I feel a certain courtesy toward fellow authors, who put their blood, sweat and tears into writing the book of their heart. So I think twice about criticizing a novel in a public forum, though I might analyze what worked for me and what didn’t in the privacy of my own study.

    I wish others would extend the same courtesy. Before the internet, you could express an opinion and it need go no further than your own circle of friends. Now, ill-considered rants are broadcast to thousands in the blink of an eye.

    That’s not to say I want to stop people reviewing books or talking about them. But might I just send out a plea to aspiring and published authors to stop and think before you make a disparaging comment about someone else’s pride and joy? Are you being completely honest about your motives, or has the green-eyed monster been whispering in your ear? Have you even read the book in question? Will you like it if something similar happens to you?

    So...tell me something good. Tell me something a writer has done for you or you’ve done for another writer, to help a career or brighten a day.Source URL:
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Monday, April 23, 2007

Travel Fantasy #2: Giraffes

Making a List, Checking it Twice

    I’ve never been a list maker. I’m more of a “leave it out where you can see it” person. To the untrained eye, my desk appears to be an application in chaos theory, but I know why all those papers are where they are (and heaven help me if a stray current from an open window upsets my organization).
    However, since I’ve started writing, I’ve found I have lists everywhere. There’s a list of research questions that require answers. There’s a numerical accounting of pages written day-by-day and an editing progress list. I have a character inventory list of physical characteristics, quirks, and qualities – just in case I’m asked to do a series or maybe even a sequel to a book previously published. I’m told those things happen – but I suppose it helps if one has a book on the shelves . I have a list of writing goals which is important in that if I don’t meet my goals in a three-week timeframe, I have to cough up five dollars. If you realize how incredibly cheap I am, you’d understand that this is an important list indeed. Still, it’s not the most important list.
    That honor belongs to my dream list. About five years ago, I typed up a list of all the things I wanted to do in my life. Many are writing related – teach a workshop at the RWA conference, give an acceptance speech for the Golden Heart (or RITA). Many are not writing related – go on a cruise, spend the night in a bona fide castle, go up in a hot air balloon, fly first class. Anyway, I listed about twenty “dreams” on that first list. I figured one had to recognize one’s dreams to accomplish them. I keep the list posted by my computer.
    Every year I add a few new dreams to my list and I’m proud to say I’ve had occasion to scratch some off as having been accomplished. In this crazy industry where so many things are out of our control, a dream list is a necessity to remind one that even if the manuscript didn’t sell this year, dreams are still realized. Or if not the dream itself, progress toward the dream. Believe me when I created the list, I thought the possibility of ever scratching out a single line bordered on the impossible.
    So tell me – what would be on your dream list., both writing-related and non-writing. (Perhaps if I like yours, they’ll suddenly share an appearance on my list as well) :)Source URL:
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Saturday, April 21, 2007

So Good, So Good

Friday, April 20, 2007

Blue, Green, or Turquoise?

    My husband and I are writing partners (a whole nother series of blogs in itself) and we are currently revising our manuscript, taking into account comments from our agent. One of her concerns was that the heroine had inconsistent eye-color.
    "What is she talking about?" I asked. "Our heroine's eyes don't change color! I read a novel once where the heroine's eyes changed from brown to blue partway through and it really bothered me. We would never do something like that."
    He laughed and pointed to the e-mail from our agent. "She says that sometimes we describe the eyes as sea-green and sometimes as turquoise."
    I set my hands on my hips. "So? That's the same thing."

    Then it hit me. I grew up in New Mexico where turquoise jewelry is a mandatory part of every wardrobe. There, the most authentic and lovely pieces are not treated to maintain their color and so change as they are worn and exposed to air, to sun, to touch. They deepen in hue, they depart from a uniform sky-blue to a shifting palette of greens and blues. Like the sea. That is turquoise.

    Our agent's office is on 5th Avenue in New York. She doesn't carry the memory of sun-browned Navajo women sitting on the sidewalk beside their jewelry-strewn blankets, surrounded by silver and gemstones in every hue of the sea.

    As I ran a search-and-replace for the word "turquoise" I had to smile. It was another beautiful reminder that a story is a shared dream. Both the writer and reader bring their own history to the page. Their experiences can cast a hundred shades of meaning onto a single word, coloring it with all the hues of polished turquoise.Source URL:
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Bene's Back!

    Exciting news: The fourth issue of Bene Magazine just came out! I hope you enjoy our articles on the shakeup with Barolo wines, two grandmas taste-testing pasta, swimsuits in Capri (on a chartered yacht!), high-school friends in the season's freshest dresses, a designer's whimsical house, and the truth behind Italian mama's boys. Subscribe here....
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The Fabulous Fifi

No Boys Allowed?

Living etc. goes online etc.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Double Life

    Head's up: Yossi Milo Gallery is having an opening tonight of Kelli Connell's photography exhibition Double Life.

    At first glance, the photographs seem to examine the relationship of two female friends. But the same model actually portrays both characters, "changing her body language and clothing for the given role," says the gallery. "By using a single model to enact multiple roles, the artist explores the complexity of shifting identities within intimate relationships." Very interesting.

    I agree with this concept -- when you're so close with someone, whether it's a best friend or sister, you do shift around in your roles as you grow closer. There are so many ebbs and flows in a friendship, and they're all lovely and help bring you together as soulmates and kindred spirits. This photographic series makes me miss my best friend Brooke, who is inspiring and beautiful. We've gone through so many stages together, and I look forward to many more.Source URL:
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Wednesday, April 18, 2007


    posted by Aunty Cindy

    Our very own Bandita Trish is the RWA National PRO Liaison, and in her RWR column this month she touched on a subject that has been a personal sticking point for me. When can you call your writing a “career?" Trish makes a compelling argument that if you are writing and you are submitting your work then you have a “writing career.” If only I could get myself to buy into that concept.

    Unfortunately, I can’t.

    Call it a mental block, my faulty upbringing, or our overall society’s obsession with monetary compensation. Whatever the reason or excuse, I equate a career with income. While I’m now well into my fourth year of writing as my only “work,” so far I have not earned a penny and therefore do not see it as a valid “career.”

    I’m lucky enough to live close to our own Bandita Jo and we are face-to-face critique partners. We were having a discussion about our “writing careers” and the validation of publication a couple of weeks ago. We concluded that a big part of our problem with not seeing our writing careers as such stemmed from our previous careers. In those careers, there were definite milestones to be reached to achieve desired results.

    In my previous life, I knew that if I did A + B correctly and diligently, then I would achieve C. And I would be compensated accordingly. So far, this has not been my experience with writing. I’m not bragging, but simply stating fact when I say that for the past several years, I’ve busted my butt learning and doing A, B and even WXYZ, all to no avail. Still no C. Most of the time, it feels like for every step forward I struggle, I’m slapped back two or three. The milestones in my “writing career” seem frustratingly far away. Or, once I do achieve them, turn out to have no real significance in actually reaching my ultimate goal.

    Also in my previous life, I’m not ashamed to admit that I started on a very low rung of the government bureaucratic ladder and struggled along for a dozen years climbing through that crowd to rise to a management level that not a lot of people achieve. My point being that I’m not a stranger to goal setting and struggle, not to mention disappointment. Furthermore, when I was clinging on those lower career rungs, I learned a valuable lesson: Act As If. When I was a lowly clerk and wanted to be an analyst, I took my cues from the analysts around me and “acted as if” I were already an analyst. Eventually, I became an analyst and again, used my role models to “act as if” I were a manager. Once again, after the required work and struggle, I became one.

    Sorry to say, that so far “acting as if” I were already a published author hasn’t
    helped me achieve the desired result. In fact, the way to achieve my goal seems perpetually changing with no clear path. And frankly, without that validation of selling, having my book out there being read by somebody, I don’t feel like I have a “writing career” at all. Am I the only one suffering from this angst? Do I simply need a new and improved definition of “writing career?” I’d love to know about your “writing career,” and any and all advice you’d care to give me about mine. Source URL:
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Travel Fantasy: South Africa

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