|Photo by: Ed Coyle Photography on Flickr|
I remember writing stories as early as around 2nd Grade. My favorite TV show at the time was Disney's Rescue Rangers. I was fascinated by the main characters: two chipmunks and two mice, especially the female mouse, Gadget. I even named a hamster after her. *grin*
My stories weren't sophisticated by any means. Although, looking back, I have found that some of my obsessions were clear even at that early age. (I have a hard time writing a novel-length story without a female side character being pregnant. Go figure that one out.) I was also already obsessed with right and wrong, even though my introduction to the mystery genre wouldn't happen until I was ten.
Enter: Nancy Drew and her cohorts, the Hardy Boys.
Sidenote: I still have a crush on Ned Nickerson and Frank Hardy. Though, admittedly, I think I've got it worse for Tony Stark these days... Don't tell TMOTH. ;)
After reading almost every book in the multiple series I could get my hands on, I decided to try my hand at writing again--mostly because it was pretty much the only thing I would read and the publisher wasn't putting them out fast enough.
Long story short: started writing fan fiction, which eventually evolved into writing my own stories with new characters (although there were a lot of similarities to Nancy, Frank and Joe, as well as people in my own life.) Finished writing a novel, thought it was terrific. Sent it out to a couple of publishers (including some of the bigger ones.)
I ran across the notebook with some of that original draft in it a few years ago.
I am so glad I got rejected! Talk about embarrassing.
I was so blessed as a writer to start going to a Sister's in Crime chapter near my hometown in my late teens. And, though it was extremely painful, I attended the critique group that met separately almost religiously (until I met TMOTH, that is.) The ladies in the group were tough, yet kind, and really helped me see where I could mature as a writer. I still remember being so angry, mostly with myself, the first time I got an honest critique. It was very painful, but words I needed to hear.
That first group pointed out my flaws, and encouraged me to keep working. Slowly but surely, I improved.
But, then I moved away and got married.
For about a two-year period around the time I was dating, then after I married TMOTH, I did little to no writing, despite the fact I held a journalism degree. Slowly, I started writing again. I wrote one novel which I'm not sure will ever see the light of day to get the blood flowing again. Started a few more, then I caught an idea that wouldn't let go. Off I went, writing.
And having a baby or two.
And getting critiqued.
And editing some more.
And adding new scenes.
And now, that story is Homebody. Which I'm hoping to start getting into agents' hands this summer or early fall.
There's something to be said for those early attempts--and my first critique group. I wouldn't be half the writer I am today without early encouragement and constructive criticism. I've given out some tough critiques to people before, so I know it's not easy to give out hard words that need to be heard, but am I forever grateful to the five women who took time to help mold me into the writer I am today. So, thank you: Anne, Lori, Laurie, Janet and Nancy. I don't know where you are today as I lost touch after I got married, but I hope you have all gotten closer to your publishing dreams.
|Photo by: Laurentzziu on Flickr|
Before I go, let me remind you to check out everyone's posts this month:
- 5/1: Keith Wallis, wordsculptures
- 5/4: Chris Vonada, I'm Just Thinkin'
- 5/5: Jan Christiansen, Refreshed By the Word
- 5/6: Scott Fields, Dead Man Writing
- 5/7: Cindee Snider Re, Breathe Deeply
- 5/8: Traci Bonney, Tracings
- 5/10: Janna Dyck, Writing for Life
- 5/13: Chris Henderson, TheWriteChris
- 5/14: Nona King, Word Obsession
- 5/16: Liberty Speidel, Word Wanderings
- 5/18: Victor Travison, Lightwalker's View
- 5/19: Tracy Krauss, Expression Express
- 5/20: Carol Peterson, From Carol's Quill
- 5/21: Edward Lewis, Sowing the Seeds
- 5/23: Debra Ann Elliott, Writing with Debra
- 5/24: Lynn Mosher, Heading Home
- 5/25: Chris Perdue: The Bible Stop
- 5/26: Sarah Grace Write-Minded
- 5/30: Sheila Hollinghead, A Spring of Living Water
Until next time,