Most kids groan when bedtime is announced. Sure, I wasn’t happy to give up the ‘kid fun’ of the day when I was young, but I had another form of entertainment awaiting me once I hit the pillow and the lights went out. I picked up my story from the night before.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve made up stories in my head. Of course I was always the star, and everything ended happily. As an adult, I would ride the train to work, and make up stories about other passengers, many of whom I saw every day. That woman was married to this man, who was cheating with that woman, whose mother was sitting next to her, planning how to murder her husband who sat next to me because he was going to divorce her and marry that floozie over there in the corner with the tight dress. Hunh!
I wrote a lot of these stories, and many appeared in magazines, newsletters, newspapers. But always in the back of my mind was the idea that one day I would write ‘The Book.’
Last summer a brought a sample of my writing to my small town local newspaper. I dropped it off, asked if there was any free-lance work available. I spoke with the Senior Editor, who said he would read it, and get back to me. The next day he offered me a job as the Restaurant Reviewer (didn’t include free meals, though—limited budget, don’t you know.)
I had an appointment two days hence to pick up my first assignment. One half hour before the appointment he called and said his boss wanted to interview more people and he would get back to me. Good thing I didn’t wait by the phone since I’m still expecting his call.
That was the motivation I needed to actually sit down and do it. Write ‘The Book.’ Over the summer I worked on my manuscript, finished it, started another one. Finished that and found out how little I knew about writing. Wrote book number three, and re-wrote it, entered it in contests, re-wrote some more. Joined a critique group. They tore it apart. Re-wrote some more and more and more. Rejections. More rejections. Re-wrote again. Hated my characters, hated the story, threw it against the wall several times. Buried it in the bottom of my drawer. Dragged it back out again.
Then after my (lost count) re-write I submitted it to Soul Mate Publishing, and it was accepted. I scared my two dogs and kitten when I shouted as I read the e-mail. I danced around the room, fist-pumped, and sent e-mails to my sisters and husband and texted my daughter and son.
I took a deep breath, and went back to work. The book I was working on at the time wouldn’t get itself written.