Well, South Dakota was beautiful. We saw the house my MIL grew up in. No one has lived there for 40 years, so it was sadly in disrepair. I think it was a good experience for my children to see where their grandma grew up.
I can't believe how much I missed my computer though. I missed IM-ing my friends at night. I missed being able to sit at my computer and write on the novel.
Which brings me to the true nature of this blog. It is about the path of a writer. Because each writer has a different path, we can learn from each experience.
My experience is as follows...
In ninth grade I wrote a story called CIRCUS SUMMER. I still have it, loopy girly pencil writing in a blue spiral notebook. I poured my soul into that story, screeds of pages about a girl, a horse, a boy, a clown. LOL
Then I put it away. Volleyball, work, school...they took my attention away from writing.
Then, just two and a half years ago, I stumbled across the most remarkable thing. Fan Fiction. I had never heard of such a thing before. I Googled one of my favorite old TV shows, The Big Valley, starring Barbara Stanwyck, and found a whole on line community of fans writing stories with The Big Valley characters.
I decided to give it a whirl myself and wrote a story. It was as if a part of my brain which had been shut off, shut down or shut up had exploded forth. I found myself dreaming about stories, characters, plot lines.
In this community, I found a woman who had been writing for years. Multi-published in periodicals, she took me under her wing. I remember the first real critique she gave me. I was gobsmacked! But I was encouraged too. I wanted to learn, I craved learning!
Four months after I posted my first story on the writing board, I began a story that I felt had some real potential. It was greeted with great acclaim in the Big Valley community, and my mentor suggested I take the basic story line and mainstream it into a novel. I worked for a few months on it, changing the characters, the setting, the time frame, but keeping the basic love story intact.
With all the hubris in the world, I found a Christian Writer's Market Guide and sent my proposal/query and sample chapters off to agents. To my great surprise, an agent offered representation.
I've since written two more novels, been to a writer's conference and received a request for a full ms from a publisher. Every step takes me closer to my goal of publication.
I'm currently working on the first novel of what I hope will become a series of contemporary Christian romances.