Saturday, March 7, 2015

A Look Back, A Look Ahead...

Nearly a year ago the wonderful Gilda Evans was kind enough to publish a post I wrote called A Dream Deferred, which speaks to my lifelong writing dream, how I was--well—a few decades tardy in pursuing it seriously, and what the main factors have been behind the progress I’ve made in the last year or so. It also touches upon that oh so elusive life-work balance sought by so many of us, and—like for so many of us—if that balance includes maintaining a full-time job and pursuing the dream –for me, writing—in your precious scant spare time—AND trying to be there for your family (and friends, and all areas of your life), it can be all the more daunting.

But no one said realizing your dream would be easy, and I rather think it SHOULDN’T.  Little that is worthwhile and enduring, ever is. And if you think about it, isn’t the chance—even a long shot chance—to articulate and pursue our dreams, our passions, an utterly beautiful thing?

I say, yes.

And I have to say this: the progress I have made in my writing in the last year has been encouraging, and I am very excited about things to come. But the most beautiful part of the journey by far (aside from, as my post for Gilda refers to, sharing it with my children, my little girl in particular), has been the people I have met and gotten to know along the way. Amazing people who are talented writers and better human beings. I consider this nothing short of a blessing.

I am grateful to everyone whom I’ve met in the last year or so, as well as those friends and family who have also supported me and my aspirations along the way. I very much hope this is only the beginning, but for what it’s worth, an update:

The David Rose Series: The incipient book in this YA/Fantasy series will be published this year by Booktrope, and I am very excited and grateful. My editor Ally is the best in the world, and I am deep into revisions based on her sage feedback. March is a very busy time with work and travel and, of course, writing—but I hope within about a month to be done with the rewrites. With a series you really need to be thinking ahead and prepping to dive into the next, at least outlining where you want to go--because nothing worse than capturing readers' interest through a first book(which I hope to do), then letting the sequels languish, until they lose interest. I have penned a fun opening scene for the next book, and can't wait to work on it. It's a balance--you don't want to get ahead of yourself, but books in a series--while they should be strong enough to stand on their own--ideally convey a plausible synergy and connection--between and among characters, storylines, and the books themselves.

Stories & Guest Posts: David Rose has been the driving force of my aspirations but I love to write, period, and always have many things in the pipeline. And one of the biggest epiphanies as I started to get serious a year or so ago—obvious though it should have been—was the need to build something of an author platform, a little name/brand recognition—get  a little buzz going about me and my writing if I could. Part of this has meant publishing some stories and guest posts—a win-win since writing is writing and we must always hone our craft, plus it confers a little exposure and opportunity to build said platform and connect with the literary community. I have been fortunate to publish some pieces, and am working on more as we speak (a short story I am rather fond was recently picked up, and I’ll link it when it’s published—hopefully soon!). Finally, I am thrilled to be part of fantasy writing project with three stellar scribes (and wonderful friends). The stories/project will hopefully be published by summer, and I can’t wait to share, including the intriguing challenge/opportunity/process involved in such collaboration.

Literary Novel: I have a draft of a literary novel called Musclewood, which I have queried a bit and garnered some interest. It needs some work, but I am very excited about it. A very different voice & style from YA. 

Serial: I released a few early chapters of Ten Acts of Penance, which may be found on my blog, and intend to circle back, as it’s a story and protagonist I am pretty fond of. I intend to consolidate it at the end and seek to publish it as a whole. 

Interviews: I have had the good fortune of interviewing some amazing writers(here’s a sample), and am thrilled to announce I have lined up several more in the queue—I promise they are talented folks and will have some compelling stories and insights!

Thanks again to everyone for your support. As you’ll discern from some of my posts, I am all about community: we are better by virtue of supporting and challenging one another, and sharing our unique and valuable insights and ideas. Please feel free to weigh in on anything I’ve said here, and most assuredly weigh in about YOUR journey—be it literary, vocational, LIFE. We are in this together, after all.

Happy weekend to all, and may you find inspiration and support as you soar onwards toward your dreams…

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