To write or not to write

Before writing ‘The Queen and Knights of Nor’ I had never finished a story. Growing up I had all sorts of writing ideas. I started writing a lot of them in composition notebooks, which my sisters would find years later, read, then mock me mercilessly. I wrote some (not horrible) poetry in high school and college and some down right terrible, angst-y music in high school, (I eventually realized that it was better to stick to piano, harp and vocal pieces written by people who actually knew what they were doing).

As you may have guessed, I have always partially lived in a fantasy world. This came to a halt when I started having kids and my few moments of silence each day were spent chugging coffee and sneaking chocolate in the pantry. Until the magical day when my oldest asked me to tell her a story. I was about to get a book, but she wanted a new story. My fantasy worlds were dusty and my story telling abilities rusty, but as I told more (while including her adorable mispronunciation of words tony=pony and Graken=dragon) my fantasy world came rushing back to me.

So after getting the kiddos to bed each night I would write down parts of what I told, and after about five years of stop and go writing, I finished my story. FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER! but I wasn’t done yet.

Pretty much the only thing I learned in college that was helpful in writing (B.S. in Health, Community Health Education) was that I became an avid editor of all of my papers related to diabetes, heart disease, obesity, sexuality, epidemiology, workplace wellness, and smoking cessation,to name a few. So I took this one useful skill and began to edit ‘The Queen and Knights of Nor’. I edited my manuscript seven times. then I mailed it to a publisher, and got rejected. So I edited again and set it to agents. Rejection, rejection, rejection, etc. Eventually I found someone who loved it, and published it.

So here I am, a wife, mother, musician, B.S. holder, who is now a writer, and I’m never looking back. In the course of the seven years from beginning to publishing, I completed two more rough drafts. Because it is socially unacceptable for a grown woman to run around in dress-up clothes playing imaginary games about magical worlds, but that is a blog for another time. Okay, sometimes I might look back because some days it is scary to put myself and my work out there and in doing so ask, “What do you think of me? Do you like me?” “Do you think that I am completely crazy, sentimental or hopelessly romantic?”and then remember it’s my work and not all of me that people sometimes reject. But that is also a post for another time.

So here I am with all my flaws, my arrogance, insecurity, manic writing frenzies, and long writing dry spells. I am putting myself “out there” for anyone who cares, which I expect is about forty people (I have a very large family) plus or minus two depending on whether or not I tell my sisters, because they may still mock me. But that’s ok, because they came to my book signing and bought books, even though they had already read several drafts (I have a really amazing family).  Thank you for reading.


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