hardwood floors allen . bandar bola . shower cabin . ผลบอลสด Having decided in high school to major in history in college and then write historical novels, I promptly got recruited into R.O.T.C. instead, and from there into the Army as a military intelligence officer. Many years, a divorce,  side trips into teaching, calligraphy, Pony Club, riding instruction, and marketing later (and jobs at five financially strapped companies in a row), I finally accepted two things about life: that writing thing of mine is just not going away, and a day job is probably just about as secure. So now I write full-time, in between keeping up 20 acres, 3 horses, 4 cats, and a dog in Washington State. But what happened to the historical novels, you ask? Read on . . .

Notes from a writing life...

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I'm one of those people who was born resonating to words instead of things like, say, dance or visual art. While I designed this page and I do draw a little (and play guitar and piano by ear--sort of), I don't consider myself any great shakes as an artist. No, when I see a gorgeous sunset, instead of dashing off to find canvas and paints, I want to go write it down. I've always been like that, from the time before I knew how to read and was writing stories in my head.

So how come it's taken so long to get serious about publishing what I write? Umm... well, I like to write. I never felt a stunning urge to get into print because for many years I was having so much fun writing. And then, of course, there's the rejection factor.

Rejections suck.

Having dipped a toe in a few times in the mid '80s, little did I know that those very kind rejection letters were--unusual--to say the least. Senior editors just don't usually take time to write two-page letters telling you that three readers had recommended your book for the list but she had to turn it down because of a, b, and c that she found wrong with it. And I, being oh so stupid back in those days, slunk off into the night instead of instantly revising the thing and shooting it back by return post. Not having yet grown the requisite rhino hide every writer needs to succeed, I allowed the rejections to suck. Dwelt on their suckiness. Told myself I was no-talent reject. Went back to writing because it was more fun than sending it out. The upside was that I ended up with many finished novels in the drawer, learned to write, and acquired some life experiences like divorce, cancer, poverty, death, corporate craziness, and the joys of running a horse ranch by myself, all things that have added depth to my writing. But oh, yes, rejections still sucked.

I did hit the jackpot with some non-fiction sales to major markets in the early '90s. That was worth a scream of joy or two. Then life took a U-turn that left me too busy and too exhausted to do much more than write every evening to get my mind off it. At that point, more rejection was the last thing I needed. Then along came 1997 and I acquired a computer capable of hitting the Internet. Talk about revelation. In short order I joined some writers' workshops, discovered that most of the members had never, ever gotten a personal note from an editor, let alone nearly gotten a book into print twice (sans agent), and that a rather large percentage of them wrote at what might kindly be described as a first-grade level. Newly fortified with confidence (some might say arrogance) that at least I could string words together in a pleasing fashion, I started sending stuff out again.

And got rejected again. More times, because I sent more stuff out. Now, I could either blame this on the fact that the computer age has made it much, much easier to slap words onto paper and make mountains of slush in publishing offices, thereby reducing the ability of editors to recognize brilliance, or I could take some of the (sometimes) really hurtful advice I got from fellow writers and take another look at my babies. I went back and polished and honed and revised and whacked pet paragraphs and worked hard at growing rhino hide. And sent out some more stuff. And lo and behold, somebody actually bought a story. Oh, happy day! I was not total snail spit; I was a published fantasy writer. Woohoo!

Did that mean that my work instantly became acceptable to every other editor on the planet? Oh, how I wish. But it was a beginning, and because that first market was well-respected, it gave me something to cling to through more rounds of rejection. And guess what? More stories sold, because all the while, I worked on honing the old junk in the drawer, and accepted every writing challenge I could get to produce new work. You have to keep moving ahead in order to truly "be a writer." I plan on moving ahead until that unhappy day when the stories stop showing up for lunch with my muse, may it never come. And I will continue to keep writing--and sending stuff out, however much it hurts. Because even though with every sale it gets a little easier to attract an editor's attention, rejections still suck.

You can either make your writing career about the rejections--or about the successes. Sometimes you've gotta kiss a lot of frogs to get the prince.

Oh. About those historical novels. I did major in history (summa cum laude, no less). But history is just so much more interesting from certain, eh, perspectives. I  decided that rather than risk accidentally changing the entire space-time continuum by putting words in the mouths of real people, however dead, I'd apply all those college credits to making up my own worlds. Little did I know how much harder that really is! And so much fun. I hope you enjoy reading them when they finally hit the bookshelves as much as I did writing them.


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