Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Day 2: Set Your Compass


“Anyone can become a writer. The trick is staying a writer.” -Harlan Ellison

For anyone who's been reading on here long enough, it's no secret: prior to All That Glitters, I had never finished a piece of writing.  I'd started plenty, always with high hopes, but at a certain point they always petered out on me.  Sometimes it happened sooner, sometimes later, but that was the way of things.

So what made this time different?

I've been thinking about that question.  And I've only been able to come up with one answer: this time, I got serious.

Writing has always been my hobby.  Ever since I was a kid, I was "the writer".  Everybody saw me that way, from my teachers, to my parents, to my classmates.  Everybody, it seems, except me.  I wasn't a writer; I wrote.  It was different.  Eventually, I would have to grow up and get a job like everyone else. 

I went through the motions and got through high school, always writing, always trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life.  I hated college.  I still haven't finished.  I always had the sense that I was meant to do something else, that I wasn't going to get where I wanted by going to school.  I attended half-heartedly, taking extended breaks and skipping class in favor of- you guessed it- writing.  Still, it never occurred to me to consider writing as a career.

Then I found out I was pregnant.

As anyone who has experienced this knows, news like that changes you forever.  It's a massive paradigm shift.  My husband and I had intended to have children, but not quite so soon.  We were convinced we weren't ready- not financially, not emotionally, not at all.  Looking back, this is kind of funny.  I mean, really, who is ever ready to have kids?

I had to reevaluate what I was doing.  All of a sudden, the time for puttering was over.  I had nine months to get my shit together.  I had to grow up.  I had to pick a direction.  

Finally, I took a serious look at writing.  I wanted to work from home.  I didn't want to go back to school- not that I was going to have much time for it, anyway.  Writing would accommodate both those things, with the added benefit of being something I loved to do.  

I started my novel a little over a year ago now.  My son was three months old.  I wrote the majority of the first draft while he nursed in my lap.  That's the thing about me.  When I don't have a goal in mind, I'm as shiftless as the wind.  But give me a direction, and I'm a bulldog.

Archimedes described it best: "Give me a place to stand, and I will move the world."

Miss A Day Or Two?
Day 1: Lessons From The Cave

Excerpt from All That Glitters: 

Ava found herself corralled deeper and deeper into the alley.  Her eyes darted back and forth.  “Not interested.”

The man grinned.  “Hear that, Jerome?  She’s not interested.”

The second man laughed. “I’m sure we can change her mind.”

Behind the group, Ava noticed another man watching them.  A glimmer of hope flickered in the back of her mind.  When he realized she’d seen him, however, he ducked his head and melted back into the bar.

Ava’s heart sank.  She forced down the panic building in her chest and fisted her hands.  This wasn’t the first time she’d been outnumbered in a fight.  If they expected her to go down easily, they were in for a surprise.

She backed into something solid.  And warm. Before she could react, Ethan tucked her behind him.  His voice was so low it was nearly a growl.

        “Fuck off, Bobby.”


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