In the Eye of a Dragon

Many, many years ago a young girl fell in love with books. She loved them so much she risked getting in trouble in school to read when she should have been doing her schoolwork. She kept a flashlight under the bed, so she could read when she was supposed to be asleep. She walked while she was reading. Yes, she fell off some curbs.

Books, in her opinion, were totally worth all the trouble they caused. Escaping into a story was worth any trouble. At times, her reading outpaced the books she had access to. So she tried to write one. No surprise that what she wrote sucked the big one.

She got older. But she didn’t get over reading. And deep inside, she didn’t get over her longing to become a teller of tales, a storyteller, a writer. So she tried again…

Yeah, it was me. (wry grin)

I can remember the book that gave me the courage to try. It was called Becoming a Writer by Dorothea Brande. I still have that book on my shelf. If you long to be a writer, but think you can’t, get this book. 🙂

I can remember the first smidgeon of encouragement I got for something I wrote. I’d sent a scene from a play to this theater for this special assessment program and this director wrote back that “one can appreciate the playwright’s word choices.”

He called me a playwright. He liked what I wrote.

My first sale was a children’s story. My second a non-fiction piece.

A long period of struggles, a lot of crap writing and then a novel. The Spy Who Kissed Me (back then it was called Pig in a Park) was published the first time in 1998. Digital only long before it was cool.

Sixteen years ago.

For me, May is more than showers and flowers. On the first of May, I officially released my 19th project, with #20 queued up for the end of this month, all of which add up to a staggering (to me) 1,425,281 published words. I’ve won some awards for my work. You can look here if you want. Don’t feel like you have to. Mostly they served as encouragement to keep going. To keep writing.

And on the 19th of May I will publish my 400th blog post. That’s a small number for some people, but for me, estimating 400 words per pos (which is low), that’s another 160K, enough to fill one of my BABs (big a** books).

I know people who have written more words in 16 years. I know people who have written less. The numbers really only matter to me. They give me a way to see that yes, I have been moving forward. I needed to see this. There have been days (months, years) when it felt like the world was turning without me.

As I was releasing Take a Chance on Me – A Romance Collection, I realized the title was the theme for the collection, but it was also a sort of metaphor (is that the right word? and yeah, I should know..) or maybe its a symbol for my career. I didn’t realize it at first, but it was about the agents (I’ve had two), editors (many), reviewers and readers who have taken a chance on me. Taken a chance that I’d tell a story they’d enjoy reading.

I’m a reader, too. I was a reader first, so I know about that. I know that not everyone who picked up one of my books loved it. But I’m so thankful for everyone who took a chance on me. And yes, I LOVE the readers who love my books. How could I not?

I feel like celebrating, so I’m having a little party here on my blog the 19th. It might spread to my FaceBook fan page. I hope you’ll join me. I’m going to give out some prizes. Some of my books and some AnaBanana goodies. It’s my way of saying thank you. 🙂

And while I’m celebrating making it to May, I hope you’ll check out the Brenda Novak Online Auction. Curing diabetes is a great cause and I’m also proud to be a part of that.

Do you ever pause to take stock? Are you surprised to realize you’re moving? Have your own fun milestone to share? You know by now that all comments are entered into my monthly drawing for an AnaBanana gift basket ($25 value). The winner is announced in the first blog post of the new month. 🙂

AnaBanana logo

Perilously yours,
Pauline

And here’s a custom tweet I hope you’ll share about the auction:

“Space boots & movies & novels, oh my! See the SFR Brigade bounty in the Brenda Novak Auction for Diabetes Research!  http://bit.ly/1jgNHZl”

Take a Chance on Me Cover art
Is it time…4 stories, 4 chances…on love…

You can buy this collection at most online bookstores.

Thanks for Taking a Chance on Me 🙂
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10 thoughts on “Thanks for Taking a Chance on Me :-)

  • May 5, 2014 at 5:13 pm
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    The other day I realised that memories from my teen years, that still loom large, happened more than FORTY years ago! Gives a gal a little perspective!

    Congrats on your million+ words! 😀
    Widdershins recently posted…May the 4th Be With YouMy Profile

    • May 5, 2014 at 7:02 pm
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      Believe me, I know THAT feeling. Holy cow. Had my 40th high school reunion last summer. It does indeed give you perspective. Thanks so much! 🙂

    • May 5, 2014 at 7:01 pm
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      Thanks, LE! So nice of you to stop by. It was kind of a weird assessment. I was surprised, a little impressed, followed by: Oh my gosh, I’m so old! LOLOL

  • May 5, 2014 at 9:31 am
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    I, too, love Dorothea Brande’s Becoming a Writer and is one I have kept. I hope your May month of celebration is just the beginning of a lot more. As the others have indicated in their comments, reading another writer’s story always inspires, and it gives your readers a glimpse of you. Really enjoyed this post.
    Karen
    KM Huber recently posted…On Either Side of the WindowpaneMy Profile

    • May 5, 2014 at 9:39 am
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      So fun to meet another fan of the book. 🙂 I ran into someone on Twitter who loved it, too. I found it in the library, with another book. Back then, they were the only two writing books in our library! I opened the other book and the first paragraph was SO dismissive of writer aspirations and women in particular, I slammed it shut and almost stopped right there. But I opened Brande’s book and it poured oil on my troubled waters and gave me hope. Thanks so much for stopping by! 🙂

  • May 5, 2014 at 8:21 am
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    My milestone is, after 4 months of physical therapy for a frozen shoulder, I can now reach behind and tuck a shirt into my jeans! Okay, maybe not as big a deal as 19 books, but pretty exciting to me, when I remember where I started!

    I liked your story Pauline! Congratulations on #19 and #20!

    • May 5, 2014 at 9:35 am
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      I got a frozen shoulder one time and YES! Celebrate movement! I still don’t know why it happened. I think it got scared unstuck because my doctor said “surgery.” LOL Thank you for the congrats! 🙂 When I started doing the math, I was, like. Wow. If I didn’t suck at math, I’d do one those, if you strung all my words together in a line, you’d go from here to here. LOL I guess the fun things about words, when they are strung together, they hopefully take us somewhere fun. 🙂 I hope the shoulder continues to improve!

  • May 5, 2014 at 7:49 am
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    It was wonderful hearing your story of how you became a writer and how much you loved reading as a child and onward. That’s where it always begins. I guess a milestone I’m going for now is 20 published book but I think I’ll take it to 30. I’m at 18 now and I have several submissions sort of held up at a pub for sometime. So when I get those back to self publish or those that the publisher publishes – I should hit 20 fast and be well on my way to closing in on 30. So reaching 30 published books will be a milestone that will mean a lot to me. I guess I’ll have an I reached 30 party then.

    • May 5, 2014 at 9:33 am
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      You will SO make that 30 books released, Cornelia! I’ll come celebrate at your party!

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