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. 🙂
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”
You can buy this collection at most online bookstores.