I started my first novel in the fifth grade puple ink on lined notebook paper about the Twellingtons. There were 11 of them, including two sets of twins. The story was told from the viewpoint of the 11 year old twins, Abby and Amy. Eventually, maybe by summer, I gave them a brother Bruce and made them triplets. Who know why except I had a crush on a boy named Bruce. I wrote many many pages of that story mostly about ice skating. Abby was a speed skater and Amy did figure eights. Of course they hit thin ice, one almost dies, but that may have been as far as I got because I don’t remember much else.
The novel wasn’t a fluke. I have spent a life time writing. I have written with many different attitudes–I suck, I’m terrific, who do I think I am, slow and steady wins the race, I need to be committed, I can do this, Just Do it, Keep it imple stupid, give up, don’t give, quit, stick it out–and turned out lots of lousy and sometimes evocative stuff, but never anything that anyone would look up at me and say, “Wow-w-wow!” So I kept working: six screenplays, two complete novels, 40 short stories in various stages of completeness and many many more unfinished pieces.
The reason I bring this up is that yesterday I celebrated my success twice. First at Vroman’s reading a flash fiction piece and second at a party given by two dear friends.
The Vromans reading was a result of taking Kerry Madden’s class. I don’t need to explain much about that having dealt with in on more than one occasion in this space, but the party that followed for me at a friend’s house to celebrate the publication of “Leaving Slackerland” in Landmarked for Murder was amazing. It was a simple Wine-and-Cheese and just a few friends, but it was so much fun because everyone was so happy for me. I’ve been writing for soooo long and they’ve all gone through the computer crises, the identity crises, the rejection crises, well, just about all those crises for almost twenty years and a few who knew me way way back, before that. So I want to thank Betsy and Gale for creating a time and place to celebrate and for supporting me all these years and to all my friends who are terrific people because, well, I picked them!
So although this is a milestone in my journey that started when I was 11, it hopefully won’t be the last. I’m working hard to get What Came Before (do I dare keep my title now that the famous Elizabeth George has abscounded with it?) finished before Landmarked goes out of print.