Recap of ... Everything?

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Unfortunately, as mentioned previously, my previous Blog entries are gone for good. So I thought I should do a Recap on what came Before.

I started this Blog and Website last year (Summer 2020) as a place to showcase myself as a Writer, and as a Session Presenter at When Words Collide, Festival for Readers and Writers. Participants at my sessions have often asked me to send them my session notes, which I am/was willing to do, but in reality rarely did. Sorry guys. But here on the Website I can post them for anyone to see and download, and hopefully make use of. Or fun of. Whichever. Last year's sesison notes have been posted, as well as some accompanying reference material. Also a session I did a couple of years ago. And a short story written a few years back.

My Bio would describe me as someone just about out of middle age, who has been writing since I was a teenager. I attended the Clarion Workshop when it was still hosted in Michigan (1984), and I was technically still a teenager. I barely got in, but it was an amazing experience. For the next five or six years I tried to concentrate on writing Short Stories, as suggested by the Clarion experience, even though I prefered novels to read and write. But I diligently sent them out to various publications for consideration. And while I sold none of them, I did get a few "favourable/positive" rejection letters. ie: personal comments, criticisms, etc were included. Which doesn't happen too often, and served as a bit of hope for me to keep on trying.

Once my Hubby and I started our family (the two legged variety, not the four legged and furry ones who came first), my writing output slowed down somewhat. I was still writing, just not as much. Short stories weren't actually something I was particularly fond of, so I spent more time working on longer works. Novels and whatnot. But I stopped sending submissions out, mainly because nothing was ever finished during that time. LOTS and LOTS of ideas, and stories started, and notes taken. But nothing actually finished. Chasing after toddlers, etc, seemed to take up the majority of my time.

But toddlers get older, and go to school, and although now we were contending with Dance Classes and Girl Guides, I had a wee bit more time to put into my writing. And my output increased. But was still sporadic, and all over the map, so to speak, in regards to what I would work on from one day to the next. But I kept developing more story ideas, plots and characters. And filled many, many file folders with all these early efforts. Some of my stories became tales I told my kids, mostly to fill the time to and from dance classes. And as they got older, they would pester me into actually finishing writing them. But I never did. Not then, at least.

At some point I got my first computer. And then my second. And then the first of many laptops. And all the subsequent notes and folders became digital. One story in particular - one of my very first ones to be exact - existed for a time as both typed and digital. Once I had decided that I rather liked using a computer, I took that story - entitled "Best Laid Plots" (yes, I'm serious) and continued on with it on the computer. Picking up where the hand typed part ended, I just kept writing it into the computer.

More years passed. More stories started, some that had some legs under them, and had the potential to actually being completed some day. I would revisit these stories whenever the mood struck me, and I'd add some more pages, and then move on to another one. And then one day while I was working on good ol' Best Laid Plots - I realized something almost life changing for me. A story, that I had originally conceived when I was 18 years old, that was a particular favourite with my kids as I drove them to and from dance classes, was not in fact a very long book. It was really two books. And the first one was finished! I was pretty gobsmacked when I realized this! Yes - there was still more adventure to be had with these characters and with that story, but it was at a logical point to say The End (for Now). At just over 70,000 words.

So it became Best Laid Plots, Book the First. And I paid one of my kids to transcribe the first part into the computer. Then, after circulating it among my immediate family for feedback, began the process of editing it.

Which is a process that is taking way longer than I had ever suspected it would. Although, with my track record of procrastination and allowing other life events to take up my time, it really shouldn't have been a surprise. It's now been about two years since I began the editing process, and I'm about half-way through. A lot has been re-writing, and adding more material. My children - while they loved it - pointed out that something I started writing almost 40 years ago needed a bit of, shall we say, updating? It was woefully lacking in diversity, and the main character gave off a bit of a creeper vibe at times (actually, that's intentional), and certain aspects needed clarification. So, I've been adding and expanding the story with new material. Fixing grammar mistakes. That kind of thing. Will it be ready for publication soon? Not bloody likely. At this point, I'm hoping it'll be published in time for next year's When Words Collide. And as that one will once again return to an in person format (fingers crossed!), I'll be able to stake out a table during the Saturday night autograph/book buying frenzy. And stare longlingly at all the passerbys, hoping that they'll stop to chat!

Hope to see you there :)

And that's quite enough for now! More next week :) Because a Writer's Journey never ends, and it's pretty hard to shut me up!!!

Later, Lovely Meeples!