That title sounds so simple, doesn’t it? Well, I’m here to tell you it isn’t when you get right down to it. But after years of yearnings, I have finally stitched together the quilt pieces of the novel I’ve wanted to write – a whole series, in fact – and have written the last of 85,600 + words. A huge achievement for me. Yea, me. And as far as the sample chapter I posted here as a media upload, it’s changed, of course. I’ve been at this for awhile. A long while. Until I knew what I wanted to say.
I’ve been to so many writing conferences, had so many requests for manuscripts, yet never sent one off. It wasn’t right, and I knew it deep down. Lately, for the past few months, my novel has been ‘speaking’ to me when I wake up mornings. I finally rolled up my sleeves, decided my writer’s block was over, and went for it – finished the thing, and what I found out was that it is a Chatty Cathy romance, sweet, a little sexy, fun to read … with a dark center. It was that dark center that has kept me hamstrung for so many years. I’d forgotten most of it. (How could I? How could I forget something so traumatic that my counselor at one point would scrawl ‘Trauma Survivor’ across my file?)
I suppose that was the first time I realized I’d been ‘through something’ .. endured, if you will, and come out on the other side of it, stronger, ready now to speak my truth.My hubby and I moved to GA two years ago to be closer to my daughter and grandson, and it’s been a blessing. I am now living, in fact, only 45 minutes from where my mom was born – a true GA peach.I feel like I’ve come home. Now it’s time to put my story into words.
Later today I am sending out this ‘effort’ – this WIP (work in progress, all 85,600 words of it) to an editor who has accepted me as a client, for her ‘final edits’ and also plan to send this out to my beta readers, per the request of an agent at the Georgia Romance Writers’ Conference in Atlanta, in early October. Two agents asked for full manuscripts, and another said, “If you write like you talk, you’re just what we’re looking for. Write something and send it to me.” OMG. Can hardly believe it. I came home walking on clouds, then the hard work began. Final edits, beta readers. My husband asked yesterday, “How many times are you going to rewrite the ending?” He has such a way about him, one of those people who puts their finger right on the bruise.
Now, my truth down on the page, my quilt of a novel stitched together with the threads of my childhood, I feel as if I am leaving my baby out in the rain on a dark and stormy night. I don’t want to send it to the editor, or to the beta readers who have agreed to slog through this … such dear hearts. But, after speaking my truth, and declaring that I came out on the other side of all of this, stronger now, how can I not follow through?
And so it goes. Off. Into the internet system, my story. Let’s hope this has a somewhat happy ending. I will be sure to post a followup, if it’s good news. If not … maybe a short note of some sort after Christmas. Fingers crossed here. Am feeling especially brave right now. Better strike while the iron is hot!