They say you can tell a tiger by its stripes. The same applies to writers.
The act of writing is a solitary occupation; self-publishing both rewarding and psychotic. Who but a dreamer would undertake such a venture? Living in the make believe, struggling for an unrealistic utopia of no day job and unlimited time to create --- thankfully, we sometimes poke our heads out into the real world and connect with people who have been there and done that. It helps. Many in this business go out of their way to assist others who are trying to make it, doling out their practical, hard won wisdom with a generous hand. I just finished watching a very helpful live-stream FaceBook post from Books Go Social founder, Laurence O'Bryan in which he talked about the importance of blogging for an author. Advice like his has weight. (Click here for more info on the author support company he founded.) http://booksgosocial.com/_
I was blogging long before I ever published, though I haven't always used this platform to market my work. I like to think of this site as more of an inspirational nudge for others. It's about encouraging you to make the most of life, to become who you are meant to be. Of course, I hope that folks who like what they read here will also be encouraged to check out my books. They may be fantasies, but my strong female characters aren't always strong, having to learn to navigate the roadblocks just like we do. And like Aryelle, Lureli and Eleanor, we become better versions of ourselves when we use our gifts - grand or seemingly insignificant - to help others, not just ourselves.
So...here I am blogging, being a tiger. For both of us.
Click here to add a little adventure to your life: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00GXA6NVG_
Are you hungry? Then go hunting for what you want out of life!
Short and Sweet
A whirlwind boasts more energy, but that's the only thing it's got on me and the pace I've been keeping up lately! And - like that whirlwind - I'm liable to blow myself out if I don't pick a direction.
Spring is an incredibly busy time for a lot of people, but it is also as fleeting as a breeze. Just outside my window, I see buds about to burst on the sugar maple where yesterday there were none, and vibrant, kelly-green overtaking the winter-faded lawn. Beneath a cloudless sky, nature is calling, tantalizing me with fresh-scented succulence - "Come out and play!" - she says. "Enjoy me!"
But there's so much to do.
And then, as I push aside one unfinished graduation project to get to another, sifting through the overflowing pile on my desk for that all important to-do list, I recall what every parent of fledglings knows --- time to enjoy youthfulness is short, and oh, so sweet! Before you know it, it will be but memory.
Spring, in its infancy, won't wait. I must enjoy it while I can.
This morning I need a pep talk more than anyone!
"What's wrong?" you may ask.
Funny as it sounds, it's what is right that is causing my unrest today.
I am almost ecstatic that my trilogy is finally complete after years of laboring to make that dream come true. Now that I have, I'm not ready to stop. In fact, I've got full and partial manuscripts pouring out of my ears! Lack of material and imagination has never been my problem. But lack of material wealth and elaborate, unrealistic expectations are a tricky combination. So far, writing novels has been the opposite of a lucrative career choice. It is a labor of love.
At the moment, we are at wits end trying to figure out how to send our third child to the college she deserves to attend, knowing that another daughter will be graduating next year, and we'll be going through this all over again. I have always told my children that they can do anything they set their minds to as long as they work hard and persevere - I'm living proof! But I'm also still a work in progress, and cannot yet afford to support their dreams with the monetary backing that would keep them from being buried in debt when they graduate from college. It's a shame. They are all fantastic kids, great students, and gifted in so many ways. I want to be optimistic, and pass that optimism along, but faced with some untenable choices, at the moment I'm struggling.
My husband, who has supported my artistic endeavors over the years, is also a cautious realist. He is struggling even more than I am right now. As the provider of the family, and a good, good man, being the voice of reason comes at a high price. It hurts to know you are doing all you can, and it still isn't enough.
But...if I went back to work - work at a real, paying job - it would help.
I've had four short, glorious years out of the last twenty-four (broken up by the arrival of our youngest until she was old enough to go to school) to work full-time on my writing. In that time, I managed to put out three novels. But alas, I know my limitations, and working a day job (which I will insist on doing well, no matter what it is) takes up more energy these days than I have when spread between that and writing. So my dream will once again be put on hold.
Knowing how sad this makes me, my husband sent me this reminder this morning:
"The name fireweed stems from its ability to colonize areas burned by fire rapidly. It was one of the first plants to appear after the eruption of Mt. St. Helens in 1980. Known as rosebay willowherb in Great Britain, fireweed quickly colonized burned ground after the bombing of London in World War II, bringing color to an otherwise grim landscape. A single fireweed plant can produce 80,000 seeds! The delicate fluffy parachutes can transport seeds far from the parent plant. Tea was made from the leaves. High in vitamins A and C, fireweed shoots provided a tasty spring vegetable. Flowers yield copious nectar that yield a rich, spicy honey. Today, fireweed honey, jelly, and syrup are popular in Alaska where this species grows in abundance."*
I named my recently formed publishing company Fireweed Press for a reason. For the beauty that springs from the ashes, for the potential that lies dormant, then spreads like wildfire.
I'll will still write - I'll always write! - but marketing and networking have taken up the vast majority of my time as an "author". So you may not hear from me for a while. It's time for my literary children to fend for themselves while Momma tends to rest of the family.
But...I'll be back.
*I'm not sure where he got this info, so please pardon me for not giving the author his/her due...