Beginning at the Beginning

From Susan/Miranda:

Now it’s my turn to answer Susannac’s question as to how we each wrote that first book. It’s been fascinating to hear how the other Wenches began, and the differences –– as well as the similarities –– it our stories. As with so many things about writing, there seems to be no sure way!

I’m afraid I don’t have any spiral-bound notebooks full of novels in my past. When I was a girl, I thought I’d be an artist, not a writer, so my basement boxes are instead full of sketchbooks. Of course I was a reader before I was a writer –– that’s almost a given with writers. I read “good” books and “bad” books, and everything else from TVGuide to the backs of shampoo bottles in the shower. Like Susan/Sarah, I was also an art history major in college, which meant LOTS and lots of writing and research. I loved history of every kind, and I loved poking around in archives and the rare book room. (I was less enthralled with the micro-film reader, but it was the only way to read 18th century newspapers.)

I do believe the only way to learn how to write is to sit down and do it, the total pages written being roughly equivalent to the reps in weight training. Course, classes, and seminars can help, but the most important part of being a writer has to come from within. I also believe (and learned, the hard way) that academic writing, the kind of writing so dear and necessary to scholarship and university professors, the kind I labored so hard in school to perfect, is inexplicable to the rest of the world. If you want to write fiction that other people will pay for, academic writing needs to be un-learned as soon as you get your degree.

But soon after graduation, I discovered the perfect cure for academic writing: public relations writing. In short order, I learned to write articles, press releases, newsletters, scripts for promotional films, and obituaries. I learned to write clearly, and concisely. More importantly, I learned to write under deadlines.

My office had a subscription to Writers’ Digest magazine, ostensibly for the student interns, but I read it, too. I began to get pie-in-the-sky notions of writing a book, a historical novel. I wanted a different job that would give me more freedom to be home with my children. Writers’ Digest told me historical romance –– something I was already reading –– was a hot, hot, hot market for fiction writers. I believed. When my daughter was born, I had the unbelievable luxury of six months of paid maternity leave. I didn’t know how hard writing would be, or that the odds against anyone getting published were astronomical. If I had, I probably wouldn’t have tried it.

But ignorance truly can be bliss. I already knew I was going to be up all night, just as I knew I’d never have this chance again, so I sat down and began to write my first book, the manuscript that became “Steal the Stars.”

A first book truly is a labor of love, written only to please the writer. Yes, I made zillions of mistakes, from wandering points of view to not having an ending. It was hard work, but it was also FUN, and I did finish my manuscript before I had to go back to work. I boxed it up the way Writers’ Digest said and mailed off a partial, as requested, to an editor at Harlequin that I chosen because I liked her name. Miraculously, she called, and said she was interested, very interested, and would I please send the rest?

I did, and then I waited. And waited. And waited. I made little scripts for myself before I called the publisher to inquire as to the manuscript’s status, and only got so far as the lowest assistant, who put me off. I imagined editorial meetings where they were making fun of my manuscript. I pretty much gave up all hopes of selling it, and concentrated on my “real” job.

But then one morning out of the proverbial blue, with a photographer in my office ready to go out with me on a shoot, I got The Call. Harlequin wanted to buy my manuscript –– but there was far more to the story than that. That first editor whose name I’d liked had long ago left the company, and my manuscript had been forgotten in an unused desk drawer. The senior editor who’d eventually found it had been so mortified that she’d read it at once, liked it, and made me an offer. But the real excitement came from realizing I’d discovered something magical, something I loved doing, and could get paid to do it.

Of course, it still took me five more books before I was earning enough to be able to write full-time, and now some thirty-odd books later, it still can be touch and go (Ahh, sick days! Paid vacations! Pension and health insurance!), yet now I can’t imagine doing anything else.

36 thoughts on “Beginning at the Beginning”

  1. Susan/Miranda… what a wonderful story!
    And big thanks to Susannac and her question. I love hearing about other people’s experiences.
    Susan, do you think editors were ‘more forgiving’ of craft errors (POV shifts and the like) then than they are now? Or is it more that what is considered an error in craft now, wasn’t really an error then?

    Reply
  2. Susan/Miranda… what a wonderful story!
    And big thanks to Susannac and her question. I love hearing about other people’s experiences.
    Susan, do you think editors were ‘more forgiving’ of craft errors (POV shifts and the like) then than they are now? Or is it more that what is considered an error in craft now, wasn’t really an error then?

    Reply
  3. Susan/Miranda… what a wonderful story!
    And big thanks to Susannac and her question. I love hearing about other people’s experiences.
    Susan, do you think editors were ‘more forgiving’ of craft errors (POV shifts and the like) then than they are now? Or is it more that what is considered an error in craft now, wasn’t really an error then?

    Reply
  4. The ms. lying “forgotten in the unused desk drawer” happened to me also. Also with my first novel. Before I had an agent to handle follow-up.
    This scenario resulted in my getting a second “Call” from a publisher…about two months after the novel was actually published by my first Caller. It felt nice to say, “No, the book is no longer available. Doubleday already published it.”
    I do enjoy these “first book” stories!

    Reply
  5. The ms. lying “forgotten in the unused desk drawer” happened to me also. Also with my first novel. Before I had an agent to handle follow-up.
    This scenario resulted in my getting a second “Call” from a publisher…about two months after the novel was actually published by my first Caller. It felt nice to say, “No, the book is no longer available. Doubleday already published it.”
    I do enjoy these “first book” stories!

    Reply
  6. The ms. lying “forgotten in the unused desk drawer” happened to me also. Also with my first novel. Before I had an agent to handle follow-up.
    This scenario resulted in my getting a second “Call” from a publisher…about two months after the novel was actually published by my first Caller. It felt nice to say, “No, the book is no longer available. Doubleday already published it.”
    I do enjoy these “first book” stories!

    Reply
  7. Nina–
    Yes, I’m sorry to say it, but I do think that editors today are “less forgiving” about manuscripts. I don’t think it’s because they’re meaner, but because, like every place else, they’re under tremendous pressure to accomplish more with less staff. Just this month Harlequin was ordered by their higher-ups to cut their editorial staff by 5%, though continuing with the same output of new books. Editors are stressed-out humans, too. Given the choice between two manuscripts by new writers, they’ll almost always take the one that will require less work on their end to get to press.
    Would my first book have been sold as it was today? I don’t honestly know. I’d like to think my story, characters, and setting shown through the bad stuff, but who knows? I not only had a lot of fixin’ to do, but I had to cut the length by a third. My sense is that expectations for manuscripts in general are higher these days…and I know for certain that it would now be pretty near impossible for a first-time writer to sell a book set in the American Revolution, let alone in Rhode Island.
    Sad, but true. 🙁
    Susan/Miranda
    (Hint to newbies that I wish I’d known: many publishers are very strict about word count, but they don’t mean the word count your word processing program calculates. They mean how many lines on a page times 11 words or so on a line — so even if you have three lines of one-word dialogue, they’ll count that as 33 words. All of which explains why my first ms. needed to be cut by a third!)

    Reply
  8. Nina–
    Yes, I’m sorry to say it, but I do think that editors today are “less forgiving” about manuscripts. I don’t think it’s because they’re meaner, but because, like every place else, they’re under tremendous pressure to accomplish more with less staff. Just this month Harlequin was ordered by their higher-ups to cut their editorial staff by 5%, though continuing with the same output of new books. Editors are stressed-out humans, too. Given the choice between two manuscripts by new writers, they’ll almost always take the one that will require less work on their end to get to press.
    Would my first book have been sold as it was today? I don’t honestly know. I’d like to think my story, characters, and setting shown through the bad stuff, but who knows? I not only had a lot of fixin’ to do, but I had to cut the length by a third. My sense is that expectations for manuscripts in general are higher these days…and I know for certain that it would now be pretty near impossible for a first-time writer to sell a book set in the American Revolution, let alone in Rhode Island.
    Sad, but true. 🙁
    Susan/Miranda
    (Hint to newbies that I wish I’d known: many publishers are very strict about word count, but they don’t mean the word count your word processing program calculates. They mean how many lines on a page times 11 words or so on a line — so even if you have three lines of one-word dialogue, they’ll count that as 33 words. All of which explains why my first ms. needed to be cut by a third!)

    Reply
  9. Nina–
    Yes, I’m sorry to say it, but I do think that editors today are “less forgiving” about manuscripts. I don’t think it’s because they’re meaner, but because, like every place else, they’re under tremendous pressure to accomplish more with less staff. Just this month Harlequin was ordered by their higher-ups to cut their editorial staff by 5%, though continuing with the same output of new books. Editors are stressed-out humans, too. Given the choice between two manuscripts by new writers, they’ll almost always take the one that will require less work on their end to get to press.
    Would my first book have been sold as it was today? I don’t honestly know. I’d like to think my story, characters, and setting shown through the bad stuff, but who knows? I not only had a lot of fixin’ to do, but I had to cut the length by a third. My sense is that expectations for manuscripts in general are higher these days…and I know for certain that it would now be pretty near impossible for a first-time writer to sell a book set in the American Revolution, let alone in Rhode Island.
    Sad, but true. 🙁
    Susan/Miranda
    (Hint to newbies that I wish I’d known: many publishers are very strict about word count, but they don’t mean the word count your word processing program calculates. They mean how many lines on a page times 11 words or so on a line — so even if you have three lines of one-word dialogue, they’ll count that as 33 words. All of which explains why my first ms. needed to be cut by a third!)

    Reply
  10. Margaret —
    Great story — I’m so glad to hear that my book wasn’t the only drawer-foundling that earned a home!
    I know the expression is “over the transom”, and even in these days of FedEx and emailed files, it still does feel as if writers face much the same odds with manuscripts not being lost by throwing it into the publisher’s office thorugh an open window.
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  11. Margaret —
    Great story — I’m so glad to hear that my book wasn’t the only drawer-foundling that earned a home!
    I know the expression is “over the transom”, and even in these days of FedEx and emailed files, it still does feel as if writers face much the same odds with manuscripts not being lost by throwing it into the publisher’s office thorugh an open window.
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  12. Margaret —
    Great story — I’m so glad to hear that my book wasn’t the only drawer-foundling that earned a home!
    I know the expression is “over the transom”, and even in these days of FedEx and emailed files, it still does feel as if writers face much the same odds with manuscripts not being lost by throwing it into the publisher’s office thorugh an open window.
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  13. Thank you for your first-publication story, Susan/Miranda! It’s been such a delight to read everyone’s stories.
    On the publisher expectations: I wonder if the advantages today’s writers have don’t to some degree offset the higher expectations of the editors. For example, today’s fledgling romance writer has RWA, writer’s critique groups, piles and reams and libraries of websites on publishing, as well as blogs like yours and Miss Snark’s (I love Miss Snark). So the demands are higher, but the information about what those demands are is much more detailed and widely available than before. And the assistance to hone your craft to meet those demands is all over the place. In just the past two months, I’ve taken classes with Debra Dixon (Goal, Motivation & Conflict), Marjorie Byerly (The Big Question) and Tara Tyler Quinn (The Psyche Zone – getting inside your character’s personality). They don’t give you story ideas, but they teach you structure and techniques. It’s up to the writer to apply those to a ripping good tale. It’s a sloppy process, but when has it ever been anything else?
    And I would think the process now is similar for the writer, except that the initial round of editing and training comes from the writer educating herself and reaching out to others who are willing to help rather than from an editor with time to nurture her along. Less precise than the editor would be, of course. But there are many more resources now than 20 years ago. And more opportunities to publish – how many lines does Harlequin have now? How many romance titles are published a year now vs 20 years ago? Here in Alabama, you could just about throw a rock and hit a published author (not, of course, that I would throw a rock at an author. :D)
    It seems that in many ways it evens out. Am I way off base here?

    Reply
  14. Thank you for your first-publication story, Susan/Miranda! It’s been such a delight to read everyone’s stories.
    On the publisher expectations: I wonder if the advantages today’s writers have don’t to some degree offset the higher expectations of the editors. For example, today’s fledgling romance writer has RWA, writer’s critique groups, piles and reams and libraries of websites on publishing, as well as blogs like yours and Miss Snark’s (I love Miss Snark). So the demands are higher, but the information about what those demands are is much more detailed and widely available than before. And the assistance to hone your craft to meet those demands is all over the place. In just the past two months, I’ve taken classes with Debra Dixon (Goal, Motivation & Conflict), Marjorie Byerly (The Big Question) and Tara Tyler Quinn (The Psyche Zone – getting inside your character’s personality). They don’t give you story ideas, but they teach you structure and techniques. It’s up to the writer to apply those to a ripping good tale. It’s a sloppy process, but when has it ever been anything else?
    And I would think the process now is similar for the writer, except that the initial round of editing and training comes from the writer educating herself and reaching out to others who are willing to help rather than from an editor with time to nurture her along. Less precise than the editor would be, of course. But there are many more resources now than 20 years ago. And more opportunities to publish – how many lines does Harlequin have now? How many romance titles are published a year now vs 20 years ago? Here in Alabama, you could just about throw a rock and hit a published author (not, of course, that I would throw a rock at an author. :D)
    It seems that in many ways it evens out. Am I way off base here?

    Reply
  15. Thank you for your first-publication story, Susan/Miranda! It’s been such a delight to read everyone’s stories.
    On the publisher expectations: I wonder if the advantages today’s writers have don’t to some degree offset the higher expectations of the editors. For example, today’s fledgling romance writer has RWA, writer’s critique groups, piles and reams and libraries of websites on publishing, as well as blogs like yours and Miss Snark’s (I love Miss Snark). So the demands are higher, but the information about what those demands are is much more detailed and widely available than before. And the assistance to hone your craft to meet those demands is all over the place. In just the past two months, I’ve taken classes with Debra Dixon (Goal, Motivation & Conflict), Marjorie Byerly (The Big Question) and Tara Tyler Quinn (The Psyche Zone – getting inside your character’s personality). They don’t give you story ideas, but they teach you structure and techniques. It’s up to the writer to apply those to a ripping good tale. It’s a sloppy process, but when has it ever been anything else?
    And I would think the process now is similar for the writer, except that the initial round of editing and training comes from the writer educating herself and reaching out to others who are willing to help rather than from an editor with time to nurture her along. Less precise than the editor would be, of course. But there are many more resources now than 20 years ago. And more opportunities to publish – how many lines does Harlequin have now? How many romance titles are published a year now vs 20 years ago? Here in Alabama, you could just about throw a rock and hit a published author (not, of course, that I would throw a rock at an author. :D)
    It seems that in many ways it evens out. Am I way off base here?

    Reply
  16. Susannac, I love this image of Alabama, the state where romance writers lie thick as walnuts upon the ground!
    You make some excellent points — yes, the internet, RWA, and computers in general all help new writers to create a more professional manuscript, just as editors in turn now expect a manuscript to have had at least one pass through spellcheck. Many of those older rituals — boxing up a manuscript, or pealing off the strips from the daisy-wheel printer — are long gone, replaced with a single tap of the “send” button. And while many writers have toiled in solitary, now the internet offers all kinds of support and cammraderie.
    And yes, also the internet has created more opportunities for selling a manuscript through e-publishers, I’m afraid I have to quibble with you about the number of traditional publishing houses. I’ll speak only of romance: but there are in fact fewer places now than there were in 1990, when I sold my first book. Some kinds of romances simply aren’t being produced any longer — regencies and gothics come immediately to mind — while several smaller publishing houses have closed, or no longer publish romance at all. While it may seem that there are a great many publishers, in this era of conglomerations and corporations, they’re often all part of the same publishing “group”: a writer can have the same editor if she writes for Penguin, Putnam, Berkeley, NAL, Eclipse, and probably a bunch more I’m forgetting. If you only count the headquarters, then the number of big NYC publishers handling romance is well under a dozen.
    Harlequin may seem to be constantly adding new lines or imprints, but in reality they’ve either held constant or even dwindled over the years. New lines get big fanfare introductions, while old ones like Intimate Moments just quietly disappear from stores. The total number of Harlequin/Silhouette category books published really hasn’t changed much over the years.
    Plus, when I started, there were other houses publishing category books in competition with Harlequin that have themselves completly disappeared. Remember Loveswepts? Kismets?
    Gosh, all this reminising about “when I was just starting” is making me sound like my grandmother remembering the San Francisco earthquake! Suffice to say that I’m not sure if it’s a brave new world in publishing or not. All I know for sure is that it’s different. *G*

    Reply
  17. Susannac, I love this image of Alabama, the state where romance writers lie thick as walnuts upon the ground!
    You make some excellent points — yes, the internet, RWA, and computers in general all help new writers to create a more professional manuscript, just as editors in turn now expect a manuscript to have had at least one pass through spellcheck. Many of those older rituals — boxing up a manuscript, or pealing off the strips from the daisy-wheel printer — are long gone, replaced with a single tap of the “send” button. And while many writers have toiled in solitary, now the internet offers all kinds of support and cammraderie.
    And yes, also the internet has created more opportunities for selling a manuscript through e-publishers, I’m afraid I have to quibble with you about the number of traditional publishing houses. I’ll speak only of romance: but there are in fact fewer places now than there were in 1990, when I sold my first book. Some kinds of romances simply aren’t being produced any longer — regencies and gothics come immediately to mind — while several smaller publishing houses have closed, or no longer publish romance at all. While it may seem that there are a great many publishers, in this era of conglomerations and corporations, they’re often all part of the same publishing “group”: a writer can have the same editor if she writes for Penguin, Putnam, Berkeley, NAL, Eclipse, and probably a bunch more I’m forgetting. If you only count the headquarters, then the number of big NYC publishers handling romance is well under a dozen.
    Harlequin may seem to be constantly adding new lines or imprints, but in reality they’ve either held constant or even dwindled over the years. New lines get big fanfare introductions, while old ones like Intimate Moments just quietly disappear from stores. The total number of Harlequin/Silhouette category books published really hasn’t changed much over the years.
    Plus, when I started, there were other houses publishing category books in competition with Harlequin that have themselves completly disappeared. Remember Loveswepts? Kismets?
    Gosh, all this reminising about “when I was just starting” is making me sound like my grandmother remembering the San Francisco earthquake! Suffice to say that I’m not sure if it’s a brave new world in publishing or not. All I know for sure is that it’s different. *G*

    Reply
  18. Susannac, I love this image of Alabama, the state where romance writers lie thick as walnuts upon the ground!
    You make some excellent points — yes, the internet, RWA, and computers in general all help new writers to create a more professional manuscript, just as editors in turn now expect a manuscript to have had at least one pass through spellcheck. Many of those older rituals — boxing up a manuscript, or pealing off the strips from the daisy-wheel printer — are long gone, replaced with a single tap of the “send” button. And while many writers have toiled in solitary, now the internet offers all kinds of support and cammraderie.
    And yes, also the internet has created more opportunities for selling a manuscript through e-publishers, I’m afraid I have to quibble with you about the number of traditional publishing houses. I’ll speak only of romance: but there are in fact fewer places now than there were in 1990, when I sold my first book. Some kinds of romances simply aren’t being produced any longer — regencies and gothics come immediately to mind — while several smaller publishing houses have closed, or no longer publish romance at all. While it may seem that there are a great many publishers, in this era of conglomerations and corporations, they’re often all part of the same publishing “group”: a writer can have the same editor if she writes for Penguin, Putnam, Berkeley, NAL, Eclipse, and probably a bunch more I’m forgetting. If you only count the headquarters, then the number of big NYC publishers handling romance is well under a dozen.
    Harlequin may seem to be constantly adding new lines or imprints, but in reality they’ve either held constant or even dwindled over the years. New lines get big fanfare introductions, while old ones like Intimate Moments just quietly disappear from stores. The total number of Harlequin/Silhouette category books published really hasn’t changed much over the years.
    Plus, when I started, there were other houses publishing category books in competition with Harlequin that have themselves completly disappeared. Remember Loveswepts? Kismets?
    Gosh, all this reminising about “when I was just starting” is making me sound like my grandmother remembering the San Francisco earthquake! Suffice to say that I’m not sure if it’s a brave new world in publishing or not. All I know for sure is that it’s different. *G*

    Reply
  19. Great story, Susan/Miranda. I was aware of the spell in academe but didn’t realize it was the maternity leave that became your opportunity to write–or that your first mss had to be unearthed from a desk drawer! Editors did have more time to be editors then. In the same way that instant and constant communication has made things easier, it’s also made more things to do–for all of us. And yes, it sure seems to me that there are fewer opportunities in romance than there used to be.

    Reply
  20. Great story, Susan/Miranda. I was aware of the spell in academe but didn’t realize it was the maternity leave that became your opportunity to write–or that your first mss had to be unearthed from a desk drawer! Editors did have more time to be editors then. In the same way that instant and constant communication has made things easier, it’s also made more things to do–for all of us. And yes, it sure seems to me that there are fewer opportunities in romance than there used to be.

    Reply
  21. Great story, Susan/Miranda. I was aware of the spell in academe but didn’t realize it was the maternity leave that became your opportunity to write–or that your first mss had to be unearthed from a desk drawer! Editors did have more time to be editors then. In the same way that instant and constant communication has made things easier, it’s also made more things to do–for all of us. And yes, it sure seems to me that there are fewer opportunities in romance than there used to be.

    Reply
  22. Well, I very obviously am not an expert on publishing, romance or otherwise! So I stand corrected. You’re right about the other lines disappearing, and the sharp reduction in others, which I didn’t think about when I wrote the earlier comment. I guess I don’t have a baseline of comparison beyond my own reading, which is by no means a reliable standard. It feels like an ocean of opportunity to me though, which is perhaps my own little blissful bubble as I toil in the fringes.
    As for Alabama authors, there’s a whole slew o’ them, although not all romance, and probably most not multi-published. Few of them the stature of the Wenches, either, although Linda Howard has done quite well for herself. I guess right now it’s more comforting to think in terms of “Wow, look at all these people who’ve been published!”, instead of, “Wow, looks like only 0.001% have made a successful career out of it…”

    Reply
  23. Well, I very obviously am not an expert on publishing, romance or otherwise! So I stand corrected. You’re right about the other lines disappearing, and the sharp reduction in others, which I didn’t think about when I wrote the earlier comment. I guess I don’t have a baseline of comparison beyond my own reading, which is by no means a reliable standard. It feels like an ocean of opportunity to me though, which is perhaps my own little blissful bubble as I toil in the fringes.
    As for Alabama authors, there’s a whole slew o’ them, although not all romance, and probably most not multi-published. Few of them the stature of the Wenches, either, although Linda Howard has done quite well for herself. I guess right now it’s more comforting to think in terms of “Wow, look at all these people who’ve been published!”, instead of, “Wow, looks like only 0.001% have made a successful career out of it…”

    Reply
  24. Well, I very obviously am not an expert on publishing, romance or otherwise! So I stand corrected. You’re right about the other lines disappearing, and the sharp reduction in others, which I didn’t think about when I wrote the earlier comment. I guess I don’t have a baseline of comparison beyond my own reading, which is by no means a reliable standard. It feels like an ocean of opportunity to me though, which is perhaps my own little blissful bubble as I toil in the fringes.
    As for Alabama authors, there’s a whole slew o’ them, although not all romance, and probably most not multi-published. Few of them the stature of the Wenches, either, although Linda Howard has done quite well for herself. I guess right now it’s more comforting to think in terms of “Wow, look at all these people who’ve been published!”, instead of, “Wow, looks like only 0.001% have made a successful career out of it…”

    Reply
  25. The long-lost Mole popping in again to wish you all a Happy National Mole Day. I lost track of ALL my blogs while sick with a bad cold that turned into bronchitis and laryngitis, when I couldn’t sit at the computer for long.
    I’ll be back once I get over being intimidated by all the catching up I have to do.

    Reply
  26. The long-lost Mole popping in again to wish you all a Happy National Mole Day. I lost track of ALL my blogs while sick with a bad cold that turned into bronchitis and laryngitis, when I couldn’t sit at the computer for long.
    I’ll be back once I get over being intimidated by all the catching up I have to do.

    Reply
  27. The long-lost Mole popping in again to wish you all a Happy National Mole Day. I lost track of ALL my blogs while sick with a bad cold that turned into bronchitis and laryngitis, when I couldn’t sit at the computer for long.
    I’ll be back once I get over being intimidated by all the catching up I have to do.

    Reply
  28. Susannac, I think Linda Howard would qualify as big-time, multi-published Writer of Stature on just about every blog! *VBG*
    And I don’t think you CAN discourage yourself by saying whoa, only .001% of all writers make a go of it. Writing’s one of those careers that defies logic, anyway, so why even try to sort it out with cold, hard reason and facts? Won’t work. If you’re going to be a writer, odds are you will.
    Don’t pop that blissful bubble, and keep writing. 🙂
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  29. Susannac, I think Linda Howard would qualify as big-time, multi-published Writer of Stature on just about every blog! *VBG*
    And I don’t think you CAN discourage yourself by saying whoa, only .001% of all writers make a go of it. Writing’s one of those careers that defies logic, anyway, so why even try to sort it out with cold, hard reason and facts? Won’t work. If you’re going to be a writer, odds are you will.
    Don’t pop that blissful bubble, and keep writing. 🙂
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  30. Susannac, I think Linda Howard would qualify as big-time, multi-published Writer of Stature on just about every blog! *VBG*
    And I don’t think you CAN discourage yourself by saying whoa, only .001% of all writers make a go of it. Writing’s one of those careers that defies logic, anyway, so why even try to sort it out with cold, hard reason and facts? Won’t work. If you’re going to be a writer, odds are you will.
    Don’t pop that blissful bubble, and keep writing. 🙂
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  31. Welcome back, Tal, and glad you’re feeling better.
    I actually KNEW yesterday was National Mole Day, because my daughter’s high school chemistry class celebrated it with (among other things) guacamole. They got extra credit points if they made small felt moles, and dressed them up — my daughter made an Abraham Lincoln mole, complete with a stovepipe hat and fake fur beard. All pretty far from the chemical variety of moles, but I knew that as a mole connissieur, you’d appreciate hearing about the celebration. *G*
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  32. Welcome back, Tal, and glad you’re feeling better.
    I actually KNEW yesterday was National Mole Day, because my daughter’s high school chemistry class celebrated it with (among other things) guacamole. They got extra credit points if they made small felt moles, and dressed them up — my daughter made an Abraham Lincoln mole, complete with a stovepipe hat and fake fur beard. All pretty far from the chemical variety of moles, but I knew that as a mole connissieur, you’d appreciate hearing about the celebration. *G*
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  33. Welcome back, Tal, and glad you’re feeling better.
    I actually KNEW yesterday was National Mole Day, because my daughter’s high school chemistry class celebrated it with (among other things) guacamole. They got extra credit points if they made small felt moles, and dressed them up — my daughter made an Abraham Lincoln mole, complete with a stovepipe hat and fake fur beard. All pretty far from the chemical variety of moles, but I knew that as a mole connissieur, you’d appreciate hearing about the celebration. *G*
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  34. Wow another GREAT story and there’s advice and wisdom in there to boot. (I like the bit about the # of pages and weight reps)
    And 6 months maternity leave is enviable (I do envy!) however, most people with it wouldn’t get there thank you notes done let alone a novel!!
    Thanks for telling it!

    Reply
  35. Wow another GREAT story and there’s advice and wisdom in there to boot. (I like the bit about the # of pages and weight reps)
    And 6 months maternity leave is enviable (I do envy!) however, most people with it wouldn’t get there thank you notes done let alone a novel!!
    Thanks for telling it!

    Reply
  36. Wow another GREAT story and there’s advice and wisdom in there to boot. (I like the bit about the # of pages and weight reps)
    And 6 months maternity leave is enviable (I do envy!) however, most people with it wouldn’t get there thank you notes done let alone a novel!!
    Thanks for telling it!

    Reply

Leave a Comment