Will I reach my goals before the ghouls reach for me?
- Goal 1 – Writing the Damn Book Free To Bloom
My writing dates back 50 years. I had a fantastic HS English teacher who made us read Chaucer, taught us to write long essays, made us speak extemporaneously in front of the class and paddled even the girls for tomfoolery (but we wore crinolines then and it didn’t hurt a bit).
Through the years I dabbled in writing: published several newsletters, worked in my sister’s publishing house, took poetry at New College, published my first article in the Volta Review, a respected magazine of audiology and continued writing articles and stories for small magazines, but I never made the big time. I had lots of excuses. Don’t we all?
I had a husband, two children and a job. My son was born profoundly deaf and after the ‘shock and dread’ wore off I was determined that he learn to communicate and live as normal a life as possible. To survive the many difficult areas of my life I started keeping a journal. It became the therapist I couldn’t afford, a place to get things off my chest. Slowly it developed into a treasure cache of important memories, catchy little phrases, and a few precious gems. The older I get the faster the memories evaporate except for the tragic, the ecstatic and the ones I’ve written down.
I’ve dreamed of writing a memoir, but as time passed raising children, running two businesses, becoming a teacher, gaining a 2nd home in Costa Rica, losing a husband, my writing foundered mainly because it always came second, third, last.
Then I joined Patrika Vaughn’s weekly writing group in Sarasota. It gave me the deadlines that my scientific brain required. I had to submit something at least every other week to be critiqued and I learned how to critique others. The former got me going and the latter taught me how to write and not to write. The members, one by one, started publishing their books. Under her nom de plume, Regina Perry published Play Girl, and Marisa Magnani self-published The Sharkman of Cortez, a biography of her husband.
I’ll never be one of those bulimic writers that can vomit out a chapter each day, every day, but I was accumulating a body of work worth publishing. With the help of Pat’s A Cappela Publishing and my computer guru son Ray I did it.
The most difficult part, the writing, was over; or so I thought until I started on Goal 2 – Getting the Word Out. See my next post.