Celebrating a Milestone

The final week in May. It’s been a struggle getting here since I struggled with a few tough decisions these past few months. But, I made it. What makes this “accomplishment” more joyous is celebrating my 25th anniversary as a published author. 25-logo

I’m excited! Twenty-five years ago I was writing regular (if infrequent) articles for special sections of a weekly newspaper where I worked downstairs in the production department. It was a great way to gain some experience “stringing” and those bylines opened doors for my other freelance submissions.  I’ve spent time during May tracking my career and thinking about goals for the summer. I have to say that I’m excited by the many different projects I’ve undertaken  (many I’d forgotten about until I went looking through the archives). Despite the ups and downs, the times I considered giving up, and struggle to accept how my creativity worked and just go with it, I’m glad that I stuck it out. I cannot think of a more fulfilling career. And, the best part has been that I can change focus and head in a new direction whenever I feel myself growing bored or wishing for a new challenge.

The WIP Files: Advice from a Working Writing Vol 1:  Inspired by Facts available as Kindle download

The WIP Files: Advice from a Working Writing
Vol 1: Inspired by Facts available as Kindle download

To celebrate this anniversary, I’ve compiled my favorite articles from a column I wrote for the  SCBWI-Michigan Newsletter from 1996-2002. I’d used a few of them as handouts in my writing workshops and participants asked for more. I finally listened to them and made to time to create an ebook.

As a gift to myself, I’ve made time this summer to focus on a few projects that kept getting tabled due to contracted work. Oh, I still have that work, but I’m balancing my time to make progress on the others. I feel renewed and wish I’d made a big deal over previous writing milestones.

So, what are your goals for summer? What writing milestones have you overlooked? How do you plan on celebrating? Happy writing everyone!

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Brag Board

I’ve added a new category so I can brag about workshop participants who have published. Hmm. Is it pitiful that I get more excited when a student or mentee publishes than when I score another byline?

Anyway, I found a delightful package in today’s mail. Louise Hess sent me a copy of Apple Blossom Time: An Autobiography in Prose and Poetry (IN: Dog Ear Publishing, 2011). Of course, it’s personally inscribed to me from Louise and included a matching bookmark. Congratulations, Louise, and thank you! Louise participated in workshops I offer through Renaissance Academy.

What makes this volume stand out is how the author shares universal life moments through the “seasons” of life and uses the apple tree as a metaphor. Each story provides insight into the author’s life through the people she writes about and the events she shares. And then there are the poems, scattered through the volume like apple petals on a late spring breeze.

This reminded me of another (former) student who became a dear friend. I helped Linda Aubel prepare her memoir manuscript, Summertime, for self-publishing several years ago. It also used a unique approach to organize the vignettes—Broadway song titles. Linda took Guided Writing classes I taught through the Center for Lifelong Learning at Hodges University.

Another student, who is also a close friend, has good news to share but doesn’t yet have a publication date and doesn’t want me to jinx it. So for now I’ll just say, congratulations, Susan! Get me the details so I can brag!

Plugged in again!

After much prodding by friends and fellow writers, I’ve taken the plunge and relaunched my blog. It’s been quite a long time (roughly 5 years) but I’ve been getting plugged in again, so why not share with a wider audience in every electronic way?

Around five years ago I became overwhelmed with how electronically I was. Since writing requires a lot of time and energy for tasks other than placing words onto paper, I found myself struggling to keep up with the demands of all those devices. I overreacted–and unplugged. I dumped the Palm Pilot (remember those?) and the cellphone (for awhile) and left all the listservs and online groups. I focused on writing. I loved dealing just with the words. I moved from magazines to books, and then to a masters program. I began spending much more time in classrooms working with my readers (mainly elementary and middle school children). And I was in love with my life againl!

Slowly I’ve been getting sucked into all the incredible things happening in cyber land again. And I’ve been attracted to the gadgets, the time-saving electronics, the devices! With these cool things came features and sites and methods to communicate. But I’m actually enjoying it this time around. I’ve learned how to balance doing all the things I love, so I actually make time for my writing. I’m enjoying it!

I look forward to sharing my “wonderings” about the things I love (books, writing, grammar, words, coaching) and my “wanderings” as I balance everything I do for a much happier me.

It’s good to be plugged in again!