If you saw yesterday's blog about the book that never happened, the question you probably have is the same as the comment below. Why not dust it off and try again? But the story written almost twenty years ago, is dated and would take yet another long rewrite to make it fresh. It may still happen but I have moved on to other things.
I never stopped writing. I began a newspaper column, wrote articles for dollhouse miniature magazines that were published in England, Sweden, and Australia. I wrote a articles for religious magazines and teachers publications. Later, I fell into a job as a manuscript reader (not critic!) and discovered I could make decent $$ with other people's writing. So I put mine on hold. I turned my creative side toward designing and selling miniatures and that was very satisfying.
Then the internet happened! I began writing for pleasure on a few forums and group lists . I "met" my dear friend and mentor, author, Joan Bramsch, by telling little short stories to folks in Cyberspace. She prompted me to get my act together and begin submitting things again. Although we never met face to face she was able to don her pointy toed boot and kick me in the right place. She talked me into submitting a story called Drinking Buddies to an anthology publisher and it was accepted.
That renewed the spark and the publisher arranged for my first ever book signing - at Barnes & Noble no less. The book Cup of Comfort For Friends sold well and people seemed to enjoy meeting me. Signing copies was really heady. I kept thinking how good it would feel if I'd written the whole book rather than just one story. It was time to get serious again.
Two years later I published The Tree at the Top of the Hill
The book,for middle school readers, is set at the end of the Civil War. Timothy Collins is a creative boy, confined to an invalid's chair by an unknown condition. He dreams of someday being strong enough to climb the steep hill overlooking his family's farm. His father, who has not returned from battle, promised him the entire world lay waiting for him beyond that tree. When an escaped slave arrives at the farm, he helps Tim discover that strength is more than building muscles.
Now I'm working on several projects, I have a short story collection almost completed, another historical book for kids is in the middle stage, and Big Jim and I are collaborating on a mystery .
Writing The Tree at the Top of the Hill woke me up again. As Tim found ways to deal with his weaknesses, so did I. I learned from him that faith and determination can make one a winner. When I sign copies for children or for the many grandparents who get them to share, I always make a point to remind them that, by believing, we can achieve our goals . Yes we can.
See ya down the road,