I am a retired Social Worker and semi-retired proofreader who lives with a big pit bull, two cats and a turtle in a 100 year old haunted house. I like needlework of all types: Quilting, sewing, knitting, lacemaking, embroidery… If it can be done with a needle, I’ve probably tried it. Well, not tattooing.
I read anything I can get my eyes on from horror to romance, historical to science fiction, contemporary to fantasy, poetry to essays, children’s books to math books. Yes, I read math and science books for the fun of it. And I write pretty much the same, anything that strikes my fancy. Dragons often strike my fancy.
An avid book collector, I have overstuffed my three-bedroom house. I also collect dragons which take up shelf space. I have secretly been adding my books to my daughter’s bookshelves. I randomly, and often secretly, give away books and swag to people who comment on or share my blog posts. (hint: If you receive a message from me asking for your mailing address, that’s why!)
Due to some serious family issues, I am not able to devote as much time to writing as I would like, so I often find myself still up and writing at 2:00 in the morning when I have to be up and about at 4:30. Sleep is over-rated, anyway. Right? (YAWN ZZZzzzzz…….) Oh. Where was I? Yes. Ahem….
I am currently polishing a YA/teen book about a girl who was raised by humans and doesn’t know she is a fairy changeling. It deals with learning to fit in among caste rivalries both in the fairy world and in the high school she attends. I got the idea from several teens I tutor when I saw how they concentrated more on fitting in than on schoolwork. The main character just wants to disappear rather than endure teasing and bullying. But when the most popular girl in school decides to be her friend, and her Algebra teacher turns out to be a fairy changeling himself, she is unwillingly thrust into two worlds she is completely unprepared for.
When a character or world invades my thoughts until I can’t stand it any more, I have to write about it. I have a whole shelf full of journals with ideas, characters, plots, and places I couldn’t get out of my head until I wrote them down. Sometimes writing a few pages doesn’t do it, and then I end up with a synopsis and character backgrounds and the setting and maps and drawings and so on. I then draw what I call a plot web, the main plot line with sub plots and how they intersect, various conflicts and finally the conclusion. Then it is just a matter of writing a scene for each point on the web and grouping them into chapters. My favorite part is the rewrite when I add red herrings and clean up loose ends. My own world is so chaotic and unpredictable that having a solid outline and a conclusion in sight is very calming and relaxing. Even when I write about dragons.
The hardest part is letting my neat little imaginary world go out into the real world for people to read it. I have had several short stories published but I have yet to garner the courage to let my longer babies jump out of the nest. Since I am well aware of how terrifying it is, I try to be encouraging to others who are in the same boat and I truly am in awe of those who have been able to make that leap. I am especially truly grateful to those who have read and enjoyed my short stories and who have encouraged me , starting with Jodi Cleghorn who asked me to submit a story to her anthology: 100 Stories for Queensland – http://www.amazon.com/100-Stories-Queensland-Jodi-Cleghorn-ebook/dp/B0077Q9MGS. It is the wonderful world of readers and authors who keep me going so that I may give back to them what I have received.