I’ve been busy this past winter and spring.
I wrote and published a book.
I focused. I researched. I researched some more.
I drank coffee and tea and corrected and edited and shared with only a handful of people but I sat down and wrote a book.
It helped that the snow never stopped coming down for weeks.
The walls of snow lining the driveway were taller than all of the dogs.
I would plow and shovel in the mornings and write in the afternoons.
It wasn’t like I could play golf.
Or do much of anything outside, really.
Then it got super cold and the big tractor gelled up and the batteries died in the trucks and Loki wouldn’t go outside to piddle and my eyes hurt in the wind and it was painful to breathe and I wasn’t loving the snow as much for a few days but it eventually passed.
I actually loved having the time to write.
To create characters and their families and places in time.
To allow these individuals to learn and react and create a world reacting along with them.
I have always loved writing.
I have kept a journal since I was 8 years old.
I don’t write in it every day and there are gaps over the years where maybe I didn’t have a blank journal to write in or I forgot to bring one along on a trip but for the most part, the last 34 years of my life are pretty well recorded.
Complete with the odd plane ticket or concert ticket stub or something special to remember.
My journal has been my best friend many times over the years.
I tell it anything. And everything.
It doesn’t judge me and it doesn’t ask questions.
It doesn’t offer any advice or tell me my thoughts are inappropriate or wrong.
It also doesn’t tell me I’m correct about things or that I’m doing something the right way.
It just offers me space to share what is going on in my head and in my mind whenever I need to.
Alistair has instructions to burn or publish the collection if I die before him.
I started writing books when I was 8 years old, as well.
My “Dana, Paula and May” series followed 3 young women around as they solved crimes and wore fancy dresses.
I illustrated these books and my third grade teacher allowed me to put them alongside the real books in the library area of our classroom.
I was lucky to have a teacher who nurtured me and my creativity like that.
The same teacher encouraged me to get the whole class involved in a play I wrote. Something about a prince being granted three wishes.
I cast the play and we practiced it and then we performed it on stage for the rest of the school.
My mom even came in and taught us all how to do The Hustle for the dance-party section of the play.
Man, I wish we had digital cameras back then.
I kept writing.
Not just the journal but some poems and monologues.
My high school drama teacher was also our librarian and she would suggest literature for me to read and we would discuss stories together.
She let me put a monologue on stage for people to watch.
I was lucky to have another teacher believe in me and my zany ideas and fantasies and dreams.
I know my imagination and creation of characters has driven some people nuts.
Like the whole Rhonda thing…
(Rest assured, I will tell Rhonda’s story here but that’s for another time…)
And the singing ferrets and dancing cats and know-it-all Spaniels and the mixed breed, UB who has to comment about every Subaru on the road.
My imagination knows no bounds but I do know when to reign it in.
Or, I mostly have that figured out.
Its just that there is so much going on in my mind that I have to write it down or create it or video it.
This is probably why I don’t sleep much.
I always slept walked and talked as a kid but the insomnia didn’t start until I was 8 years old.
That was a huge year for me.
Our family moved from Vancouver where I was in love with school and ballet.
I was ready for toe shoes and the fast track to being a professional dancer. I still miss it.
For some reason when we moved to the small town of Grand Forks my brain tweaked and I stopped sleeping and my parents worried and my creativity took off.
I embrace it now and know how to sort of manage the sleep thing. Sort of. When I started sleep walking again last year and woke up outside of our cabin in the middle of a campground I realized stress from the clinic was taking over and my creative side was MIA.
So I closed the clinic.
And I wrote a book.
I’m so freaking excited its not even funny.
Lost and Found in Missing Lake is a teen/young adult fictional story about a 15 year-old and his dad and stepmom and their small town in Montana.
Luke and his dad want to get serious about running their sled dogs.
Jackie, the stepmom, is a disillusioned veterinarian (a bit on the nose, I’ll admit); Luke helps her out a lot and together they meet some amazing individuals. This is where a bit of fun fantasy kicks in but I won’t spoil it for you.
Luke deals with a new school, having to make new friends, acne, driving and all of the emotional issues of adolescence and he shares it with the reader.
I miss him and his friends and I honestly can’t wait to write more about them. And Tabitha.
I self published because I got bored waiting for agents to respond to my queries.
Every book on writing suggests you should submit to no less than 50 and more likely 250 agents before one will accept your work.
I submitted to 10.
I waited week after week to hear back and finally spent some serious time researching and editing and re-editing and editing some more and getting my friends and hubby to edit and found a great website to help me publish my book.
I’m setting up book signings.
I’m getting copies to good friends and people who I want to read my story.
Its a bit scary at times because this is from my imagination… its very personal.
And now its very real and in print and available through all Amazon outlets.
So now its all about the marketing, which is also why I’m writing about it here.
If you read it and you like it, please say so.
Or, get on Amazon and comment on it there. That’s how the book will get more promotion and more people will get to read about Luke and his cool dogs and his hippie English teacher and their sharing sessions and learn a bit of veterinary medicine and discover some amazing creatures as well.
Alistair, Dona, Gary, Whitney, Julie, Joshua, Lindsay and Andrea were my test audiences and sources of encouragement and laughter. Thanks, Gang.
And thanks, Mr.Tournemille and Ms.Cooke for letting me be me… as crazy as ‘me’ is.