My writing career developed after I decided to leave the land of schools and school administration. I watched a number of my colleagues struggle with illness and a syndrome that I called ‘staying too long at the party’. Many of my friends became ill due to the nature of their job and chose to go on ‘stress leave’.
I decided that wasn’t going to be the route that I would follow. So, I left my job as a school principal when I had a stellar, successful school. Everything was running smoothly.
Looking back, I was at the top of my game. Super students, super parents and super staff. Everyone was shocked when I announced my early retirement! Me too.
But I had an idea tucked up my sleeve. What I needed was time. I needed time to dig into who I was before I was locked into my role as an educator. It’s taken a number of years to reclaim the real me. I guess I’m still searching.
First I had to decide if I truly enjoyed writing. And I do. I thought the journey would be so straightforward. Write, pitch, publish!
In the publishing business, that’s not quite the reality today. So, I had to boomerang back to the basics. I attended conferences, read craft books, and found other like-minded writers. And along the way, I’ve met a fabulous group of authors. I continue to attend workshops and I try to keep my ‘head’ in the game.
Recently I plunged into the self-publishing pond, or lake or whirl-pool, however you wish to describe it. It’s turned out to be a fascinating ride.
Currently I’m writing Young Adult fiction which turns out to be an arena not only for the young, but for the young-at-heart.
My latest novel in The Girlfriends Series –Best Friends Forever is Little White Pills available on Amazon.
The idea for this novel came from an article I read in the newspaper. The article described how first year university students had easy access to medication to help them cope with the demands of classes. They simply borrowed pills from their parents or from friends.
The journalist revealed that this route was an easy pathway to addiction. This idea percolated in my brain for a few months. Then I combined that premise with the stories from my school experiences of pressures that teens face in middle school and high school. And suddenly I had my story.
Little White Pills
Tenth grader Steph Baxter has it all, perfect looks, perfect grades and a perfect life. She’s a model high school student and a member of the cheerleading squad. But in her quest for excellence she makes risky choices.
Soon her simple solution becomes a complex problem. Follow Steph and her best friend Rachel as they cope with Steph’s unexpected journey. Can Steph find support before it’s too late?
I recognize that this is a serious topic, so I made sure that throughout the novel, Rachel, the best friend is present to lighten the moment. I’ve enjoyed writing Rachel so much that she reappears in my third novel of the series, Little White Magic which will launch in the fall.
I hope you will enjoy my expedition into the land of the theatrical, the land of the passionate, the land of Young Adults.
Queen of the Universe Question
Ah yes! For some unknown reason my mind immediately zeroed in on the ‘Miss Congeniality’ movie starring Sandra Bullock.
Ms. Bullock was an under-cover cop posing as a beauty contest contestant. In every question and answer segment, the young women would answer ‘Blah, blah, blah’ and oh yes, ‘World Peace’.
So I guess if I could have a lofty, soaring goal that would be it.
However, on a practical level – and more related to writing as Queen of the Universe I would wish that the writing business would be more encouraging to new writers.
I remember a young woman I met at a Seattle writing conference. She had saved up her money and traveled all the way from Alaska. It was her first conference. She was keen, enthusiastic and thrilled to be attending her first writing workshops. She had her pitch ready. By the end of the week-end, she was humbled, saddened and discouraged.
In my opinion, that was all wrong. Even though I tried to encourage her, I had a feeling that she was going to quit. She had decided writing wasn’t for her.
In the August 2013 edition of the RWR (Romance Writers Report) author Marybeth Whalen created a checklist of strategies for finding encouragement for the writing journey.
- Engage through Social Media
- Surround Yourself with Passionate People
- Find Your Person
- Create a Portfolio
- Erect Boundaries
- Get Spiritual
- Join Groups
I wish that I could have directed this emerging writer to the information presented in this article.
Many, many thanks to the blog host –Jo-Ann Carson for giving me this fine opportunity to join her on her blog.
Excerpt –Chapter 1 –Little White Pills
My fate is the land of perfection. Perfect grades, perfect body, perfect life. But I’m faltering, I’m not who you think I am.
I stroke the side of the plastic vial of little white pills considering what to do. It’s all good. They’re prescription, you know. Not mine of course, but legal. Just something to take the edge off my day. I tuck my secret deep in my pocket and get ready for school.
I’m the girl you love to hate. I have it all. Brains, looks, friends. My best friend Rachel says so and she’s right about everything. I’d like to agree with her –but most days, I think she’s wrong. So what if I’m pretty, get straight A’s and have a ton of friends? None of that makes me feel good.
I’m only in the tenth grade and Dad and Mom keep asking what I want to do with the rest of my life. I tell them I haven’t a clue. What I do know is I plan to be very careful about the path I choose. I won’t follow my dad.
I don’t want to spend my life hating what I do. I don’t want to wake up in the morning and look in the mirror and think ‘Is this all there is?’ I need to discover what’s out in the world at my own pace. That’s the problem. My parents are fast-track kind of people, looking for the best, wanting the most expensive stuff. Every day they push, push, push. Push themselves. And push me.