Exasperated, restrained, geek, freak and fanatic. The list could go on and on evaluating my writing life. There’s a saying: If you think you want to write a novel, take an aspirin, go to bed with the blinds closed and sleep it off.
I began writing in a journal around 1987. A few years later, not heeding the advice above, I delved into writing courses. Writing a novel and getting published summed up my goal in life. I even began a writer’s club in this sparsely populated area. Six of us women decided we were going to become writers and if that didn’t work according to plan, we would start our own publishing company, and get published one way or another.
Sheila was excellent at artwork and offered to help in any way, shape or form.
Besides Sheila, Sandra’s husband, Len, knew a fair amount about publishing since he worked previously for a publishing company and was a writer himself. His artwork was on the comical side and he had plenty of time to cultivate this venture.
Anita, a retired school teacher and Principal, would be our leader. She was so very encouraging and helpful.
We met once a week. It seems quite funny now as I look back. Two of us in particular could hardly read our work in front of the other five. Our lips moved, but you would have laughed at our tweety-bird, screechy voices. The two of us admitted our hearts pounded hard and fast. Perhaps as bad as if Brad Pitt had walked into the room. I highly doubt that but… with red cheeks, vibrating tonsils and sweat pouring down our necks and spines, hyperventilating was the next step.
Fran sent her work all over, hoping to get a letter back announcing she had won some contest. She was fortunate enough to get some poems published for the Manitoba Writers Guild. Lucky her! She’s waiting to hear back from other publishers who are slower than a turtle crossing a road.
I sent some work to a Christmas contest in a local paper and got published a couple of times. Never did win first place though. Second, third and fourth place three years in a row were my top successes. I ceased sending my works there. I found out the hard way that you must not send your brilliant manuscripts to publishers who are not requiring your particular genre.
By then, I had found FanStory. Off and on since, I have worked to improve my writing skills, put my chin up (though it sags more and more each day according to the mirror) and learned to believe in myself. I am proud and am no longer shy to read my works of art.
A couple of years ago in September, I ventured by automobile to Banff, Alberta, where writers from all over the world met. I had to read in front of published writers who made their living off writing. I managed to pull off a great act, swallowed my heart and pride, no tweety sounds escaped and I was too old to sweat it. It turned out to be an experience of a lifetime.
I have two stories going here so I will sum it up by saying that my writing club has chosen to get together once a month to go out for lunch or dinner these days. We started off as a writing club sharing our works of art. Now, we eat together and laugh at our memory losses and sagging breasts and to top it off, we catch ourselves wearing red and purple.(At the same time.)
We had great times, but like everything else, things change and so do people. I will try to post some photos of our used to be Menimise Group. No, I guess I won’t. Here’s to the good times girls. Cheers!!