When I started this blog two and a half years ago, I thought it would just be a fun place to document my progress as a writer; somewhere to let loose all those thoughts and theories that arise during that long, wonderful, arduous, exhilarating process known as "writing a novel." You know, just another place to get the voices out of my head and onto the page.
I didn't know I would make such wonderful friends, and that has been the best surprise of all.
First Tia. We started reading each other's work, helping each other with query letters, consulting each other on decisions (I think the email thread in which I debated whether to enter the Golden Hearts lasted a week!). She's a great writer and a dedicated reader, and her insights never fail to blow me away. She sees things that I never thought of before, opens my eyes in ways I didn't think possible.
Then, when I was at the 2008 Pennwriters Conference, frequent commenter Eden asked me to write an article for Toasted Cheese about conferences. That opportunity, offered at such a tumultuous time in my writing life, bolstered my confidence--and going back to my old newspaper roots and writing in article format was incredibly fun. I must've done a decent job, because she's now reading Grim Light. Considering that she's an ABNA award semi-finalist (go read it! go review it!), I can't wait to hear her thoughts.
Lisa popped up in late 2008, offering to read Battle of the Hexes when I was considering self-publishing it on the Internet. She's a reader of Tia's, as well, and I think of her as our cheerleader. Unfailingly insightful and helpful, always enthusiastic, she pointed out aspects of my book that no one had noticed before. She's now read Grim Light--you can see her thoughts here--and as I go through her notes and apply her advice to the novel, I'm certain that we're making it a better book--together.
I met Steven on Absolute Write, early this year, after he found my blog and asked for some advice about starting his own. He's added his name to my reader list, and I've added mine to his. Considering his poetry, I'm eager to get started on his novel, A Birthday Suicide.
I don't even recall how Jen Hayley and I met. But I've been cheering on her progress, as she snagged an agent and is now, I believe, on submission, and I can't wait to see more success from her. Partly because it's so exciting, and partly because she keeps on posting teasers that make me desperate to read more, and I want to go to the bookstore and buy the darn things, but I can't because they're not there yet, and it's very frustrating, and it makes me write with excessive italics. I tell her to stop torturing me, but she keeps doing it. So maybe next Tuesaday I'll fight back with a little of my own...
So basically, I think you guys are so full of awesome, it must be bursting out of every pore. And I just wanted you to know that you're making the writing so much less lonely, and for that I thank you.
No April Fool's here, because it's the damn truth.*
*Argh. More italics. Darn you, Jen!
If you don't feel that you are possibly on the edge of humiliating yourself, of losing control of the whole thing, then possibly what you are doing isn't very vital. If you don't feel like you are writing somewhat over your head, why do it? If you don't have some doubt of your authority to tell this story, then you are not trying to tell enough. --John Irving