Welcome to my author page!
Writing has been a hobby of mine for as long as I can remember. Although I have tried in vain to quit on multiple occasions, I feel compelled to continue writing and compulsion is a driving force! Writing is therapy for me so whenever I give up everything in my life goes a little haywire. Probably it’s best for the other people in my life that I continue writing.
In my teens I wrote really depressing poetry and filled volumes of journals which are in a box somewhere in my storage closet along with the first novel I began writing in my twenties. Ah the hubris of youth! The novel was a handwritten jumble of ideas about a summer romance on Block Island off the coast of Rhode Island where I was living at the time. The story was scrawled in a notebook and filled with lots of sticky notes, cocktail napkins, and scraps of paper. It might actually be a fun read now!
In college as an English Lit major I wrote short stories because this is the perfect medium for college professors to dissect student writing and probably less painful to read than long stories or poetry. I still enjoy writing short stories but they’re hard to sell even in collections unless you’re Maeve Binchy, so I just post them here on my blog for free. Much to my amazement people like to read short stories here. The blog format offers new hope for reviving the lost art of the short story! The same is true for poetry, which I don’t write anymore but do enjoy reading.
In my thirties I abandoned writing for a career in business. I got married, started a family and quit my job because somehow last minute travel with a newborn at home wasn’t my idea of fun. I had less time for writing than I thought I would as a result of motherhood, but I have no regrets about this.
I freelanced for a local newspaper for a few years for an amazing editor who was an excellent mentor.
Eventually, I wrote another novel, this time on a computer. I actually completed it, and then tried listlessly to seek an agent. I gave up. I decided I prefer writing my characters in the first person and needed to change the perspective of the novel from third person to first person which required an entire re-write. This is still a work in progress.
We moved to Italy for three years. I didn’t do much writing, but traveled, took thousands of pictures, learned Italian (sort of), and learned about wine.
In my forties, I decided to give fulltime writing a real college try, no messing around.
In 2012 I joined a writers group which was the single greatest idea I ever had. I was terrified. The other writers in the group (mostly male) were brilliant and much more accomplished than me. Some had already published novels. We had a side group called The Must Get Beers. Those outings were fun! I realized that having writer friends was a necessity for survival as a writer.
In the summer of 2013, I published two short story volumes. These include coming of age tales chronicling a young, unique, quirky character named Scarlet O’Brien.
Seeing Scarlet Volume 1: Passages of Youth https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/332370
Seeing Scarlet Volume 2: Progressions https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/341537
I started this blog with no idea what I wanted to say. I did what most writers do when they start a blog, I wrote about writing. No one cared, not even me, so I wrote about other things. Over time I figured out that readers liked to read my posts about wine the most. In 2014 I posted an article titled, “Ten Buttery Chardonnays for Under $20” which has been viewed around 150,000 times and still receives views today. I wasn’t even aware of the number of views the post had until I found it accidentally on the phone app version of WordPress three years after posting the article. It took me about fifteen minutes to write the post and much longer to drink all ten bottles of wine (with help).
I began writing another novel, completed it, shopped for an agent, sent a few query letters, attended a writer’s conference and got some advice, and decided to self-publish my novel:
Once the novel was published I focused on my social media platform, attended book fairs, spent my time promoting my book. It was fun for awhile, but marketing is not writing.
Sadly, I relocated and left my writers group. I went back to work fulltime, first in a cheese shop, then as an office manager in a dental practice, and ultimately in finance where I work now.
I started a second novel based on the same character, Janice Morrison, and considered a series. I wrote one chapter and then got distracted by a new idea.
In 2015 my mother who had been diagnosed with dementia came to live with us and eventually moved to assisted living. I call these the lost writing years, between work, family and caregiving I had nothing left to give and zero time to write.
Then COVID happened and we lost mom that same year.
I had a social media meltdown and cancelled my Facebook, Twitter, Parler, and LinkedIn accounts. I kept this blog because this is my writing community now. The rest was always a distraction.
I am still working on the new idea and believe I have a good shot at completing this novel. I think it is more mainstream than Secret Agent of God and has an excellent chance of being published traditionally if this is still a viable option whenever I finish writing and editing it.
I never thought I would still be a “writer in progress” at this point in my life but life gets in the way of writing which is fine because life is what makes writing possible. I will say that the only writing advice that has always been true for me is to “never give up”. Add to this “fight for your dream and for your writing time”. If you make writing a priority you will have success. The questions is how you define it.