I plan to be lazy for the next five or six days. Almost as lazy as my over-indulgent puppy here. She’s feeling the after effects of holiday entertaining. Kinds looks like me yesterday!
This week, I’ll visit with friends, hopefully see some family, eat myself into oblivion on party leftovers (and vow to diet come the 1st.), put the holiday decorations away, and make music and party the year’s end with people I love.
I’m still taking stock and have some ambitious 2014 plans, but the short list has me getting acquainted with a new computer, launching the Exquisite Quills Recycled Reviews and start the scheduling process for author guests, writing up my findings about blog hops, and then dusting off the magnum opus — the 5-book, 500,000-word, as yet unnamed labor of love I became a romance novelist for. Three years in I believe I’ve learned enough to do it justice. That was the point. I still have a few unfinished love stories to chip away so I won’t be walking away from romance entirely like I’d planned when I started this journey. I don’t know how I’ll fit it all in, but I will. Not only am I versatile, I’m determined. 😀
What a long strange trip it’s been. Strange trip? Oh yeah. Four days from now marks my three-year anniversary as a published author…or I should say, my three-year anniversary as a contracted author. What began as a series of early readers for my son more than 20 years ago, changed course when I rehabbed an old Greek Revival house. I was inspired to write a story about that house in the time of the Underground Railroad. Years later, I started the huge project I refer to as my magnum opus. All in all those humble beginnings weren’t so strange. It was my encounter with synchronicity that made it so. That’s what put my feet on this path. I’ve mentioned before how a series of events over the course of a week inspired me to break into romance as a way to learn the publishing business. But I’ve never mentioned the last freaky bit.
I have a friend who is an accomplished tarot card reader. Back when I was a teen, I had a set of tarot cards. Reading fortunes was a fun pastime with friends. To be quite honest, I put as much stock in tarot calling the shots as I do a daily horoscope or fortune cookie setting up one’s day. I consider such fun readings not attempts to predict the future, rather as mnemonic aids or prompts to insights already intuited and waiting in unformed thought. In other words…If your horoscope says you’ll be pleasantly surprised that day, in the back of your mind you might just be primed to notice something you’d overlook if you hadn’t been prompted by a prediction. Like being told number 9 will figure into your day, then seeing that number everywhere you go on billboards and signs, license plates, etc.
So back to my friend…
She came for tea one afternoon in early February and brought her cards. She said she’d read for me if I wanted her to. I said sure. I had no grand question to ask, but I came up with will I publish my magnum opus this year?
I Figured it would be an easy read. I was getting ready to submit the first book in my series to a publisher, despite the fact I had reservations. I’m well aware I can be wordy when I drop into stream of consciousness writing (or on my blog!). All thoughts pour through my fingers and then I go back and trim. The problem back then was I didn’t know how to trim. I hadn’t yet faced the fires of the editing process. Each paragraph was huge and inflated with details because in my mind that’s exactly how I saw them. Readers don’t need to see all that.
With no other burning question on my mind, I asked about my magnum opus being published that year. The cards said no. I asked about publishing my children’s books. No. I asked about my historical youth novels. No. She thought maybe I’d publish a book I hadn’t written yet. I laughed because I was knee-deep in the 5th book of my work in progress. I had no plans to write another book. She read the cards again with that question and they said yes. She then did a different spread that shows the passage of time. The cards said I’d be contracted with a publisher at the very end of the year, but not for anything I’d written up to that point. I smiled at the prospect, but still had no plans to write another. All in all a fun afternoon with a friend.
The card reading completely disappeared from my mind when her car pulled out of the driveway. In late summer that year, I had that synchronistic week with all fingers pointing at ebooks as the place to begin. In three days I crafted, what was for me, an edgy novel and submitted it. Months passed without a peep and I wrote the whole experience off. I’d been rejected twenty years before and not every publisher sent a letter, so I just figured that’s what the deal was. On December 29th, I received my contract. Freaky. That’s what makes it a strange trip.
Here’s my horoscope for today:
Get started on something new — even if it’s just cleaning house! You are feeling pulled in a new direction, and it should lead to opportunities if you keep moving in the right direction.
See? Things are obviously out of my hands! 😀
Love Waits in Unexpected Places – Scorching Samplings of Unusual Love Stories
Sample my love stories for free!
If you’re here for the first time, my husband and I are assembling a vintage holiday postcard scrapbook one card at a time. I’ve been posting one or two post cards each day and plan to keep it up from now until January.
Christmas is over which is good because this is the last Christmas postcard. New Years cards from here on out.
Author Marianne Stephens’ blog day
Meet the RB4U authors!
Several promotional opportunities for romance authors can be found on my Exquisite Quills group blog.
First Kiss Wednesday ~ share your best 300 word kiss.
Set the Scene in Six ~ share your backdrop or lead-up on Sundays.
The Genesis of the Story ~ share the spark that ignited your novel
Author Interviews ~ We’re booking 2014 now.