Saturday, January 15, 2011

Day Two: Getting to this Point

Last year at this time I wasn't thinking about writing my first major work of fiction. Nope. Not at all.

Not only was I NOT entertaining the idea, I knew absolutely NOTHING about how to either get a work of fiction published or how to publish it myself (I was totally clueless about the amazing revolution occurring in publishing). My only experience with publishing had been as a contributor to peer-reviewed scholarly works; places, in fact, where I had been respectfully invited to submit my work. (Yes, my fellow authors in fiction, such utopias do exist elsewhere.)

Today January Moon is for sale in print and as an ebook on; it is sold as an ebook at Smashwords and Barnes & Noble.

And I like to think that I've become something of an expert on the subject of self-publishing and hope to continue to learn much, much more.

Can you believe that on this same day a year ago I had never read a book on an e-reader? I had never held a Kindle or Nook or iPad in my hands and, let me admit to this right up front, had no desire to start.

Today I have a Kindle and I'd give up my microwave before I'd give up my Kindle. I don't know how anyone who really loves to read books cannot want one once they've put their biases aside and actually given them a go and that's the truth.

Facebook? I'd been sucked into it once by colleagues in the business world but hated it. Those same people assured me that it was an important business application necessary for networking with customers. Frankly, the only business I saw happening was Monkey Business. For some strange reason, certainly due to the vagaries of my neurochemistry, I found it hard to believe that Farmville Apps and "what I ate for lunch" discussions weren't exactly strategic marketing plans. Throw in some pictures of a few surly looking kids and some vapid comments showing the seemingly infinite scope of your overall banality and I'm pretty sure you have a plan for a business train wreck.

One of my grandmothers often warned "familiarity breeds comment." When I was a kid I just thought that statement was "kinda' weird." Now I understand. It only took me 28 FB Friends to decide I had no interest in collecting any more. I didn't walk away, I ran away.

So, last year, at this time, I had no FB page.

Now how's this for an amazing turnaround? Today I'm very proud to say that there are over 450 of the best people in the entire world listed as my friends on FB. I'm going to share with the world how you can find supportive, caring, intelligent, proactive people too. Business? Sure, you can use FB for business purposes but I use to connect myself to the kind of people I want to know and call friends. They are to me a rich treasure trove of folks who help float my emotional boat. I love and am concerned about all of them.  


Well, I'm still not Tweeting. My biggest hang-up is that I can't get past the idea that very little can be said, of any relevance anyway, in a few coded and abbreviated words. I can be as equally vapid on FB and so I'm not sure why I need another place to tell folks I just had a Lean Cuisine for lunch. But I may be converted yet. Look at everything else I now embrace that I originally met with skepticism or even disdain! 

At this same time a year ago I also didn't have a website and didn't follow any blogs.

Now I have a web site and if I do say so myself it's pretty damn nice. Check it out.

And look where I'm writing today... and not just here at my own blog but I've been a contributing blogster over at Author's Lounge for about three months.

How 'bout it: The Windy City Author blog is launched!

And I follow quite a few blogs and enjoy them immensely!

Oh boy, what a year it's been!

Starting today I'm going to go back and begin to chronicle my journey to "here."  Then I'm going to continue to record it forward, at least for the next six month, maybe a year.

From time to time I'll post it here.

Maybe it will help another author, maybe not. But it's surely going to help me because I need to process all of the many extraordinary things that happened to me in 2010 but most of all I want to introduce you a few of the many amazing people I met on the journey.

Yes, above all, it's about the people I met or re-connected with at each step of the journey.

They are the real story.


  1. Welcome to the blogosphere, Maureen. :-) I look forward to both reading about your journey and getting to know you better.

    That, and dragging you kicking and screaming into my Twitter network, where we shall show you just how much fun you can have 140 characters at a time... ;-)

  2. Wow, I am so impressed!!! I started writing my first novel, "The Old Mermaid's Tale" ten years before it was finally published. My second one, "Each Angel Burns", took five years to finish and the one I am working on now is in years two with at least another year ahead.

    I've been blogging for going on six years and have written over a thousand blog posts. Maybe one of these days I'll figure out Twitter but it hasn't happened yet.

    Nice blog!

  3. Jamie, thanks for the great comment! OK, you're ON: I'll turn myself over to you and you can show me the wonders of Twitter, OK? It's a deal!

  4. Kathleen, well to be honest I took myself off the grid for the 4 months it took to write January Moon. I literally shut down and did nothing else; the only "break" (if you want to call it that) was the tragic few weeks nursing Trooper through his end-stage kidney failure and then acclimating Shadow to us, etc. Al kept me and the animals alive and the time is all a blur to me. I tried fiction several other times in my life and I cannot write fiction and do anything else -- for me it is impossible. You want 300 pages on the Third Reich or Physician-Assisted Suicide? No problem; I can do that with 50 other balls in the air. But for me there is definitely something weird about how the truly creative process works in my mind. Once I "step into it" (like a Black Hole or something) I am lost and can't say when I'll walk out of it. This the 1st time in my life where I had the ability to suspend the rest of my life for awhile and do it. I'm preparing for it again as I write the sequel; I'll fall off the grid for awhile but I hope it will be for a shorter period of time. We'll see!

  5. Oh man! Your description of Facebook had me laughing so hard, especially since I just posted about a new recipe I made for lunch today. Hahaha!

    I used to be an "off the grid" kind of writer, too (and still prefer it that way), but now that I have kids, it just isn't possible. Fortunately (for me and my writing), my kids are with my ex every other weekend, which tends to be my prime time for writing.

    I'm glad I discovered you, your articles, your blog, and (eventually) your book! I look forward to everything I can learn from you. :-)

  6. Thank you! Glad you found me and hope you stick around!