My first BLOG!!
I’m so excited I’m jumping up and down on the sofa, smiling, dancing, and screaming like a little girl.
It’s a nice image, but definitely not me. I actually thought about starting my blog with the title Ten reasons I don’t want to blog. I have no doubt the marketing team I’m working with could have used it as a learning tool for “how not to blog”, or maybe they’d just sit around the conference table in their ivory tower enjoying a coffee and a donut, having a good laugh—telling their colleagues about that crazy lady from Minnesota who writes books about sex and stuff.
Yep! That’s me, but let’s add another descriptor: introvert. I’m an obsessive, compulsive, overanalyzing introvert—except when it comes to writing. With writing I can hide behind my screen and get lost in the written word. It’s my therapy, along with some good wine to accompany the keyboard.
So let’s talk about the story behind the story. It began with a notebook, much like the one in this picture.
A plain, white, spiral bound notebook. You might ask why a notebook like this? Why not one of those journals with the adorable kitty pictures on the front?
The reason is because I needed it to look like I was doing my homework. Oh, the things we keep from our parents. Teenage life was hard, in my case, it was damn disheartening and difficult. So this was how I escaped into the realms of my fantasy land with my friends and boyfriends, better known as “characters”. It was here in my little corner of the world that I made shit up and wrote about it. It was so much easier to deal with the challenges of teenage life, knowing there was something more out there … something bigger and more exciting … lost souls … true love … happy endings.
But, like everyone else, life happens. College, marriage and a step-son, career, the birth of my son, my husband’s deployment overseas, a move to Texas, and the death of my dear step-father who had raised me since I was only 2. He was my inspiration, overcoming his own life obstacles and giving up his single life to marry my mother and raise her children. This is the man that encouraged me to do what I love to do and as he held my hand during those final days, he told me to never give up on my dreams.
So you’ve probably figured out by now that this is the point my passion for writing started to take shape. I’d always written reports and worked on project communication in my career, but I started to really focus on the details now because that little niggling in the back of my mind told me this stuff would be important someday. So I took it all in and you know what? It was so incredibly boring! Yes, I said Boring with a capital B! No drama, no mystery, no sex, just mundane work day after day.
So once again, I escaped into my fantasy world and the characters living in my head started to take flight, jet-setting off to a life of their own on tropical islands, big cities, barren deserts, ocean waters, dirty rivers and living lives of the rich and famous, the poor and destitute and everything in between. I literally had to do what I call a “Brain Dump” into spreadsheets and family trees, and outlines and then sort through it because these prized, but sassy, characters started to take over my life. I did tell you I was OCD didn’t I? Well, that’s what people like us do—we obsess over things. (Maybe that will be a future topic for a blog.)
Anyway, after all of that, I stared at these massive documents for over four months before I finally just set a goal that I was going to write a book. That was my goal: To write a book. I never planned to take it any further than that, after all, I’m an introvert with OCD and there was no way I was putting myself out there for all the world to see. So how did it get published? Well, that’s where my extroverted friend comes in to this story. She balances me out with her outgoing, never-going-to-let-you-quit, charismatic personality traits. We had lunch … then I told her I wrote a book … and then I let her read it … and then I told her what my vision was for a book cover …
And that, my dear readers, is the story behind the story, how it all began, and how I wrote and published my first novel. As difficult as it was to put myself out there on display, I’d do it all over again because I’m following my dream; I’m riding the rollercoaster of life; I’m taking a journey to the unknown; and I’m doing what I love to do!