Thursday, October 2, 2008

Just Doing the Best I Can

I'm a "newbie," or at least that's what my friends tell me. A "newbie" writer. I started my (ur-um) career as a writer rather late in life, but I'm looking forward to the future. Okay. So it won't be the future from a twenty-one-year-old's perspective, but the future I expected to live when I was that age never panned out anyway.

First, I wanted to join the Peace Corps. They denied my application, saying I had no marketable skills to offer. I was eighteen then and I thought all you had to do was show up. Not. Then I decided to become a special education teacher, but I was too much the professional mother to force anyone to reach their full potential. Then....I got a cop...Need I say anymore? He was from the north. I was from the south, and our own private civil war raged within a tiny New Jersey apartment.

THEN...I decided to become a businesswoman. I did okay, I guess. Paid the bills, albeit sometimes later than my creditors requested. I did the so-so businesswoman thing for a while. Next, I became a medical professional. A dental assistant to be exact. Not my cup of tea as it turned out, although I did meet some very interesting people.

Jobs came and went until I became the domestic traffic controller for an international chemical trading firm. Big title, not so big paycheck. I sold burglar alarms, waited tables, worked a while for Loreal of Paris, and finally went back to my eighteen-year-old missionary bent. I started running not-for-profit agencies. I was pretty good at it. Even won some state recognition.

I earned accreditation as a rehab provider, but I burned out after a few years. The problem? The majority of people who seek rehabilitation do so because some court somewhere forced them to. They're not really interested in getting off the booze or working through the drug issues. Mostly, they want that completion of program certificate. This unfortunate circumstance means that rehabilitation providers, such as myself, seldom really see any success for their efforts. After a multitude of failures, I just threw up my hands and said, "The hell with it."

Then it happened. I suffered the worst personal tragedy imaginable. My ten-year-old daugher was killed. I lost all passion for work of any kind, but I needed to do something, something productive, something that wouldn't cause her to hang her head in shame as she viewed this life from the next. I went back to college, earned my MA in English, and I became a teacher. I kind of like that. In fact, I'm still doing it!

While I slaved away in graduate school, I came to the sudden realization that what I really wanted, wanted more than chocolate or a lottery win (maybe that last thing is an exaggeration), was to become a writer. I started with poetry. You can even google my name and find a few pieces floating around the web. There's more. I found myself longing to tell stories. Big stories. Little stories. All kinds of stories, and I wanted to tell them in print.

I became a "newbie," a wannabe writer looking for guidance and, of course, representation. I've done what ninety percent of wannabe writers never actually do. I've finished my first novel. Okay. So it's not published...YET. But wonders of wonders, I'm now cracking away at my second book. At this point, I figure I've got maybe twenty thousand or so words to go until I can write the two words that really mean something to a book: THE END.


Gini Koch said...

Remember, you have more than one finished novel. Just because you're going to revise them doesn't negate the work put in OR the lessons learned.

Plus, as far as query letters go, you should write the course, Ms. Every Top Agent Drools When They Read My Query. LOL

P.S. You left out some of the juicy bio stuff. Saving it for the back cover??? ;-D

And you totally earned your Big Dawg Pack membership, and don't you ever forget it! :-D

WKEverhart said...

Thanks for popping over, Gini. I'll have to admit that for a newbie, I do write a mean query letter. Thanks for noticing!

Psst...about that juicy bio stuff, you bet I'm saving it for the back cover! :D