See You in the Bookstores:
Five years ago I was a housewife and mother who had an interesting hobby. That was before all this hoopla, when I didn't know anyone in publishing, or anything about the industry.
Back then I stayed home, took care of my husband and my kids, and wrote novels when the kids were napping. I didn't have the internet on my little IBM PS/1. I had a word processing program, books to read, my family, and solitude. That was all, but that was enough.
I won't do the whole "how I got published" retrospective; most of you know the story. Why it happened, who knows. But I can tell you that seeing your books published is the best thing that can ever to happen to a writer. Holding the first book in your hands, that precise moment, pays you back for all the fighting to get there.
worth it. This, I promise you.
Everything else associated with being a published author -- the organizations, the politics, the awards, the cons, the hype, the critics, the bestseller ranks, the networking, the internet, the posturing, everything -- has nothing to do with the work. It is empty and meaningless unless you buy into it. Then you give it power over you.
After five very long years of trying to figure it all out, I think I have. The only thing that matters to me, that ever mattered to me, is the work. The rest you can keep.
So: I'm now going to take back the very private life that I had before this incredible thing happened to me. I don't have the husband anymore, but I still have the kids and the books (and a much nicer computer.) Solitude is my old pal, and we get along great. I'm going to write books, because I'm a writer, and that's what we do.
(Celine Dion will not start singing now, I promise.)
I will leave Star Lines' archives here, as they represent a two year daily album of my life, and I think they might help someone now and then. Or serve as a warning. Or a source of some good laughs. Really depends on how much you buy into that other-than-the-work stuff.
Those of you who owe me signed books, you'd better send them along when you get into print, or else.
Take care, be well, and never lose sight of what matters to you.