There are only two times in my entire life that I have truly made a deeply thoughtful decision about how I want to live. Up until then, I sort of plucked choices out of the air. For instance:
I went to college far away from home (Chicago) because I had never been far away from home before.
I took the first job that came my way after college – working a switchboard at a big company – because it was offered to me.
That job slid me into an assistant position in a marketing firm when another person quit to get married.
A snowstorm drove me out of Chicago and back to California where I grew up. That really was more of a reaction than a decision. Have you ever lived through an Illinois winter?
Back home I got married (okay, that was a great decision).
I got my MBA because the company I worked for paid for it.
One day someone dared me to write a novel – something I had never imagined doing – and I did it because they dared me.
That was when I started making real life choices. I had found something I was passionate about (other than my husband). The challenge of writing, the flights of imagination, the nail biting wait to see if an editor would even look at my book created a thrill that I had never experienced before. After my first book was published, I chose to become a writer, an author, a novelist. I decided that I would be the best storyteller I could be and for over 30 years I have pursued that goal. I have had my ups – including best seller lists – and my rejection/bad review downs.
When A Slice of Orange asked me to pen a blog, I thought this would be the perfect place to talk about everything I have learned, about the everyday decision-making that comes with this career. I want to tell you what it’s really like to make a living as a novelist, how other people have done it and why there is no one-size-fits all when it comes to a writing career.
This will be a blog about permissions, and fun stuff, and objectives and questions and hard looks about the decisions authors make every day. This will be a blog about choosing how to proceed on your own terms.
The beauty of the Write Life is that it’s all about choice – yours, mine and ours.
You might be familiar with some of the authors published by Tule: Charlene Sands, Barbara Ankrum, Justine Davis and Jane Porter. (By the way, Jane is Founder and CEO of Tule.)
Meghan’s talk is going be on the almighty “query letter”. She’ll also be giving an overall view of Tule, on how they run and what they’re looking for.
Come for the meeting. Stay for lunch.
The meeting is from 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM at The Newhall Library-24500 Main St. Newhall, CA (aka Santa Clarita). We’re in the Heritage Room on the second floor. After the meeting, we will be taking Meghan out to lunch. Anyone who wants to join us is welcome to come. This is a great opportunity to spend some up-close and personal time with an editor. The meetings are casual, and best of, they’re free if you’re a first time visitor.
More about our new chapter.
Our chapter might be new, but the quality of our speakers is top notch. So far we’ve had Tessa Dare (2017 Rita finalist), Debra Holland, Elena Dillion, Debbie Decker, Lisa Green, Martina Boone and our own Margaret Brownley (author of over 40 books and also a Rita finalist for this year).
If you can’t make this month’s meeting, here’s list of some of the upcoming speakers for the rest of the year, Mia Hopkins, Judy Duarte, Linda O. Johnston, Susan Squires and Liz Donatelli of Liz D Publicity Promotions. The name of Liz’s talk is, “Authors Meets Reader: Engaging in a Real Life Love Affair”. She’s going to explain why it’s important to make personal appearance, along with book signing events. Knowing how most writers are introverts, she’ll also be giving out pointers on how to feel comfortable at these events, even when they’re not buying your book.
If you want to know more about our chapter, check out our website. Santa Clarita Romance Writers. Hope to see some of you this Saturday–don’t worry taxes aren’t due until the 18th this year.
My first post for A Slice of Orange comes with A Slice of Nature. As I sit here in my writing cabin in the woods, I watch my favorite buck tip the flat bird feeder to his advantage. He is taking care of his own needs, much as we do in our own lives. Nature shows me each day how the trees, birds, and animals do not try to be anything else but who they are in any given moment. A deer is not trying to be turkey, a fox is not trying to be a bunny, nor is a songbird trying to be a hawk. They are who they are and that is the gift.
Often, in our own lives, we are concerned with trying to become someone or something we are not. It doesn’t work very well and we find in the end that we are just perfect as we are. We all have talents, but sometimes we must dig deep to find them. Finding our strengths and taking responsibility for own lives is key. Each of us has a path to walk, find yours and live the challenges and experiences that we are given.
I’ve learned not to have expectations, and that life is all about effort. Live in a space of letting go and work hard. Nature is my teacher and shows me that only we hold responsibility for the energy we give, along with the energy we bring to everywhere we go. If our intentions are good, our outcome is usually in sync as well. All of us have remarkable stories of finding ourselves in places we never expected, but that is an authentic and compelling life. Like nature, no two moments are the same.
Sally Paradysz writes from a book-lined cabin in the woods beside the home she built from scratch. She is an ordained minister of the Assembly of the Word, founded in 1975. For two decades, she has provided spiritual counseling and ministerial assistance. Sally has completed undergraduate and graduate courses in business and journalism. She took courses at NOVA, and served as a hotline, hospital, and police interview volunteer in Bucks County, PA. She is definitely owned by her two Maine Coon cats, Kiva and Kodi.