Things have changed a great deal since I was in school, or even when I taught school. Columbus Day is now not the shiny happy day off it once was. Historians have discovered many unpleasant truths about Chris and his impact on the new world. But I’m not here to argue national pride or genocide. I’m going to talk about my own exploration as a writer. This post was inspired by Pirate Sin over at the Romance Writer’s Revenge. Believe me, the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria have met their match with Captain Hellion’s crew.

Although I dabbled as an English major who wrote bad poetry and indifferent short stories, it wasn’t until five years ago I was compelled to wake up in the middle of the night and write. (See? Two examples of bad poetry in this post already.) I believe I’ve gone on record that my first “book” was 23,000 words. Who knew Word had a word-count feature? You must remember I grew up typing term papers on an old Royal upright that my father bought at the Salvation Army and I would have to hand-count each and every word. The ‘e’ key stuck. (Any idea how often you type the ‘e?’ You watch Wheel of Fortune, I’m sure. ) It was a huge deal when Dad went to the Salvation Army again and found an electric typewriter when I was in college. Welcome to the 20th century! My adult jobs did not require much computer literacy. Exploring the computer has been a challenge but I’ve finally figured out how to get 25 lines per page and turn off the widows and orphans feature.

It took a good three years and three books for me to follow the map without running aground. The last two years have been buffeted by strong, favorable winds and better friends, who’ve shared their expertise, hopes, dreams, frustrations and support. I’ve discovered I’m not alone, bobbing in circles in the middle of the ocean. I may not ever reach my destination, but the trip itself has been worthwhile.

So thanks to all of you in the flotilla with me. Godspeed and safe harbor.

How long have you been on your writing journey? Do you navigate by stars or compass? Ever feel like throwing yourself overboard? What New World have you accidentally discovered?
One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time. ~AndrΓ© Gide