Pondering…

OMG, you may say; here she goes again! 🙂 Well, I’ve been thinking about a facebook conversation this morning and it took me back…way, way back.

I have a long-time friend, Marsha Canham. Actually, Marsha became not only a wonderful friend but she also became a lifeline and a mentor to me. We met in Chicago 20 years ago at a convention…we both got into the same limo to attend an event. LOL My first book had just been published and I was as green as one could be. Marsha already had several hugely successful books under her belt. As it happened, Marsha lived in the east side of Toronto and lived in the west end.

Last night I read a truly wonderful post on Marsha’s FB page from a new-to-her friend. I was so moved by that post, I shared it to my own page. As Marsha says, “It is wonderful readers who keep us going.” And that is so true.

When I started writing in the early 80’s I did not know anyone who had written a book, let alone have one published. I was writing in complete isolation back then. I used a stack of 3-ring binder paper and a package of Big pens. It’s difficult to imagine that now.

Going back and changing a portion of the story, whether adding in or deleting, was a nightmare. You can imagine. I had highlighters and tiny notes galore. When I finished the story, I rented a typwriter…an old Underwood, as I reall, for something like $20.00 a month. Luckily I was employed full-time because already this “hobby” was costing me money. Well the “hobby” became a passion and I kept at it. I went to the library and learned how to submit a manuscript and how to write a submission letter. And received my share of rejection. Well, enough of all that. Suffice it to say I graduated and kept at it and eventually had several books published.

But I still remember the excitement of being told a New York Publisher wanted to buy two books. I still remember the thrill and the tears I shed over a wonderful letter from an amazing woman who took the time to tell me how much she enjoyed the first book, Spring Blossom. I wrote back to Audrey and we became fast friends. And I still have every fan letter I ever received.

I don’t know if people who are passionate readers realize their tremendous value. And I’m talking way beyond income potential. In the scheme of things, there are very few authors who earn a living by sticking with the intense process of writing. I never did. I still do not. But every sale is still exciting and every kind word from a reader, even if we’re just chatting on FaceBook or Twitter, is invaluable. That contact is essential in reminding writers that someone out there is enjoying their effors. And it’s so easy now to make those contacts. Yes, I’ve come a long way from those days of isolation and I’m very thankful.

Since Marsha dragged me kicking and screaming into the digital world by pointing me in the direction of Smashwords and Amazon, by introducing me to writer eloops and nipping at my heels when I was dragging my butt, I now have dozens of writer friends who, like me, have been working our way into the digital world. Many of them have taught me a lot and I think, perhaps, I’ve helped out a few along the way. I hope so. And I would venture to say, many writers feel the same about their past and their present as I do.

It was Virginia Lee, of Dagonsblood fame, who became a friend via Twitter and introduced me to the Independent Author Network. It’s a great spot for readers and writers. And I’ve since branched out to many other reader and writer sites. I’d post links here but I’m not quite into this blog thing yet. Forgive me! LOL

Okay, I’ve rambled on enough for one afternoon. Besides, I’ve depleted my ration of coffee!

To the readers and writers I value, have a great weekend!

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2 Responses to Pondering…

  1. MR Graham says:

    Hey, hey, hey! I still use the highlighters-and-tiny-notes method. I like seeing everything all spread out.
    As a passionate reader, I’m going to have to go seek out your work now.

  2. JILLMETCALF says:

    LOL, MR Graham. I graduated to using little recipe cards…with tiny notes attached! Whatever works for everyone. 🙂 If you do have a chance to read one of my stories, I sincerely hope you enjoy!

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