All writers expect a good year when January rolls around and mine started with a bang. Frontier Tales posted my story, Desert Rose - Bounty Hunter, on their website on the first. That not only astonished me but when February rolled around, I found out the readers had voted it Best Loved. Other writer friends began predicting this was my year. They weren't wrong.
March brought a second story accepted at Frontier Tales, Jackie Ryan - US Marshal, wasn't selected Best Loved but was a good tale of two brothers, twins, who were as different as night and day in their callings. Or, as Jackie would say, Dwyer chose to wear dresses!
April and most of May passed without much in the way of acceptances. Then near the end of May, Paula Freda at The Pink Chameleon let me know my middle grade story, Dilemma, would be featured for the next year on her site. Things were improving. I now had three acceptances in a year, more than ever before. I began to believe this was my year. But I had to yet achieve a book contract and was beginning to worry, until MaryChris Bradley at Buddhapuss Ink notified me that I'd not only made the first cut for the Mystery Times Ten Anthology but had also been one of the winners. Oh, the excitement. I felt as if I'd finally broken through some kind of wall I'd never been able to do before.
However, June and went past without any acceptances and like all writers, I began to wonder if I'd finished my year of acceptances. Not that I wasn't busy. Current projects demanded my attention. Projects put to the aside screamed for me to pick them back up. There also was my commitment to promoting Mystery Times Ten to fulfill with a visit to the teen reading program at my local library. But then I heard from Duke Pennel at Frontier Tales telling me a third story of mine would appear on his website this year and that would happen in November. The Preacher's Daughter is on the current issue of Frontier Tales, a story of a young woman fighting the pervasive evil she feels in Tombstone.
July brought more good news and a bit of a panic. I proposed a serialized Western Story to The Western Online and the idea was accepted but wouldn't be published until I completed the tale. Oh, the panic I went through. I'd only written the first story and only had an incomplete idea on what I wanted to do with the rest. So, I did what I do best, set a deadline that would have made most people faint and set to work. Five weeks later, I emailed the finished product and was rewarded with this serialized story being featured from September to March of next year. You can view The Call Chronicles: Homecoming, The Call Chronicles: Bittersweet Reunion, and The Call Chronicles: Nefarious Plans at this website now and the rest on the first of each consecutive month.
I now believed this was my year. All the stories I'd had published in addition to the Passionate Hearts Anthology in 2010 gave me current work in all the genres I work with. But there was still one thing missing, one thing I desired to make me feel as if I'd had a year to remember. That thing happened on Sunday, November 6, 2011. My husband, teenage son, and I had just received news that my husband's job of more than seventeen years would end in January the previous Friday. We were, to say the least, devastated as we wondered how he would find a new job in this economy. The impact on our lives occupied our thoughts, until I opened my email that Sunday night.
Our teen thought I was having a panic attack. And I was, in a way. There, right in front of my eyes, was a way to take that hundred pound of lemons handed to us by the closing of the carpet mill where my husband works and turn the bitter fruit into the best Molten Chocolate Cake in the world. Solstice Publishing had accepted my YA novel, Softly Say Goodbye (working title). I began hyper-ventilating. My son was scared out of his mind and kept demanding what was wrong. I was finally able to scream that I'd sold my first single title book!
Needless to say, our family is now celebrating. Yes, my husband still has to search for a job but our hearts are lighter and I finally believe one thing.
THIS HAS BEEN MY YEAR!
After going through my files, I discovered Softly Say Goodbye was my NaNoWriMo project last year. And it was also another winner. It took me six years to produce a great novel through the great November write-a-thon!