I have always told stories. I have friends who remember me telling stories in the first grade. Now, for me that’s a while back. Over the years, I made up stories about my cats and wrote cracked fairy tales. Those were hand written. Actually printed by hand. I did illustrations too. I did not ever think I had a chance of getting a novel length story out of my head and onto paper due to dyslexia.
People laugh that I can spell that word. Dyslexia is different for each individual afflicted with it. I have always been able to read. My brain looks at words as symbols. Typing was where I lost it. The letters were there, looking like Word Jumble puzzles. When people asked me if I could type, I would tell them I knew how to operate a typewriter.
Then a miracle happened. Computers. Word processing units let me correct on the spot. Cut and paste became my best friend. I say that because linear thinking just does not happen in my brain. Baroque twists and turns with tangents happen there. My thought patterns have been described as matching my frizzy curly hair.
Several years ago I got my first laptop and learned to use it. I started writing a story that began with me seeing the highway sign that pointed out a Federal Oil Reserve. I happily wrote way too much by the time I finished the tale. That is when I began to learn about writing and selling the product. It was like going to college… again.
Rewriting and cutting are necessary to produce a sellable product. The harsh criticism of critique partners is also necessary. There was nothing sweet and easy until I caught on. And I did catch on to the way to make a story in my head become a novel that a publisher will buy.
It took time and a pile, 61 to be exact, of rejections to do it, but on July 12, 2014, I sold the first book I wrote. SLANT WELL is the second sale. Back in February, I sold the second book I wrote. I wrote ASH ON THE STAIRS to get my foot in the door and it worked. If that confused you, that’s how my brain works and why I need cut and paste.
I must say there is no drug on this Earth that can give the sublime high that selling my stories has given me. I’m working on two more and I’m sure more will happen. Right now though, I’m glowing with the intense satisfaction of knowing that ASH ON THE STAIRS will be out around the end of the year and by this time next year I’ll be signing copies of SLANT WELL for all my friends who are demanding it.