Wednesday, August 23, 2006

How I Got Here—And Here I Am

Last fall, things started to look uncertain in my day job. We lost a couple of big clients due to market circumstances rather than our own service quality, which is something you can’t combat. One of our services halted completely when the person providing it retired in December. I voiced concerns to my husband, who wanted me to get a new job immediately. I wasn’t willing to go into a worse unknown when I still had a decent job, working with people I loved, with the flexibility and the four weeks of vacation I’d earned over the years.

I had always had a goal of writing full time. I wanted to be earning enough money to make it happen, but that horizon kept moving away. I wanted to be writing full time when my youngest started first grade, and missed that goal with little hope of rescheduling. But I mentioned that it seemed like everything else was lining up to that end—my oldest was heading for middle school with no easy day care options, yet she’s not old enough that I want her alone every day for as much time as she would be.

So my wonderful, darling, fabulous, supportive, thoughtful, sacrificing husband crunched the numbers, we made some adjustments, and with six months of planning and preparation, on June 8, 2006, my dream came true.

I became a full-time writer.

I got my last paycheck from my employer 11 years to the day after I got my first one. Gotta love the symmetry of that.

So here we are. Finishing up my kids’ first summer of their lives without a day care/summer camp situation. Facing the prospect of getting them up at 6:30 when they’re used to sleeping until 8:00. And me, having six hours of uninterrupted time to write and work on writing activities.

One of my mother’s favorite sayings was “leap, and the net shall appear.” Right after, “Never start a fight, but if they hit you first, hit ‘em back harder.” I’ve leapt. I’m currently without agent, without day-job income, and with no one to blame but myself if I fail.

Except I’m not going to. I may not have an agent at the moment, but I’m courting one. The book currently pending her re-read post revision was the “over-the-top” Bombshell wanna-be, revised to single title with increased romance and a greater role for the hero, with more depth.

Black Widow was the Bombshell wanna-be the editor hated. It will be a hard sell. I was once told it was “too category,” except that it has a married heroine who’s been married four times and widowed twice who is searching for the person who put her current husband into a coma and gave her the power to conduct electricity. It also has three potential heroes, and the one she sleeps with isn’t the one she winds up with at the end of the book. There’s a prostitution ring and a very unusual confrontation situation with the villain. So there are a lot of reasons someone might not like it. But I love this book. I love the heroine and the way her story evolved. So it’s currently under consideration with several publishers.

The last rejected Bombshell I kind of always wrote with single title in mind. I have a partial of that ready to go, and over 100 pages written.

My active project is about superheroes with everyday problems in addition to their big nemesis. And I have several ideas on the back burner, including a goddess story and a married couple who is faced with living together for the first time in fifteen years. So come on, career. I’m ready for you.

I’ve leapt, and I’m not even looking for the net.

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