Saturday, March 29, 2014

0 to 800 in 12 hours--new personal record

half of a whispering chair at NC State
(I'm sure that's not the technical term...)

Made a mud pie! A very lovely one. Decided to whisk it out into the world (Women's World, that is) & see if anyone wanted to take a bite.

But first, time travel. We set the kinda-way-back machine to 1984, the year it was discovered that Big Brother wasn't as bad as had been predicted by George Orwell. (That's more like now. Grin.) More importantly, at least in my universe, 1984 was the year I decided, heck, I can do that, and sold a mini-mystery to Women's World. With the resulting $500, I bought 10 $50 black hills spruce trees, which we planted at the edge of the back yard. They are towering now. I know how tall my career is, as that was my first professional (in terms of pay & also circulation) publication.

I sent them a few more mini-mysteries without further sales, and also a romance. They didn't buy it, but later there was a short-lived romance magazine called Arabella that bought the story I'd written for Women's World, "Hot Dogs and Champagne", (red wine with meat, white wine with chicken and fish, hot dogs with champagne -- everyone knows that, right?) and used it as the cover story for their very first issue, illustrated by Alan Ayers. They did an article on him, since he's one of the premier illustrators for books, especially romance, and showed the photo shoot he'd done to create the painting. It was awesome!

Some years later, when my dad was about to have surgery, I drove to Montana from Asheville in 2 days. I don't recommend driving almost 2000 miles in 2 days, but it's possible. Shortly after I passed Sioux Falls, South Dakota, I needed a cup of coffee and ended up at this place called Buffalo Ridge and discovered that the owner's girlfriend (they were in their 70s or 80s) was Alan Ayers mother. Weird, huh?

But, back to the story of the new story. Guidelines change, but Women's World still publishes a mystery & a romance every week. So, I got the hankering to see my byline there again. About 10:30 or 11 on Wednesday night, I started typing a little romance. Done with the first draft around midnight. The next morning I did a bunch of revising on my little 800 word gem -- err, mudpie; I forgot the terminology -- & it was in an envelope a little after noon. At the post office shortly thereafter. Voila! Mudpie in the mail. I'm not sure when I'll hear, but it was such fun to write I feel as if I've already won. Plus, the new record!

I'll definitely keep you posted.

Blog alternative:
282. Think about something you've been thinking about doing & see how fast you can do it. Clean out a drawer. Write a story. Make that soup you've been hungering for.