Tag Archives: frozen shoulder

Another rough draft done….

…and now the real work starts.

I started writing for publication the fall of 1997. Back then I wrote religiously.

And after five years of rejections, I started fiddling around. I pretended to write. I wrote in spurts. I played at being a writer. But those rejections slayed my writing spirit. Another five years of rejections killed that spirit.

Honestly, even though I’d write a book a year–usually–, that book wasn’t heartfelt. It was almost fearful. I tried to write to the rules and to what I thought Harlequin would want because Harlequin was my dream.

Two and a half years ago (or maybe three) I put my thesis online. Honor and Lies was my heart. My professors loved it…which isn’t always a good thing. I mean, you don’t want an audience of professors to be your only fans.

But what did I have to lose? The book was sitting on my computer and in the MSU library. It was a tribute to my grandma, and I wanted to give it a chance to be shared by others.

A couple months later I published a couple romances and that was that. I figured I had a backlist of written works, I’d go through them and post them and whatever happened, happened.

Only I started The Artist’s Way with colleague Scotty Coppage and I started working again. It was bits and spurts at first.

The first book I wrote to self-publish was Dead Girl Walking, the first of the Sharlene Gallagher guardian angel mysteries. And since then I’ve written everything to self-publish.

Last summer I came up with a business plan and a publishing schedule. And my arm quit working.

If you know me in real life or kept up with the blog, you know I mean it quit working completely.

For a month I cried because all my plans were flowing away with every day the arm got worse. Not only that, but with each non-writing day I saw myself growing closer to the “writer” Mary Beth. The girl who wrote some, when the muse hit, when she wanted to, instead of the committed writer, working on her craft.

Right before NANO one of my former students Emma found out about my arm and suggested the Dragon software.

In two weeks I wrote an novella using spiral notebooks and dictating to Dragon. The arm wasn’t an excuse. Since then I’ve worked on novels and novellas. I haven’t worried about the business side. I embraced the creative side and the excitement of creating characters and worlds and conflicts.

I’m not writing for anyone but me.

And I’m loving every minute of it.

Suddenly I’m not okay publishing the books I’ve got lined up on my computer as possibilities just because they’re done. I’ll go over them later. I want them to be the very best they can be. Sexy, scary, heartfelt…whatever it is they’re supposed to be, I want them to be that times a ten million.

Self-publishing gave me this even though I haven’t published a word since August 25.

I’ve written hundreds of thousands of words since then. I re-discovered my voice, my art.

And I’ve learned to trust in my creative soul. To pray first then write and let the words work.

I’m not ready to publish the books I’ve written since August 25. They’re all in different stages of the revision or editing process, but I will be soon.

For now, I’m happy that I’m writing and creating and loving it and hating it and working the craft.

It’s so funny to think that because of self-publishing I’m writing more–and better, I think–even though I’m not publishing a word.

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A Night of Writing and Thoughts on Arizona

I’m calling it a night.

It’s just 10:46 on a Friday, which is honestly prime writing time, and I’ve set my next scene up for lots of fun conflict, but I’m going to try not to exhaust myself with this book. I’m also going to try to keep my arm moving. Frozen shoulder hurt too dang bad for too many months to ignore the twinges I’ve got going on now. The doctor doesn’t think the hours I spent in front of the computer writing last summer had anything to do with the issue, but I’m not taking any chances.

I kind of hate to turn off Spotify tonight. I started using the discover tab and I’ve found so many amazing country and folk artists I’ve never heard of. It’s so fun to write to music that sets the tone of the story. I’m listening to Laura Cantrell right now. Amazing.

I might come back and write more later if my brain won’t shut down, but I’m going to at least take a break and stretch, which is far better than the quick Facebook break I took before writing this. That stupid quick break turned into a 40-minute look at lots of disturbing news.

I’d written a long Facebook post about Arizona, but I deleted it because it was just preaching to the choir, which is pointless unless you’re trying to inspire and motivate. I’m not. I settled for something that has become a guiding principle over the last few years. Something that would make life a lot easier and the world a much better place.

Love God? Love people. It’s that simple.

I remember when I was in college a friend came out. This was back in the day when dorms were community bathrooms and tiny rooms. Another friend was shocked and said “Oh My God, you’ve seen me naked.”

Our friend who was now out and a little embarrassed and afraid of how we’d respond laughed and said, “You have a very high opinion of yourself.”

We all laughed along with her and went back to whatever it was we’d been doing. We didn’t care that she was a lesbian. She was simply her. The person she’d always been.

Okay, that last paragraph is a fairy tale. It’s the way I WISH it would’ve been. The truth was we were all freaked out, but we tried to be the people who treated her the way we had before she told us…at least while we were with her. I don’t remember it being that big of a deal after a few days, but it might have been. Time messes with memories. Sanitizes them. Makes our parts in ugliness so much prettier. Time lets us believe we actually said all those things we WISH we would’ve said.

What I do know is that was the early 90s. She and her SO could go anywhere in the US without fear of being legally denied service because of what someone believed. If they would’ve traveled overseas to, say, Afghanistan, that would’ve been another story. There they would’ve been executed by people who believed their religious dogma trumped all. People who used hate for years to inspire terror and terrorism. Hate that led to 9/11.

My heart hurts for that girl and her SO and for the anger and pain and ugliness now being spewed all over social media…again. Someone asked me once what I would say if my kid were gay. She’s not, but if she were I’d say the same thing I say now: I love you.

Hate is never the answer. Love is always the answer.