Wednesday, January 09, 2008

New Horizons

As a kid all the cartoons I liked—Spiderman, Bionic 6, Captain Planet, Galaxy Rangers—pushed the boundaries of convention. I do admit I like to explore those nooks and crannies around every corner, though those are usually the ones that led to heroines getting into trouble.

This year, eager to set some good resolutions, I decided not to let my fears get the better of me. Looking at the photo album my aunt gave me for Christmas, I wondered what happened to that kid that loved adventure?

The answer is simple I got old and turned into a scaredy cat. Which is also one of the reasons I think I’ve been in a slump of late. I usually jump right on projects, but lately I’ve been in a lull over novels editors and agents have asked for. Which means now I’m up to my eyeballs in work (not just at my full-time job).

So I needed to rededicate myself…reinvent myself. That started with a promise to get in shape…again. And to not let my fears stop me from venturing into territory I hadn’t charted.

In answer to that personal call to arms, I volunteered to do my local chapter’s newsletter—The Final Draft. I knew I had the design knack, but hadn’t really ever tried my hand at running a “paper”. I sent the first issue out New Years Day to an overwhelmingly warm response. So I get a gold star for that achievement.

Next I decided to act on my idea to branch into non-fiction. This past Sunday I finished off my secretarial notes from a meeting of said local chapter (because the person taking over that job was ill) and decided there was no time like the present. I opened a fresh document and set to work putting down the ideas I’d brainstormed in the 2 hour drive from Charlotte. In about an hour I was done. Before I lost my nerve I sent it to a local, high-end magazine editor and then did the nervous dance. I figured the worst she could tell me was that I’d missed the February deadline or that she wasn’t interested in my article. I’d already been told no plenty of times by editors/agents, so what was one more?

That night I found a bounce-back e-mail sitting in my box. Her inbox was too full. I promised myself that I’d give her a few hours the next morning to clean it out, then resubmit. Once again what was the worst that could come from sending that e-mail again? No boogey man was going to jump out from my screen (unlike those e-cards that make you scream).

Since said full-time job is super busy I didn’t get to log in to my online account until lunch. There in my inbox sat an e-mail from the editor of ALAMANCE WOMAN. Nervously I clicked on it and to my surprise found that I’d just made the deadline and though she couldn’t offer me any money, she would love to include my article in the February edition. So “Be Mine: 9 Valentines on a Dime” will be out on stands everywhere in my hometown boasting not only my picture but also a pretty hefty byline.

So if you’re counting that’s 2 gold stars for me. In response to the good news I’ve already sent another article to my local paper and am working on some pieces to test the waters for national publication. And since I dream big, I’ve mocked up a idea/pocket book I’d like to market based on my Romantic Tidbits.

But I haven’t forgotten my old goals! I still want a romance on the shelf, or atleast on the web. And I still want to be able to do a booksigning and meet my readers. This is just a way to confirm that people like my writing.

Having that reaffirmation means, I will be taking my edits to the gym to work on as sweat rolls down my brow. Now if I could only figure out how to safely prop my laptop on the treadmill…I’m sure I’ll figure out a way. People don’t call me the go-to girl for nothing.
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In a funny aside a fellow Carolina Romance Writers' chaptermate told me this morning that she has a free read coming out February 1st entitled Be Mine. You can check it out here: http://www.allromanceebooks.com

1 comment:

Lynda K. Scott said...

Skylar, you're an inspiration to all of us! Woohoo on the article and everything you're doing! You really know how to start a year out right!