So I am turning 37 this month, and I guess I'm old enough to have a mini mid-life crisis (2020 Apocalypse aside) because I've been struggling with pangs of supreme melancholia that I haven't accomplished more with this precious deal called life. Especially when I consider that both my parents passed away relatively young, I have to wonder if over half my life span isn't already gone. But you know what? I needed all this time to make me who I am today.
I spent my teenage years dreaming up the epic world of Lorelei and Tiko, spurred on in my inky adventures by the rapt attention of my sisters and best friend, Anandi. I devoted the first half of my twenties to learning the grueling craft of writing in college classes. The latter half of my youth was poured into writing my first two clumsy novels and many hundreds of pages of other unfinished stories (for some reason I would hit the 100 page mark and just quit. Sorry, Thelonius Lackey!). But from all these failures, I gleaned more about my weaknesses and strengths in writing fundamentals such as plot, dialogue and characterization.
Oh, and then I had my fabulous agent Natalie for many years, and I failed again. None of my stories found homes with traditional publishers. Looking back, I think I really needed to learn and commit to the art of revision. I will never be done learning how to revise! The first half of my thirties I self-published three novels, and I'm grateful for everything I discovered about self-discipline from that process even though none of them were commercial successes.
Now I'm ready for the next chapter in my life. And you know what? I'm not the same person I was in my 20's. The deepness of sorrow, pain and joy have all challenged and changed me. The stories I want to tell are completely different. And that's okay, and as it should be. I can't wait to see where all my ink ghosts take me next!
*(A sneak peek at the fabulous illustrations by Bonnie Bishop for my children's book True Gossamer: A Wingless Fairy Tale, which I will hopefully be revealing this December assuming the world doesn't implode on 2020 crazy beams and murder hornets!)