Wednesday, November 21, 2012

I Am Thankful For….

This is the time of year when we all seem to stop and ponder our blessings.  My son came home from kindergarten this week with a fill in the blank, “I Am Thankful” picture.

He insists he’s thankful for his parents (despite some on Facebook who claimed his answer might have been a bit more risqué).  I am, in fact, super thankful for him.

But, this close to Thanksgiving, I’ve started to ponder my writing “career” as it were and feeling blessed and thankful for where it has taken me. At just over 6 years ago now, I started writing seriously.  And what a strange trip it’s been.

It started with Avon’s Fanlit. I met some really amazing ladies through Fanlit. After Fanlit, I found my way to the Romance Vagabonds, where I met Terri and Fran.  It wasn’t much later that Fran, Terri, Sin, and I, (along with Lisa who’s sailed off on her own now) started this blog.  I count blogging here with you guys, all the wonderful pirates I’ve met along the way, as one of the highlights of my writing journey.  The ladies who visit the blog and contribute to it are some amazingly supportive ladies.  I’m thankful for all of you.

I’ve finished three, almost four, manuscripts now.  Each of them has been a gift on its own. I’ve tried a bunch of different things and along my way I’m finding my voice. I’m also thankful for all of the rejections and requests I’ve received for them, all the contest finals or nonfinals. I’m also thankful for every critique, positive or not. I’ve learned a lot from the feedback I’ve gotten.  The people who’ve stepped in to help me out… they are awesomesauce.

Biggest highlight so far? So much happy requesting from my last story. It made me feel like I am getting THIS close to breaking out.

So tell me… what are the highlights of your writing career? What has you feeling thankful these days?


Haleigh said...

What a cute picture!

What an interesting question - I'm also thankful for rejections and requests in a weird sort of way. There's something about rejections that, while sucking, mean you're a "real writer." It's one of those common bonds between all writers - we've all been there, we all know what it's like, and we've all learned from them.

I'm also thankful for the camaraderie of writing. I too started out in fanfiction, and I don't think it would have ever occurred to me to write seriously if it hadn't been for those early reviews on fanfics that convinced me I've got something to work with.

Biggest highlight? getting signed by an agent. Even though it didn't work out and he left the agency, it was still freaking awesome. And also taught me much about the cyclical nature of writing careers, and how partners and agents and editors will come and go, and not to get too tied up in any one point on that journey.

TerriOsburn said...

That is the sweetest picture. You never get tired of those moments of appreciation. Especially since there are times those moments are few and far between. :)

Where do I even begin on this question? First of all would have to be the friends I've made. Amazing women every one, who bring so much to my life. The community that comes with being a Romance writer is priceless. My pirate crew is my family and I am beyond grateful for you ladies. (And Q. *g*)

Then there's my agent, who saw something in my writing that no one else saw. And my editor who also believed in me and my story. And my developmental editor who has the patience of a saint and doesn't seem to hold my lack of grammar skills against me. :)

I'm still not sure the fact I've sold has totally sunk in. Maybe when the preorder page goes up. Or I have a real cover. With my name on it. Still feels totally surreal. If this is a dream I do not want to wake up.

MsHellion said...

I am thankful for my friends, writing or not, because they have all been uber-supportive. Even when I'm not writing, but writhing around in self-pity.

I am thankful for my deerhunter, who is very supportive of dreams and doesn't say "It'll never happen" or "You're not good enough"--he would never dream of saying that. I know lovers are supposed to be friends; and men and women CAN be friends (at least in theory), but I feel like I know so's weird. (And it's ironic I write about it when I don't quite believe it exists. At least for me. But it does.)

I'm thankful for paper and pens because without them I wouldn't have written nearly as much this year without them. *LOL* I'm thankful I have the pirates to cheer me on and "compete" with me each month as we pour out new pages and share our very best. I think we bring out the best in each other, and I think the best "companies" are the ones who do that.

I'm also thankful for my anti-depressant meds...when they work. *LOL*

Marnee Bailey said...

Hal - I feel like rejections were my initiation into "real" writing too. LOL!! And I agree about that ebb and flow of it. There are so many people who have touched my career so far. Some have stayed (waves to you all!) and some have gone and I'm thankful and appreciative of all of it. :)

Ter - moments of appreciation rock. Because there are so many other ones where he's like, "I don't LIKE YOU!!" Ah, the ups and downs of parenting. LOL!!

And you have such a supportive professional/creative group around you. That's a real blessing. I can't wait to see what they do with your covers. :)

Hells - Having someone standing behind you and telling you that you can do it is vital. My hubs is like that--bless his heart--and it's one of the (many) things that have strengthened us over the years. But I don't think it has to be a significant other. My mom and sister are always soooo supportive. They check in on my progress and wave the pom poms when I need it. Having a support system, it's awesome.

And I had a period there where I wondered about "LOVE" like what people write about. I think we all have doubt-filled moments. The doubt-filled moments are what makes us appreciate the other times, the ones that us with conviction. Both sides of the coin, ya know?

Janga said...

Marn, your son's thanksgiving is a big Awww moment. When the now eleven-year-old grand was seven, his list started with all the animals he was thankful for. There were so many from alligators to zebras that he ran out of room, so in tiny letters in the corner, outside the margins, he added "and my family." We know where we rate.:)

I'm thankful that Squawk Radio and the Eloisa James bulletin board once existed because I owe so many cherished friendships to those groups. I'm thankful for the friends who keep believing in my writing when my own belief wavers. I'm thankful for the Yes! moments, those rare times when I write something and it feels that it's all it should be. And I'm thankful for the established romance authors who have been incredibly gracious and generous with the advice and encouragement they offer.

Marnee Bailey said...

I'm thankful for the friends who keep believing in my writing when my own belief wavers. I'm thankful for the Yes! moments, those rare times when I write something and it feels that it's all it should be. And I'm thankful for the established romance authors who have been incredibly gracious and generous with the advice and encouragement they offer.

This is so lyrical, it bore repeating. :)

I love that.

And yes, this was an awwww... moment for me. Unprovoked sweetness does that to me, ya know? :) Your grand's is cute. "and my family." LOL!!

irisheyes said...

Awww, Marn, that picture is priceless. I pulled up the website, saw that picture and started tearing up! About an hour ago I sent my baby into the big, bad city with his *girlfriend* and some other friends! Then I turned around and kissed my daughter goodbye for the day as she headed out to *work*! They grow up fast!!!

I'm thankful that I found my love of reading again and that I have so many friends to share that love with. I'm thankful for Eloisa James' very first website. Stumbling onto her site all those years ago has brought me in contact with some truly extraordinary people. I'm also thankful for all the encouragement, support and guidance I get when I decide to test my boundaries and imagination by putting pen to paper.

Happy Thanksgiving, Pirates!

Maureen said...

Okay, so I'm one of the FB people who saw something else at first. It still made me smile and think good thoughts! A boy should be thankful for his pen-ahem... I mean, what a great kid you're raising if that was what he really wrote!

Nothing wrong with being gratefully for your genetals.

Okay. That is out of the way... I'm grateful for the help I recieved from Decadent. The editors who guided me, the artist who did the covers and the fans who have loved what I wrote and taken the time to let me know. They hold me together.

Stumbling on the Revenge has been a gift I can't imagine my life without.

TerriOsburn said...

You thought he wrote WHAT?? You are one sick chick. LOL!

I thought it said "porn and puppies" when I first saw it. ;)

Maureen said...

I saw a few prominent Ps and an n something s... Yeah, I thought he was thankful for his penis.

And I thought that was adorable!

Maureen said...

Porn and puppies?

irisheyes said...

*Sheepishly raising my hand* Yeah, I thought Porn Parents, or more accurately, Porny Parents! Sorry, Marn. That's the stuff you gotta save for when they're in their teens and throw it back at them. It's quite fun. We're still saving my daughter's favorite help phrase when she was 3 or 4 - "you mix the gredients and I'll read the erections!" We haven't decide when to spring that one on her! LOL

Porn and puppies! LMAO Although, every guy I know would be very thankful for both of those.

TerriOsburn said...

Oh Irish, that is priceless. LOL! Both what you thought it said and your daughter's phrase.

Kiddo didn't have anything you could twist up. Tissues were tennis shoes and a bathing suit was baby soup.

Maureen said...

I would imagine the assignment would have come home with a note for a parent/teacher conference...

irisheyes said...

OMG, I love baby soup! I was just thinking as I was typing about my son's girlfriend that there was a time when he couldn't even pronounce his "g"s - gorillas were dorillas, goats were doats, girlfriend was dirlfriend. Not sure he'd appreciate me bringing that up now! LOL

Yeah, Maureen, one of my son's papers when he was in 1st or 2nd grade said something about his favorite holiday memory being drinking wine! I was really waiting to get a call on that one. I kept telling the DH that him putting a little red wine in their ginger ale at Christmas dinner was going to come back to bite him in the butt!

Maureen said...

I'm surprised they didn't call the swat team out on you! Over-reaction is so the vogue right now...

Janga said...

We sing our special family version of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" based on one of the grands' misunderstanding: "On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me a par-teee in a pear tree." Actually I think I'd prefer a party to a patridge as a gift from my true love.

Maureen said...

Especially a party in a pear tree...that would be awesome! I mean, isn't a partridge just a pigeon? Not that I don't like pigeons...

Marnee Bailey said...

Irish - I can't even think about when my kids reach that. I miss the big guy when he goes to school for THREE hours!! LOL!!

You guys with your dirty minds. hahaha!! Penises and porn. Lovely.

Janga - Par tee in a pear tree! LOL!!

Such cuteness, these little peoples!