Saturday, May 27, 2006

Curve Balls

Have you ever had things all mapped out, thought you knew where you were heading and then had a big curve ball thrown at you? That's where I am at the moment.

I stood on the edge of summer, looking out across all my free time to play with the kids, muse about and write a book, hang out with online friends when we all get together in July...Life was GRAND!

At this moment, I am reeling a bit. I have taken over the bookkeeping duties for our family business. I am not a bookkeeper by nature. I've spent the week trying to learn to navigate the accounting program, and am now going to wade in and organize the files to suit my system (if I can call it by such a grand name.) If I can live through the next six weeks or so, I think it will work out ok.

As to the writing...I'm trying to convince myself that with less time to loaf around, I'll be more focused. So far, I find all my mental energy is taken by the new job and I have little time to think about the novel.

I've set aside a writing week with a friend next month though. I'll work in the morning or evening and write at her place during the day.

In the meantime, I'm still going to try to enjoy summer.


Monday, May 22, 2006

I'm Back!

Well, South Dakota was beautiful. We saw the house my MIL grew up in. No one has lived there for 40 years, so it was sadly in disrepair. I think it was a good experience for my children to see where their grandma grew up.

I can't believe how much I missed my computer though. I missed IM-ing my friends at night. I missed being able to sit at my computer and write on the novel.

Which brings me to the true nature of this blog. It is about the path of a writer. Because each writer has a different path, we can learn from each experience.

My experience is as follows...

In ninth grade I wrote a story called CIRCUS SUMMER. I still have it, loopy girly pencil writing in a blue spiral notebook. I poured my soul into that story, screeds of pages about a girl, a horse, a boy, a clown. LOL

Then I put it away. Volleyball, work, school...they took my attention away from writing.

Then, just two and a half years ago, I stumbled across the most remarkable thing. Fan Fiction. I had never heard of such a thing before. I Googled one of my favorite old TV shows, The Big Valley, starring Barbara Stanwyck, and found a whole on line community of fans writing stories with The Big Valley characters.

I decided to give it a whirl myself and wrote a story. It was as if a part of my brain which had been shut off, shut down or shut up had exploded forth. I found myself dreaming about stories, characters, plot lines.

In this community, I found a woman who had been writing for years. Multi-published in periodicals, she took me under her wing. I remember the first real critique she gave me. I was gobsmacked! But I was encouraged too. I wanted to learn, I craved learning!

Four months after I posted my first story on the writing board, I began a story that I felt had some real potential. It was greeted with great acclaim in the Big Valley community, and my mentor suggested I take the basic story line and mainstream it into a novel. I worked for a few months on it, changing the characters, the setting, the time frame, but keeping the basic love story intact.

With all the hubris in the world, I found a Christian Writer's Market Guide and sent my proposal/query and sample chapters off to agents. To my great surprise, an agent offered representation.

I've since written two more novels, been to a writer's conference and received a request for a full ms from a publisher. Every step takes me closer to my goal of publication.

I'm currently working on the first novel of what I hope will become a series of contemporary Christian romances.

Erica Vetsch

Friday, May 12, 2006

A Whole New Thing

Hello to the blogging world. I've been considering blogging for some time, and finally decided to take the plunge. A little about myself. I'm a homeschool mom, writer, avid fan of The Big Valley, and chocolate lover.

I'm heading to South Dakota next week, so when I get back, I'll probably have a lot more to say!