Life deals us a lot of challenges. That’s what I like to explore; the challenges, be they emotional, intellectual or social. I’ve dabbled with writing since grade school, never anything serious until I was struck by the Jane Austen bug. The allure of the ‘what if’ scenario, combined with life experiences be they new or in the past, grabbed me by the muse and held on tightly.
Nature is a great inspiration. I am fortunate to live in a rural setting where I can enjoy the sounds of nature (when the farm equipment is not doing its job) and let the sun warm my face as the birds tell their tales around me. The occasional field mouse scurries past and the branches of the trees whisper in the breeze. Okay, often there is a prevailing wind but that only makes the paper rustle and add to the challenge of putting the words together .. in … just… the … right… order.
My first draft of Reflections was 21 pages and written in 12 hours on a summer day in 1998. It wasn’t my first attempt at Austen fic; that first effort has not seen the light of day and is far from finished. No, this was something inspired during an outing with my son, 5 years old at the time, and I could not rest until I had completed it. At three a.m I wrote The End on a brief but satisfying mission and went to bed, pleased with what I’d accomplished. A few months later I started posting it online at DWG and it metamorphasized into more than 100 pages!
The rest is history, as they say. One story led to another. They are like potato chips; you can’t stop at just one.
Over the years I have pushed myself to new challenges, with the occasional silly fluff piece for amusement, because I enjoy the cerebral workout. There is a folder on my computer that contains approximately 20 idea files. Some are worth further exploration and some are not. Every once in a while I pick one out as a project. I shall never be short of material to work on. Whether I finish them is another matter! It is, however, a great exercise when the muse is being .. er… shy. Or is that arrogant? Too proud to participate?
Or perhaps just tired of practicing.
Last, and most definitely not least, I want to add my gratitude to family and friends who have encouraged me, supported me and share in my excitement at this time. I’m not one to (as Dad would say) toot my own horn but if there was ever a time to do that, it’s now!