Today I have a special guest with us-author of several Science Fiction novels, Huck Krueger!
If you were to introduce yourself to a group of strangers, what would you say?
I’ve told people that I’m a pilot and a writer. But since I put my plane away and don’t know if I’ll ever fly it again, I might say, “Hi. I’m Huck. I’m a writer and a former pilot.” Or I might leave out the word, ‘former,’ for now.
Tell us what first drew you to writing.
Like most kids, I had fantasies, and I enacted them in my play. In my teen years, I still had those fantasies, though I didn’t play any of them out with toys or action figures. I started drawing cartoons and comics. But I knew I didn’t have any special skill at it and never assumed I’d sell any of my comic stories. Many of those comic stories and booklets are sitting in a box in my basement.From sixth grade through junior high, I was fortunate enough to have teachers who were enthusiastic about writing, and they had taught me the concepts of English grammar and writing basics. Then I ‘saw’ the ‘window’ to write my fantasies out in stead of trying to draw inept comics.I’ve thought that if I ever publish a big-time seller, I’ll dedicated it (my first book anyway) to my junior high English teachers.
What do you write?
I’m interested in science, especially astrophysics and aerospace. So I write Science Fiction mostly, though I’ve dabbled in romance, contemporary and wartime settings. My science fiction is most often involving space travel or life on other planets. I don’t care for the pure fantasy involving the supernatural or spirits, or worlds and creatures that likely wouldn’t exist.
I read a lot of history too, but I shy away from writing stories in that genre because I worry about being historically inaccurate. With sci-fi there’s usually more suspension of belief. I can be ‘way out there,’ and feel comfortable that no one will definitively prove that what I write can’t happen.
You’ve just released a book (or two) this year, correct? Can you tell us some about it (them)? Where can we find your books?
My latest novels are a series about four crew-members who fly an Astral Research Vessel, or ARV, throughout the galaxy to study stars and nebulae. The crew consists of two men and two women. My main character, Miles Wendel, is the pilot of their ship. Tana Vargas is their engineer and bio scientist. Li Keung is their astrophysicist who mans their science equipment. And Cassie Nystrom is their captain.
Their ship is ‘sustained’ by force fields and is often invisible. Only the objects and equipment they access or touch become visible. If someone wants privacy, say in his or her quarters, then the walls will appear, usually throughout the living compartment of their ship.
Their ship is capable of ‘bypassing the speed of light’ by what I’ve termed, ‘Hyper Sub-dimensional Transition (HST),’ which means they enter alternate dimensions of space/time and fly a ‘shorter’ distance to their destinations.
Of course, at their destinations, they encounter adverse situations. In each of the four stories I’ve conceived so far, they’ve encountered extraterrestrials as well as ‘external conditions’ which complicate their struggles.
I’ve published the first two books in this series which I call, Voyages of the Altair. I named their ship Altair after the star in the Aquila constellation. Its name means ‘Flying Eagle.’ I thought it was appropriate. Each book has a main title, and so far, I’ve titled them after the star or nebula where the plot takes place.
The first book is WR104, which I published in June, 2017. On their maiden voyage we find them near the unstable blue star, identified by astronomers as WR104. The second book is M42, which I published in November, 2017. The crew is assigned to fly through and study the famous Orion Nebula (M42). I’ve finished the first draft of the third story, Eta Carina, and I’m currently writing the fourth, with a working title of, M54.
Information about these books and links to purchase them, along with my other books, can be found at my website, huckkruegerauthor.com. One can also find them via Amazon. Nook and Kindle versions are available.
What seems to be the recurring theme(s) in your stories?
Space travel and extraterrestrials are what I write about most, because they give me so much ‘room’ to create and work out ideas. I like to note that most of my aliens are not evil aliens out to destroy humanity or Earth. They have their faults, but I often have them interact and cooperate with my human characters.
How do you get into the minds of your characters? How do you come up with various settings?
I usually use the ‘closely attached’ third-person point of view, and usually choose one main character to do it in each story. To clarify, the story is shown through the view of one person–only things he/she knows is told. Though, I try to imagine what each character thinks, sees and feels, so I can have them interact in a believable fashion. Sometimes while writing, as an excuse to get up and move around, I’ll physically act out a scene to get the concept and figure out how characters would respond.
Many of my story ideas have come from a topic in science I happen to be studying at the time. I try to construct a story with that aspect of science involved. I came up with one story after I read about Jupiter and its moons and the forces at play between them. In the story I explain the basics of Jupiter’s ‘plasma torus’ and how it affects the electromagnetic fields around the four moons. Then I ‘stretched’ the science and went beyond to create a plot for the main two characters.
Another idea came from combining two news stories. Back when the influenza virus was ravishing through the world, I had that story rolling through the back of my mind when I read about UFO abductions. I combined the two into a plot of aliens abducting someone and mistakenly allowing their victim to contract one of their diseases. After they set him/her free, the disease spread rapidly. The result was a pandemic that wiped out hundreds of millions. I created a story about an astronaut woman whose family had died from the disease.
In my new series, Voyages of the Altair, I’ve been reading about dark matter and dark energy, and worked the plots around the idea of living beings made of dark matter and energy.
How valuable is being in a writing group for you?
It turns out that the writing groups have been very valuable. Since the late 1990s, I had let my story writing go dormant. I had only dabbled with poetry and some articles and essays from that time until the local retired fire chief invited me to check out the local writers’ group in November, 2006. That group identifies itself as the Lake Region Writers’ Group. There was another group that met in Willow City, called the Prairie Rose Writers.
They ‘prompted’ me to rekindle my story writing. While I worked on an old story and wrote new ones, the Prairie Rose group, who had collaborated with our group on an anthology, ‘recruited’ me to assemble and publish the work. After learning the processes of self-publishing, I decided to ‘join the ranks’ of the other two in our group who had self-published their own works. After learning about what I did to publish the anthology, one of the Prairie Rose writers has now self-published one or two books.
When you’re not writing, where would we usually find you?
Outside of my job, which is custodial and maintenance at the local college, I’m often at my computer studying a science or history subject, or communicating with someone, or just entertaining myself. Otherwise I might be working in my shop in the garage or doing some chores or repairs around the house, and in the summer times I often worked on or flew my ultralight plane.
In your opinion, what are some of the biggest obstacles facing writers today?
Writers today still face the usual problems any writer has such as writer’s block or deciding how to compose an article or story. In the business realm of literary jobs and publishing one’s work, I don’t know how much competition one faced in the past. But now-a-days writers will find a lot of competition. The major traditional book publishers and major magazines receive tens of thousands of submissions in a year. Getting noticed will often be through luck.
An ‘outlet’ for many writers has been via the internet, which includes blogs and self-publishing. Writers of blogs, ezine articles/stories, self-published books, or other digital compositions can get their ‘foot in the door,’ if their piece catches the eye of a major publisher. Publishers sometime notice when a piece gets thousands or millions of views or sales. They might approach the author(s) and offer a proposal.
Any additional comments or advice you’d like to add for our readers?
Off hand I can’t think of any advice or tips that haven’t already been mentioned or posted somewhere.
About the author…
Huck lives in Devils Lake, N.D. with his wife, Linnea. He graduated Cando High in 1982, and in 1989 received a B.A. with a major in English, a minor in Computer Science, and a concentration in German from MSU-Minot. You can find his science fiction titles atKindle and Nook.
I’m looking for one-three (clean) Romance books to read between now and January, and am open for suggestions! I’d prefer it to be an ebook, but will take print versions as well. If you’re an author of such book, please let me know a bit about your book’s premise to help me decide. Whichever book(s) I decide to read, I plan to post a review on this blog by the end of January (if not, sooner).
You can let me know either via the comment section below, or through the Contact form.
🙂 🙂 🙂
To Trick a Hacker is a Romance Suspense book written by the gifted storyteller India Kells. It follows heroine Dylan Harris a loner who’s hiding within the fringe of society working as a hacker for a secret organization called Purgatory. With a tumultuous and traumatizing past she’s trying to hide from, she finds herself hunted by an unknown assailant who seemingly have ties to her painful past.
In comes Owen Sorenson, a gorgeous former Navy Seal, sent by Purgatory to protect her from further harm which she reluctantly accepts. Each battling scars of various kinds, they at first formed an uneasy team as they set out in search of a killer that soon grows into a passionate and emotional relationship. A relationship which gets tested time and time again threatening to send either one over the edge and into darkness. It’s a romance forged in pain and loneliness as they each face their personal demons from the past which keep returning to haunt them. Sprinkle in a killer bent on turning Dylan to the dark side by threatening all who she cares for and you have a riveting story that will keep you turning the pages till the very end.
To Trick a Hacker ultimately is a story about family, love, second chances, and sacrifices.
India Kells’ writing style can be liken to Sherrilyn Kenyon and Sara Mackenzie, and I definitely look forward to reading many more of her books!
You can find India Kells at the following places:
We have a very special guest today! Please welcome Women’s Fiction author, Judy Walters!
Tell us what first drew you to writing.
I’ve always written, since I was a little girl. I always knew I wanted to be a writer. It’s just something I’ve always done, and I don’t know why, but I don’t feel complete without my writing.
What do you write?
Women’s Fiction, stories about common people struggling with uncommon situations, many of my novels have some kind of medical twist.
You were an editor in your previous life. How much has the publishing industry changed since you left?
I was an editor a long time ago — I stopped working in publishing about 19 years ago, right before my younger daughter was born. At that time, and people will laugh now, my office was just setting up email and I was afraid I would never learn how to use it!
What seems to be the recurring theme(s) in your stories?
I like to write about families struggling with unusual but not unheard of problems. In A Million Ordinary Days, a woman is struggling with Multiple Sclerosis, and that struggle extends to her family. Other books I’ve written focus on families struggling with Autism, adoption, and infertility.
You have a new book coming out soon. Tell us about it.
My latest book is called A Million Ordinary Days, and it’s due out March 14. It’s the story of one woman’s fight against Multiple Sclerosis to try to live a normal life both with her career — working with pregnant teenagers — and raising her teenage daughter.
Which do you prefer: traditional, self publishing, or both?
I’m not one of those people who strongly prefers one way or another. Both are valid ways to publish. All of my books have been self published so far, but if I ever had the chance to have the traditional publishing experience, I think that would be great, too.
In your opinion, what are some of the biggest obstacles facing writers today?
One of the biggest obstacles is the ability to get published. People with wonderful novels can’t find publishers and feel uncomfortable or unsure of self publishing. People who had great publishers lose their contracts for a variety of reasons and then don’t know how to publish their next books.
Allison Wheeler is fighting a war inside her body, a war with Multiple Sclerosis that she doesn’t want to acknowledge and certainly doesn’t want other people to see.
As Allison’s health deteriorates, she tries desperately to hold on to all that is important to her – her family, her career as a social worker for pregnant teens, and most of all, her independence. As her ex-husband and two daughters rally around her, they’re fighting their own demons – Glenn, in a new relationship, is afraid of shifting the comfortable companionship that he and Allison have built since their divorce fifteen years back. Melanie, whose sad past haunts her, is an adult realizing that adult life is not all it’s cracked up to be, and Hailey, a junior in high school, is debating how she can go off to college knowing that even though she desperately wants to spread her wings and fly, her mother may be too ill for her to go. Just when they all think they’ve made peace with their lives, they must readjust to a “new” normal – or risk losing everything they’ve struggled to hold onto.
Release Date: March 14th, 2017
Want more info on this book? Go to Judy’s website!
I’ve had it pretty easy in my writing life. Grammar and syntax come naturally to me. I had great English teachers who praised my creativity and encouraged me. My mother was a reader who indoctrinated me early in the joys of fiction, with the help of a great library. No one suggested that writing wasn’t a good career choice, or that I needed to be more practical. I’ve had support out the wazoo.
So far as a crucible to forge a writer in, my childhood was a good one.
Many writers have had more to overcome—unsupportive or outright abusive families, second languages, mental health issues, political persecution. All that is to say that I know I have very #firstworldproblems when it comes to my writing life.
See, I was always going to be a writer. Ask people who knew me in first grade. It’s always been on my agenda. An assumption, like being a mom and a teacher. A given.
As I grew up, I used to talk about writing a lot. I’d get all dreamy and imagine my future career as a world-famous novelist. But it was always a hazy dream, filmed through Vaseline so you couldn’t see the harder realities of it: the actual work. It was “someday.”
But I wasn’t doing anything to make it happen.
Sure, I wrote. Once in a while. When I felt inspired. When I was in the mood, or when one of my ideas was just so tenacious there was no escaping it. But I didn’t take myself seriously as a writer, and neither did anyone else. Why would they? It was like I thought some big publisher was going to somehow just find me and pay me to write without my ever having proven I could even do it. A fantasy discovery scenario. Not a career plan.
Then, I was turning 42, which Douglas Adams taught us is the answer to life, the universe and everything. It was my crisis moment. I told myself it was time to give writing a serious attempt. There was a lot less “someday” left than there once was.
The obstacles in my writing life were all internal. Setting priorities, finding focus, making time. I was my own worst enemy, putting my own dream last on the list of things I would spend my days and hours and years on.
That’s when I committed to a daily writing habit. It was a game-changer for me.
It was harder than that might seem. At age 42, I was in the middle of a teaching career and a marriage. I was parenting two daughters and a dog, maintaining a house and household, fighting the battle of the bulge, and trying to have some kind of social life. There were a lot of pulls on my time. And I’d made a habit of many years of giving my time away.
But, I started to insist on writing time. Slowly, over the course of a few months, I renegotiated my contract with life, and made sure there was room in it for writing. I gave up things that I could: television, social opportunities that I didn’t want badly. My initial goal was 250 words per day. Just one page. And I struggled to put down that many words. It took me two or three hours some nights. It was hard and frustrating.
But I am stubborn. And it got easier. Soon, I could write 250 words in half an hour. I learned that the words didn’t have to all be keepers. That sometimes, I had to write garbage to get it out and get to the good stuff underneath. I learned that if I could just get something on the page, I’d be able to make it better in the next pass, but that I had to give myself something to work with.
Now, I can’t imagine a day without writing. I write somewhere between 800 and 4,000 words a day, depending on other life demands. A day when I only write 250 words is a day that was full of lots of other life—parties, sickness, travel, or something—and a decision I made about my use of time.
My family notices when I haven’t written. They see me getting grumpy and say, “Hey Mom, did you write yet today?” the way other families might suggest you get a sandwich, take a nap, or take your meds. It’s that important to my equilibrium.
And because I’m writing every day, I’m getting better at it. I have flow. I’m finishing things, revising and polishing and publishing things. People are reading them. Some people even like them. This summer, I sent my third novel off to my publisher. I get to say things like “my publisher.”
So all this is to say, if you want to be a writer, you’ll have to write. Look at your life. Figure out what’s in your way (even if it’s only you that’s in your own way). And find your way around those obstacles. You can’t ever get there if you don’t start the journey. And it’s quite a trip!
Samantha Bryant is a middle school Spanish teacher by day and a mom and novelist by night. That makes her a superhero all the time. You can find her Menopausal Superhero series from Curiosity Quills on Amazon, or request it at your favorite independent (or big box) bookstore. You can find her online on her blog, on Twitter, on Facebook, on Goodreads, on the Curiosity Quills page, or on Google+, and now on Tumblr.
Some of you may know that I’ve been writing a serial fiction over at Juke Pop Serials called Tomorrow Falls. I entered TF in to the SWP16 (Summer Writing Project) contest sponsored by both Juke Pop Serials and 1888 Center, and on July 1st, TF was among the top 25 selected as finalists for the next round!
What does this mean?
Throughout the month of July, the top 25 writers selected will be participating in a series of events, essays, and podcast episodes as well as workshopping and promoting our stories. On August 1st, the story with the highest participation by its readers (how many hits the story generates, the time spent reading each chapter, etc.) will be selected to be published.
Throughout this month, please share this link with your readers to help me promote Tomorrow Falls. I will be posting some of the items I’m participating in throughout the month as well (interview, essays, etc.).
(*Note: For all 25 of us, our stories are WIP meaning we will also be tasked with editing/revising over the course of the month as well.)
In the END there are three things that last: faith, hope and love; and the greatest of these is love.
In a matter of days, Tess’ world became nightmarish. Something was unleashed that turned people into hideous, blood-thirsty creatures. She soon became the hunted as she fled the only home she ever knew in search of a safe haven.
Beck has always been running from something. Until he met Tess. He knew if she ever found out about some of his past sins, he feared she would never forgive him.
Can they survive what’s to come, together? Or, will they be ripped apart by past secrets that could ultimately doomed mankind?
In Gabriela Pereira’s upcoming book, DIY MFA, she debunks the following 5 creativity myths:
- Creativity is an exclusive club, and you can’t be part of it.
- Creativity is innate–you either have it or you don’t.
- Creativity is driven by chaos, so there’s no way to control it.
- Creativity is all about getting that one “Big Idea.”
- Creativity is focusing on an idea until it’s perfect.
#5 resonates most with me. I’m a perfectionist in pretty much all things. You’d think this would make me a “master” of anything I attempt.
Instead, I rarely follow through or finish anything because I am a perfectionist.
If I can’t get it right in my first attempt, it gets discarded or set aside permanently. I kept comparing myself to the successful writers (JK Rowling, Stephen King and Madeleine L’Engle for examples) which made things even worse for me. I found that not only I couldn’t finish what I started, I couldn’t even get started on anything!
For a long time, I thought that perhaps I wasn’t meant to be a writer because I had no skills or talent for it.
Then, I began to study the history of these writers more closely.
It took JK Rowling about five years to write the first book of Harry Potter. This manuscript was rejected twelve times before being accepted.
Stephen King threw his first manuscript, Carrie, in the trash because he wasn’t happy with its progress. It wasn’t good enough. Tabitha, his wife, retrieved it and encouraged him to not give up on it. To finish it. God bless that woman.
Madeleine L’Engle was very shy and introverted as a girl; so much so, many deemed her as “stupid.” So, she reverted to imaginary friends and worlds. Writing grew out of this. With very few publications under her belt, she faced rejection time and time again. Eventually, at the age of 40, she decided to give up on writing altogether. However, the inner voice wouldn’t let her do it. She would write A Wrinkle in Time which would ultimately be rejected more than thirty times before being published.
Wow…these writers weren’t perfect. They didn’t happen upon success over night.
No, success came slow and hard for each of them.
Anne Lamott summed it up best for me:
“Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life.”
Oh, this rang true and clear for me! Other than the fact that I am a bit on the crazy side, I don’t relish the thought of being miserable for the rest of my life. I’d rather write than NOT. I also began to realize that just about every successful writer out there had to work hard in their craft to get where they are.
Which means that there is no such thing as being “perfect.” Just lots and lots of practice.
Do any of the creativity myths listed above resonate with you?
*Hello my fellow readers! I have an awesome treat for you today! I have a very special guest who will share with you her story of how she struggled and overcame self-doubt to achieve her creative dreams: Lorna Faith.
I grew up the youngest of 11 children in a family that homesteaded a little more than a section of land in Northern British Columbia, Canada.
Our family started out on that farm living in a two-room house, with curtains between the rooms. We dubbed that house ‘the white house’ because we had painted it white on the outside 😉
We lived a very simple life. Dad saved every penny so he could buy more cattle, seeds and machinery that would expand the farming operation.
We grew up telling stories around the supper table and before bed almost every night.
My friends were mostly my family and my animal friends. I would tell stories as I rode the horse and as I gathered the cows from the pasture for milking just before supper time every day.
My dad and six brothers chopped down trees in order to clear more land to grow more crops. Each year we would clear more land, pick more rocks and roots and plant more seed for harvest. In those first years, we would stook the hay until we could afford a baler to pull behind the tractor.
We lived off the land. My mom grew a large garden and we butchered our animals for meat in the winter. Each fall, we would butcher pigs, a couple of cows and a few chickens with close friends of my parents so we would all have meat for winter.
When I was given free time, I would play with my friend Skippy who lived 3 miles down the road from us. She and I had a lot of fun dancing to Beatles records at her house, and riding the calves when she came to visit our farm.
My brothers made their own go-carts with dad’s help and we would drive them around the yard. I really wanted to learn to ride the motorbike, but my older brother and sister told me I first needed to learn to milk the cow before they would teach me. So I learned to milk the cow at six years of age, and by the next day was learning how ride the motorbike before my feet could touch the ground.
We built tree forts in the large populars around our yard, and made our own stilts to walk in across the yard.
I would often have the most fun riding the horses or just sitting with them out in the pasture. I remember often resting beside one of the horses in the pasture, it was a safe and soothing place to be. I did it so often that my mare would nudge me to sit on her back or lay down beside her, like I was one of her ‘offspring.’
It was fun to grow up on a farm. We learned to work as hard as we played together as a family.
Although there was a lot of fun, my dad was a strict disciplinarian. And when he would get really angry, he would just throw stuff at us… whatever was handy at the time.
So as a little girl, I lived in a lot of fear as to what would happen next and whether the next mistake I made would mean a black and blue bottom. Because of many days spent in fear, I also wet the bed every night until I was twelve years old.
My mom would soothe my fears and encourage me in my creativity, which really helped. She encouraged me to play the piano and sing from early on… and later encouraged me to write.
Mom believed in me. When I was ten years old, she gave me a necklace with a tiny mustard seed in a glass box that hung on the end of the gold chain, and told me “Lorna Faith, you are going to encourage many people throughout your life.”
Her belief in me helped get me through many difficult days.
For example, in elementary school I had a tough time learning to write. I had a teacher who told me my writing was like chicken scratchings. Being a farm girl, I knew what that meant. The worst part was, I believed him and I was devastated.
I didn’t write stories again for over twenty years; not until I began homeschooling my own four children how to write their stories.
Learning to write has definitely been on-the-job training. I didn’t have any formal training, but it has been a lifelong passion.
It wasn’t until the dream to write stories was sparked – as I taught my kids how to tell stories – that I tried to write again. I resisted for weeks because of fear, but the dream only grew bigger.
So, I began to write. I scribbled down small stories with a pen and a small notebook for a few years before I got serious about it.
From the first words I put on the page until I finished the last sentence of my first novel, every single day I struggled to get the story on the page. Sure some days were easier than others, but every time I saw the blank page looming in front of me, I was consumed with intimidation and fear of failure.
Fear of rejection showed up in my writing days resulting in perfectionism and procrastination that slowed me down.
Self-doubt became my constant companion and brought questions like: What if I really am a bad writer and end up failing? What if no one wants to read my books?
Insecurity mocked me, resulting in more self-doubt.
I didn’t realize there was a truth I was struggling to accept. That inside, I was already a writer.
I didn’t understand that before I could really find my voice as a writer, I needed to own that identity. Activity would follow.
My aha moment came when I read Jeff Goin’s book, You are a Writer and these words were highlighted to me: Don’t wait for someone to pick you. Pick yourself.
I finally realized that all those years of struggle, I had been waiting for permission. Somewhere deep inside, those negative voices had expanded into something bigger. I had been waiting for that unknown someone to pick me and confirm that I was a writer.
Pick Yourself. I let those words sink in. I didn’t need a big publishing house contract, literary agent or editor to confirm what I already knew.
I am a writer.
Since that defining moment, I’ve chosen to own that identity. I’ve started to come out of my self-imposed cave of fear, and have decided to choose myself.
So if you’ve been struggling with fear of failure or self-doubt, I hope you will also give yourself the freedom to own your identity.
Be brave. Take a risk. Step toward your dream.
It’s time for you to choose yourself.
Lorna Faith has fun writing historical romances, and has her eye on writing some contemporary romance in the near future. Recently she released Book #2 in her historical romantic suspense series called, Anchoring Annaveta and is hard at work writing a new stand-alone novel in the Western Historical Romance genre set in the early 1900s around Calgary, Alberta. Lorna also loves to reach out to struggling and first-time writers. She has published a writing book called Write and Publish Your First Book and now has an online course by the same name. You can find out more about what she’s up to by going to http://www.lornafaith.com. Lorna would also love to chat with you on Facebook or Twitter.
*I have a special treat for you all today! It is my honor to introduce to you Lidy Wilks who will be talking about her passion as a writer and poet, and how she came through her struggles to achieve her dreams. The cover reveal above is for her poetry chapbook, Can You Catch My Flow? Be sure to check out the special giveaways at the end of this post Lidy is promoting!
I’ve taken a few detours on this creative journey. I’ve stumbled and detoured away from it. Funny, when I think about it. As I’d always known, from the moment I read Little Women and Moby Dick, that I wanted a future involved with books. I didn’t know then what kind of job it’d be. But I never doubted for a minute, that whatever that job entailed, I would find where I belong.
Yet, I’ve had my highs and lows in trying to achieve my creative dreams. My first fan was my friend and classmate. Her excited response supported my interest to become a writer and write more stories. I held those aspirations all the way through high school; until a teacher asked me what I wanted to be when I got older. Naturally I said “I want to be an author.”
Well, imagine my utter shock when I was told that writing was just a hobby. Making money from writing wasn’t a high priority. I wanted to write and have readers enjoy my stories. To my teacher, becoming a published author was unrealistic. Writing could not feed you, clothe you or pay the bills. That was the reality of things.
Despite her quick and crushing, pessimistic assessment, I couldn’t let go of my dreams. But it still affected me so much that I changed my intended major on my college applications. I’d decided to major in Mass Communications instead of my favorite subject English. At least with a Mass Comm degree I can get a job in print media/publishing that’ll pay well. Fortunately, this little detour didn’t last long.
What happened? I was reminded of what I really wanted after my first semester. I only majored in communications because I was afraid of a future that hadn’t even happened yet. I let that fear guide me on a different path. A dream of becoming a magazine editor/writer as a way to hold onto my creative dream; but that fell apart because of an elective creative writing class, and the professor who encouraged me.
So I spent the next four years writing to my heart’s content. Studied and read British and American poetry, and Shakespeare’s plays in Old English. Taking non-fiction creative writing, and poetry workshops. All the while minoring in Mass Comm because I might as well finish what I started. Plus, it could come in handy (and it did a bit now that I’m a blogger). Point is, I was never happier. And then I graduated.
True to form and I don’t want to admit it even now, I did not find a job with my English degree. I started temping and found a job at a non-profit. I got married, had kids and before I knew it, writing-wise I had nothing to show for it. Life had taken me on another detour until a company move to a new city gave me the kick-in-the-butt I needed. Dust off the story ideas I’ve filed away throughout the years, and exercise my writing muscles. And not just write again; but, write more poetry and submit them to literary journals, magazines, etc.
Looking back, all these detours served as lessons. To never again let my doubts, lack of confidence, or the opinions of others take me away from what I love doing. And believe me, I almost completely turned my back from it especially after receiving a nasty rejection letter from a poetry editor. But as much the support I’ve received helped validate my writing dreams, I should believe in myself more especially against those whose opinions would deter me from it.
After all, I will always question myself and whether I have the talent and determination to continue on this journey. Questions like what is this poem about? Who is the poem for? How could I ever had written this? Or, being filled with writing envy and asking why didn’t I write that? But these are questions I deal with whenever I pick up a pen to write, or read a poem. And that’s not something that will ever go away. It’s one of the things that’s part of a writer’s life. And it’s a writer’s life for me.
About the Author:
Ever since she was young, Lidy Wilks was often found completely submerged in the worlds of Dickens, Louisa May Alcott, Sweet Valley High and Nancy Drew. She later went on to earn a Bachelor degree in English with a concentration in Creative Writing from Franklin Pierce University where she spent four years knee-deep in fiction, poetry and creative non-fiction workshops.
Lidy is the author of Can You Catch My Flow? a poetry chapbook, and is a member of Write by the Rails. She currently resides in Virginia with her husband and two children; and an anime, book and manga library which she’s looking to expand, one day by adding an Asian drama DVD collection. Lidy continues her pursuit in writing more poetry collections and fantasy novels all the while eating milk chocolate and sipping a glass of Cabernet, or Riesling wine.