Where does the time go? My to-do list is longer than ever. The days are getting shorter. We’ll be resetting the clocks and falling back soon. Time to swap closets and haul out the long sleeves.

one-way-street-1113973_1280

I was thrilled to get a call from a lovely woman from the Vancouver Chapter of the Canadian Authors Association telling me my short story, Breaking Morning, was one of seven finalists in their annual writing contest.

When I was editing it at the end of June, my grandson and I laughed about deadlines and last-minute decisions. I’m glad I opened that scary door and took a chance discovering what was inside.

doors-1613314_1280

My entry to Toronto Romance Writers The Catherine contest is still out there somewhere and I keep sending positive vibes that I’ll be selected as a winner. Now is not the time to be modest.

My 117,000 submission of the original draft of The Fifth Man to Romance Writers of America has earned me the designation PRO, which means that I am in ‘serious pursuit’ of a writing career. As if I haven’t been for decades. There’s even a pin I can buy to flaunt my status.

That recognition feels very good. Even better, I made two pitches at When Words Collide in Calgary in August and got asked for a synopsis and the first forty pages of Reinvention Hustle, the novel that’s the next iteration of Fifth that I’m pushing to finish/edit.

149h

Some days, I feel like I’m stuck in a hot furry suit trying to produce cool ideas and a riveting storyline.

The synopsis was a teeth-grinding experience. Getting the key elements of the story-line into two pages, using my protagonists voice and giving the reader a clear sense of her journey, was agonizing.

warrior-350964_1280

At other times, my warrior writerly self pounds away all day and only arises when she has to get a drink or go do something housewifely.

Then there are the long lonely stretches when I sit so long feeling unproductive and empty-headed that my wrists burn and my butt goes numb. That bloody big snake of self-doubt shakes its rattles, reminding me I’m not in charge.

Will anybody want to read my stuff? Does anybody read this? I suppose I should look at my analytics, but no matter what, I won’t stop writing. I still have my sword! My pen is strong. The paint on my keyboard has faded, but my motivation has not. So there!

boxing-ring-149840_1280

And people think being a writer is glamorous? It’s not really, but it only takes a few validations in between long periods of creative drought that make it worthwhile.