I’ve dreamed for years of becoming a successful novelist, with stories in a wide variety of genres like romance, espionage thrillers and children’s literature. Fortune smiled on me in December 2009 when I sold my first romance manuscript to a new Canadian e-publisher, XOXO Publishing. That first contemporary romance went on sale May 1, 2010 (it’s now a bestseller) … my second novel went on sale last weekend through the same publisher. I went to Toronto in June for the Small Press Book Fair and had a great time, but when I returned I was whisked right back into the stressful full-time position I have writing and managing grants and public affairs for an AIDS service organization in North Carolina.
For the last few weeks I’ve wrestled with myself … my own sense of throwing away all of the full and part-time jobs my mom and I had when I was in middle and high school that paid for my college education. In addition to my mom’s full time job, we started cleaning two bank buildings when I was in middle school. When I started driving, my mom kept those two jobs, but picked up a weekend part-time job at a video store and I added a part-time job at a yogurt store to the mix … in addition to being the editor for my school’s yearbook, serving on the student council, and playing varsity soccer. So with today’s economy, a 12 year old child and a husband who views me as an equal partner and lover in our marriage, I really felt like I couldn’t (in good conscience) just quit. To follow my dream. Bah!
But, after a Labor Day hurricane evacuation from the Crystal Coast, quiet time with my family, and a moment to let my mind wander, the sense of peace I’d been waiting for finally passed over me, and I took the first step in ending one chapter of my life this week. After my agency’s fundraiser, Works of Heart, on October 9, I’m officially done. I will work as a freelance writer and editor when possible, but I will have the time to pursue a literary agent, finish the dozen novels I’ve got in multiple stages of completion, help my son with homework in the afternoon, and just breathe.
Here’s a chapter I can’t wait to unfurl. And by the way, if you’re in the market for a writer, editor or photographer, call me. 🙂