Process…okay, it’s a series of natural occurrences. That’s a definition I can live with.
· 1980s. I had these nifty coil-bound notebooks with lined yellow paper in them. I filled I don’t know how many of them before I could no longer find them and resorted to white college-rule paper. I sat in my chair in the living room and wrote while my family watched TV and made noise around me. I completed my first manuscripts that way, typing them later on the electric typewriter at the kitchen table.
· Later. The first Tandy computer entered the house. It sat on a little desk in the smallest bedroom in the house, sharing space with the ironing board and…I don’t remember what else, but it was a mess. There was a chair in one corner, and sometimes my husband or one of the kids came in and talk to me while I wrote. Other times, I interrupted the writing flow to iron whatever a kid wanted to wear on a date.
· 1990s. Everyone left home! Except my husband, that is. I had to learn to write in a quiet room without an ironing board. It was…different. And difficult. I thought my voice had been suffocated by the silence. But then I sold my first book. Always Annie came out in 1999. I bought a new computer.
· Later. I sold another book and a couple of more. Every time I sold a book, my computer died and I had to buy a new one. I graduated to laptops and gave up the quiet room because…well, because I was lonely in there.
· 2011. I retired from my day job, which I’d loved but didn’t miss for one minute after I left it, something I have yet to understand. I thought I’d write all day, every day, but the truth is that I want to do everything I didn’t have time to do for the 40 years I worked.
So here I am. I work at the dining room table, less than 20 feet from the living room television. I get up two hours before my husband and sit in pre-dawn silence and drink tea and write. And revise. And think, “What if…” As soon as the TV comes on, my writing voice is silenced. Common sense tells me to go back to the quiet room—I am, after all, portable. But I don’t want to. I want to sew and spend time with the boyfriend (yeah, we’re very married, 40 years worth, but boyfriend sounds so…young, don’t you think?) and do all those things I never had time for.
That’s the process. It happened naturally and in a series. And it’s organized. Best of all, it works.
Thanks for coming by. I hope you have a splendid year. The latest in my organized series of occurrences is ONE MORE SUMMER, from Carina Press. It is truly the book of my heart. I hope it finds a home in yours.