Welcome to “Writing from Walsh Mountain”
Have you ever read anything that was life-changing? What about a book that kept you up at night? Or, a novel that made you laugh loudly or cry real tears? This blog is all about the power of the written word and an author’s quest to develop and harness that power.
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My Writing Journey Thus Far
Writing has been a hobby of mine ever since I was a child. I used to carry a tiny journal in my purse in grade school, and I would pull it out and write down my thoughts and even my prayers in between classwork, especially when something was bothering me. (Until one day discovered that a couple of my troubled and therefore troublemaking classmates had written some sarcastic entries in my journal poking fun at my faith after somehow getting hold of the journal. After that, I did all of my private writing at home!)
Over a decade ago, I was seeking a way to be a “stay-at-home mom” as I was struggling to balance parenting toddlers and a pre-teen while also teaching a particularly challenging group of 5th graders, so I began submitting manuscripts to various publishing houses. Two of my novels were sought after, but I soon discovered that I would have to devote a mammoth amount of time to revisions in order for my manuscripts to be a good fit for the publishers’ lines. By that time, I was making progress with my 5th graders and I had also realized that I needed to devote my time to my children rather than writing, so I put A Misplaced Beauty and The Existent Dream to the side and focused on more important roles in my life.
I continued to write throughout the past several years, but I focused on smaller projects and projects that would benefit my local community: short stories, songs, devotionals, writings for my students and my ladies fellowship class at church. I sent devotionals, short stories and articles to magazines and devotional publications; some were published. Honestly, life was too busy to do more.
The COVID-19 quarantine brought on many changes in all of our lives, but especially to someone as active as I tend to be. I began teaching from home. I no longer had scouting and church activities to help plan and enjoy. Though teaching online took quite a bit of planning and preparation, I still had extra hours of free time that I hadn’t had in years.
So on Election Night, when I was jumping out of my skin and agonizing over what the outcome of the election might be, I began writing a third novel, which was at first called Elsie Whitmore after its main character. Elsie Whitmore took on a life of her own, as did the people in her life, so much so that I finished the novel in less than a month and had to have my mother and daughter help with editing and revisions so that I could get rid of the hundreds of extra words I needed to delete in order for it to meet the wordcount required by the publishing line for which I was aiming. The novel now entitled, A Star from Oak Hills, is currently out for editors’ review.
Writing the novel was so fun and so therapeutic, that I took a look at my old manuscripts. A Misplaced Beauty definitely breaks the mold in the romance genre, but that was what I was going for when I wrote it. I wanted to show the reader that a woman can fall in love with a man that doesn’t have physical perfection. I wanted to prove that an attractive and charming, but prideful person can change over a lifetime so that her inward beauty becomes more apparent, and more revered than her outward beauty. I also wanted to gift my love for learning to an audience that is often misjudged as being a silly reader, and fill the novel with the culture of Victorian times and church and literary history.
Knowing what books are more marketable currently, and following the advice of my husband, I began rewriting A Misplaced Beauty, knowing that women “these days” seem to prefer a romantic hero that is scarred rather than a bit out of shape, and more of a alpha-male than a gentle man that sacrifices for those who many would proclaim as his inferiors. Halfway through the revisions, I realized I couldn’t bear to change Malcolm to the man that so many women today seem to want to date but then would most likely find unbearable to live with in a committed relationship.
So, A Misplaced Beauty is now published on the Amazon Kindle such as it is. Since I still cry as I read the final pages, I think that others will find the story of Georgina and Malcolm endearing and possibly even life-changing if they will give the couple a chance.
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