Feeling Published

Remember flame wars? In 2002, this same week, I got torched on a Yahoo Fan Page. Which led me to leave a group I’d really loved. It was so hard, and so much on my mind, I told my son about it. I shocked myself when cried a little bit before wiping my tears away and laughing at myself.

My son Mike asked me what I’d liked so much about the group. I thought about it. I finally said I liked talking about writing. Which was something we did a lot in that group. I’d miss having that outlet. Mike said “Mom, you should start a blog.”

I sniffed and said I wouldn’t know how to do that, and anyway, weren’t blogs over? He replied that he’d set up the site for me and also, no, blogs were not over. They were only going to get bigger. He was in IT, so I figured he knew more about the internet than I did. I said yes, thank you, that sounds like fun.

I hadn’t published a book yet, just some poems, short stories and book reviews in magazines, but the minute I posted my first blog entry, I felt published. It was an incredible validation. All these years later, I still feel so good about my blog, which my son continued to help me with for more than ten years, until his first son was born.

I have such happy memories of this adventure. Choosing wallpaper for a custom template, learning to write a key lines of code, blogging every single day about the novel I was working on. In 2002 there wasn’t any software that did tech things for you, so Mike did them for me. He was so patient when I wanted to change my blue stars wallpaper to pink flowers. The blog was a joint project and my son was my teacher. What a gift.

Mike said he could still do the work on my blog after the baby came. By this time we had been through Blogger and Moveable Type and were firmly into Word Press. I’d met Barb of Bakerview Consulting online and was sure she could do the housekeeping chores. I was also sure Mike was about to be way busier than he could begin to imagine. Both of these things turned out to be true.

What started out as a way to talk about writing became my author platform and I didn’t even know it until I read Colleen Story’s “Writer Get Noticed!” I’m learning more about my writing self from Colleen’s book…like what specific things I want from this writing life I’m living. The answers will be different for everyone, but the discovery process is the same.

It starts with the question Mike asked me all those years ago: What do I like about doing this? Why do I like it? These days I’m revisiting those questions and so many more that Colleen poses. Doing the exercises in Colleen’s book is an illuminating way to fill my morning pages. Which is the way I always start my day. Why? Because I like it.

Why do I like it? Any of it? Morning pages, blogging, writing novels, participating in a Twitter hashtag? It’s all one reason, really. It’s the best way, the perfect way for me, to communicate with the world. And I didn’t really put it all together quite like this until I read Colleen’s book, so thanks Colleen. And thanks to Mike, who set me off on this adventure. And most of all to you, whoever you are, wherever you are, reading this. ❤

Magical 13

In September 2002, my son said these magic words “you should start a blog. I’ll set it up for you.” When I say “magic” I’m not exaggerating. I was a writer before 2002. I had even published a handful of poetry, short stories and book reviews in small literary magazines. But I was a novelist at heart, and that part of my writing career was going exactly nowhere.

Then came the blog. From the first day, I felt published in a way that was different. I wasn’t a published novelist yet, but I felt so close to that reality. It felt right around the corner. And blogging daily about my writing journey, about the novel I was working on at the moment and my attempts to find an agent or a publisher, kept that feeling front and center. I knew it would happen.

Lots of good things began happening almost immediately. I got a staff position at a prominent book review magazine, then another even better paying one. I wrote features too for print magazines and got paid. I blogged for free because I loved it, but being paid for my words in national print media validated me in a rock solid way. It was all part of a learning curve that would take me to the ultimate destination. I got the agent. I got the publishing contract. Along the way I blogged about it all.

Now as my 10th book is about to be published later this year, I know I owe it all to those fateful words my son spoke to me that long ago day. Blogging kept my eye on the prize and gave me the feeling of already being there. I can only look back with gratitude and thanks. As a thank you to my readers, I offer this special gift to one commenter.

unnamedI usually give away books on my blog anniversary, but this year I decided to go outside the box (which is where this cuff bracelet belongs, on your arm or the arm of your best girl). And you can still get free books because this magical year 13 is seeing a new milestone: AmazonEncore is re-releasing my Kindle bestseller Blue Heaven on September 15, next Tuesday!

Cynthia BlueHeaven Rerelease

To celebrate, I’ve joined a Facebook launch party with other AmazonEncore authors. All you have to do to win one of my books is show up between 6-6:30 pm Eastern Standard Time, when I will be hosting my half hour with chat and prizes. In my half hour I’ll be giving away several copies of the newly re-released Blue Heaven to commenters on the Encore Party Facebook Page which can be found here:

Link to event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1466958803630646/

I really hope to see you there or in the comments below so I can share some of this Magical 13th Anniversary deliciousness with you.