#UpbeatAuthors: Friendliness

This month’s #UpbeatAuthors theme is FRIENDLINESS.

When I think of friendliness, I think about the first time I walked into a CNYRW meeting. I “knew” one person, the president, because we’d been on an Internet group together. This was before email groups and the massive use of the Internet by RWA and its chapters. The president and I had spoken on the phone when I reached out to the chapter. Beyond that . . . I was a stranger in a strange land.

You have to understand. For an introvert, walking into a room full of the unknown is a huge step.

That was 20 years ago. Twenty years since I found my tribe. Twenty years since I made the friends who have seen me through the ups and downs of not only my writing life, but also some personal situations.

The chapter welcomed me.  Without that initial friendliness, I might not have stayed. The friendliness kept me there.


#UpbeatAuthors: A Movie About Perseverance

One of my favorite movies of all time is Galaxy QuestI loved the original Star Trek series, so a movie spoofing the show is a sheer delight.

Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, and the incomparable Alan Rickman head an amazing cast. In a nutshell, the movie is about an TV program that has been off the air for a while, but which has a huge, obsessed fanbase. Tim Allen plays Jason Nesmith, who played Commander Taggart on the TV show, a Captain Kirk knock-off. The problem is the TV show is bouncing around in outer space (along with every other TV show) and one alien culture believes they are “historical documents.” And so the fun begins.

The script is filled with delightfully quotable quips.

Nothing is sacred: the actors, the scripts, the fans who attend conventions.

Why am I writing about a 19-year-old movie? Because the motto of the character played by Tim Allen’s character is “Never give up! Never surrender!”

It’s all about perseverance.

#UpbeatAuthors: Knowing When to Quit

Perseverance is a good thing. But sometimes it’s better to know when to quit.

I used to drink coffee. But every year on a religious fast day, I went through caffeine withdrawal. About ten years ago, I realized if my body was going through withdrawal, then I was addicted. I’d quit smoking a few years earlier. If I could quit one addiction, I could quit another. So I did.

Other things not worth hanging in there for:

  • bad/abusive relationships
  • a hated, dreaded job
  • an eating plan that leaves you hungry
  • a beer chugging contest
  • a TV show that makes you uneasy
  • a bad movie in a theater
  • the same first three chapters of a writer’s WIP that keep getting entered in contests–and nothing more is ever written on the story.




#UpbeatAuthors: Outlasting Your Enemies

There have been times in my life when perseverance involved keeping my head down, doing what I needed to do,  and reminding myself I could outlast my enemies.  Enemies are legion: bad bosses; nasty co-workers; crushing debt; non-life-threatening illness; rent increases; traffic jams; raising teenagers.

I just remind myself that this, too, shall pass. Then I hang in there.



#UpbeatAuthors: The Road to Publication

The month’s #UpbeatAuthors topic is perseverance. When I think of perseverance, I think about how long it took me to write a book a publisher felt was worthy of publication. I think about other authors, who never gave up, whether it was to sign contracts with traditional publishers, small-press independent publishers, or who decided (sometimes after decades of rejections) to self-publish.

Members of my RWA chapter have come and gone. Several of us stuck around until the industry changed. The others must have been hobbyists, because they surrendered.

A few of my friends haven’t had contracts renewed. Or their lines have closed. Instead of giving up, they’ve sought new ways of getting their work to their readers. Or they’ve decided now is the time for me to reinvent my product the way I want it done. And they are succeeding.

Because they hung in there.