Writing has been my spare-time hobby since I penned my first story at age 12. Although my feature articles appeared in newspapers and trade publications for 25 years, other facets of life always took priority.
After failed attempts at retirement in rural Kansas, Colorado’s foothills and Costa Rica, my husband and I moved to central Florida determined to make it stick.
Maybe it would have worked if I had chosen differently, but I decided to experiment with fiction, and stepped from a black and white world into Oz. In order to learn how to express myself in this new language, I joined some writer’s groups around Orlando and met Katherine Starbird at the very first meeting. My fate was sealed.
Friend and mentor, the angel on my shoulder, she continually demonstrates excellence in all aspects of this difficult, fascinating craft. I become a better writer every time we meet.
Because of Kate, I entered the competition for one of 60 spots in the Florida Writer’s Association 2012 Anthology, “My Wheels.” When “Race Day,” my first short story, was selected for inclusion, I celebrated for months.
I dabbled with another story or two, but didn’t really get serious until the 2013 contest rolled around. That’s when I realized I had a reputation to protect. A title to defend. So I buckled down.
FWA Critique groups in Orlando, Lake Mary and Mt. Dora gave me the opportunity to read many talented writers, take their stories apart and put them back together again. Inspired, I experimented with flash fiction, memoirs, romance and sci-fi.
My story, “More Precious Than Rubies” won a place in FWA’s 2013 Anthology, “It’s A Crime.” Next, “Your Secret’s Safe With Me” earned Finalist in the prestigious Royal Palm Literary Awards. I rested on my laurels until the winners were announced at the formal ceremony in October. Imagine my surprise when I won a First Place!
This past year brought even more success, with a Top Ten win in the Writer’s Digest Short Short story contest, a story in FWA’s 2014 Collection, “The First Step,” and two stories earning Finalist status in the Royal Palm Literary Awards. One of them received the First Place trophy!
Visit www.authorsroundtable.org to meet the wonderful people who make me a better writer, month in and month out.
Take a peek at my new book, The First Seven: Stories of Deception, available now on Amazon in Kindle and paperback. Send me your comments!