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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

As A Writer...

"As a writer...."

That's a quote from my favorite You Tube video: "Sh*t First Time Authors Say" by Edmond Manning.  If you haven't seen it, it's hysterical.  Go watch it now.  I'll wait...

*files nails, checks email...*

Are you back?  Funny, isn't it?  I've laughed at that - I can't tell you how many times.  My BOF (Best Online Friend) Helena Stone and I have chuckled over it as we discussed whether or not we can even consider ourselves writers.  She told me whenever she tells someone she's a writer, she adds, "kinda" afterwards.  She and I have a lot in common.  So much that it's scary sometimes.

One of our favorite authors is Tiffany Reisz.  She wrote The Original Sinners series that Helena and I both adore.  Someone on Twitter asked Tiffany what the difference was between a writer and an author.  She said, in her opinion, a writer is anyone who writes and an author is someone who's had their work published.  Helena and I have both kept that in mind as we try to convince ourselves that we're writers...kinda'.

Helena and I met on Twitter while following the Original Sinners role players.  She's the one that told me about NaNoWriMo and we decided to do it together - each working on our own novel.  We struggled and learned together daily - you know - misery loves company.  After spending the entire month of November "together", we desperately wanted to meet, but since I live in the U.S. and she lives in Ireland, Skype was the only affordable option.

We were both nervous as could be that first time.  We're both introverts.  We set a day to do it.  The night before, we both confessed we probably wouldn't know what to say to each other.  We agreed if it was too uncomfortable, we'd just end the session and go back to conversing through chat.  (Good Lord...I even fixed my hair and put on make-up that first time, which cracks me up now, because she and her husband, Dermot, have seen me at my worst pretty much every time since then.)

Our Skype session connected and the moment we saw each other - that was it.  It was huge grins and love at first sight and we never stopped talking!  She and Dermot "met" my hubby and I "met" Dermot's mom and dad when they came to visit.  It was just a blast!  We discussed how cool it would be to try and write together sometime - then we decided to just try it right then.

I opened a Google doc and wrote the first line.  Helena wrote the second.  No plan or story idea or anything.  By that evening, we were both totally psyched about what we had written.  She said, "Jaycee, I think we have the beginnings of a book here!"  We Skyped everyday - my husband waking me up early  - well, early for me - to tell me what time it was in Ireland so I'd get my butt out of bed.  We overcame time differences and temperamental internet connections and, seven days later, we had a novella entitled, "Strangers In The Night".  A few weeks ago, we got up the nerve to submit it.  We Skyped and virtually held hands as we clicked, "SEND".

Fast forward to today.

I slept in.  Don't judge.  I'm retired.  I can do that.  After grabbing my coffee, I logged onto Facebook to see a string of PMs from Helena:

Where are you?
Why aren't you up yet?
Why aren't you screaming in SHOUTY CAPS?
Have you checked your email?
I can't stand this!  
I'm taking the dog for a walk and I'll be back in 40 minutes.  I hope you're up by then.
Where are you???? 
Did you see the email from Dreamspinner? 

Now, since the moment we submitted our manuscript, I have faithfully checked both of my email accounts daily, holding my breath as I scrolled through them, but finding out this way was the best way ever.  I grinned from ear to ear.  Hearing it from my BOF made it even more special.

So, now I can say this with a little more confidence:  *clears throat*  "As a writer..."

No, wait...

As an author...