Surprises and Journeys and Links—Oh, My!
This week's Guest Author on the Writer's Journey Blog Post is Internationally published Author C.L. Steele. I found the article both inspiring and endearing... Enjoy!
Should we start with surprises or talk about the difficult journey first? Secrets are hard to keep. So, here is the latest news about me, C.L. Steele, Author.
In addition to being an educator and international author, I've decided to expand my blog, creating a section for new writer advice in addition to short stories, poems, and a shop to purchase books. Its exciting and should be fully functional by March 31, 2020.
Inner Circle Writer's Magazine has agreed to run a series of my articles starting January 15, 2020. I’m thrilled to work with the wonderful editor, Grant Hudson, and contribute to such an artful and entertaining magazine out of England.
I'm announcing my new company, Say It Publishing! At first SIP (Say It Publishing), will only publish my work; short stories, novellas, and non-fiction work. I need to learn the ropes. However, by the end of 2020, I hope to have an anthology open call for authors of short stories.
The Difficult Journey:
So that is where the journey is going. Now, let’s talk about how the journey got here. It wasn’t a dark and stormy night, literally anyway. At the age of four, I stumbled into our warm kitchen yawning and stretching, announcing that I was going to be a world-famous author. Everyone chuckled as I scooted into a chair taking a bite of pancake and declaring “Well, I am, my dream told me so.” And it had.
The journey would take several twists from there. I remember in third grade reading A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle. While that story starts with a “never use”sentence, “It was a dark and stormy night”, it struck a chime in me. It rang within me. I knew I wanted books about science and fantasy and girls on journeys. I read everything I could find—which wasn’t much. But The Hobbit, Clarke’s World Magazine and my own imagination got me through.
My High School English teacher encouraged me to go to college to study writing. I went and was encouraged into science and teaching. Which I did for many years. Back then women still had to fight to get the careers they wanted over the traditional fields. I didn’t fight hard enough. I’d lost my four-year-old spunk. But I entered contests, and took a class here and there as I created a family and raised two genius boys.
Writing stalked my busy life, but I put it off. After my two children had left the nest, I had a mild heart attack. I left my stressful job and fell into a dark depression. I sat in a green chair doing nothing but thinking for a year. My time-out chair.
One day (as all good stories go) I stared out the window as bare cinnamon-colored trees swayed in a Match wind. It was dawn, but the sentence, “It was a dark and stormy night” flashed in my mind. And right then and there a story plowed into my brain. I got up, set up my laptop on a table that once belonged to my grandmother (whose grandmother was a writer) and over the next four months created a 65K word manuscript.
Paradigm is about a young woman torn and shattered who falls into a fractal dimension of Rock people, and Fairies, and love, and an evil she cannot overcome; even though she had defeated many other evils for others. Spoiler alert: she wins; though in a different way than Dorothy or Alice.
I never looked back from that day on. I would listen to the council of others, but I had returned to me, and I listened to my path, my dreams. Writing had made me a stronger person.
The hardest thing about this writing journey is what my first novel is all about. Self-doubt. Doubt will lead you to following everyone else. Authors and the journey to becoming one had taught me, you must preserver, fight, and believe in you and the power of your words. You have a right to say it and you have something to say—so Say It! Don’t wait. Do it now. Find a way. I wish I knew that at twenty.
It has been a long journey of slow learning. I can finally say I'm just getting started. Having written and been traditionally published with numerous short stories, I look forward to publishing two novels this year. As a contributor to three journals/magazines I’ve learned a great deal about the business of writing. Last summer, I went to New York City to visit with a traditional publisher. I will either succeed or fail, I don’t know yet, but either way, I will learn, and improve, and write.
Why? Because for the barefooted woman who lives near the Great Lakes in the United States, in a city with three rivers that form a peace sign, in her own home with two cats, Magic and Eclipse, being a writer is who I have always been. I have no doubts.
And now, I allow myself beautiful days of creating new and future worlds for some young girl to read, and boys to enjoy, and some older people to rediscover themselves. Maybe someone you know.
You can follow CL Steele on:
C. L. Steele, an internationally published speculative fiction author enjoys creating new and future worlds. In addition to numerous publications, Steele has been a contributor to three literary journals/magazines and finished fifth in International Circle Writer’s Magazine, Great Writing Contest. Poetry continues to call, earning a few published pieces and a daily practice Facebook page. New this year is a blog for both fiction and non-fiction writing. And a proud new journey of self-publishing as founder of Say It Publishing. C. L. Steele writes many hours a day as the cats, Magic and Eclipse, watch, play, and distract.