Believe it or not, my first laptop. I’d been doing all of my writing on a desktop computer but when my parents moved to the West Coast, I started flying out a few times a year to visit, and always had a pad of paper tucked in my carry on. So they bought me a laptop—and I never looked back.
I was thirty, an established broadcast journalist, but just beginning my writing career. I’d had a few articles published, but no books, despite my efforts. My grandmother was in the hospital. When I went to see her, she introduced me to the nurse as ‘my granddaughter who writes books.’ My grandmother died three days later. I consider that her last and possibly most important gift to me. The belief she had in my abilities (sometimes more than I had in myself) and her utter conviction that it was only a matter of time before I was published in book length fiction gave me the courage and push I needed to keep going. I dedicated my first book to her.
I had to think about this and when I did, I discovered my greatest gift was not a physical thing. It was *the call* from the late, great editor, Kate Duffy, telling me she wanted to buy my first book—it was absolutely the best gift I ever received. That call! I actually had to tell myself to breathe when I got off the phone.
Some years ago a friend gave me The Artist’s Way Morning Pages Journal, a wonderful book of lined pages scattered with inviting quotes from Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. My copy is filled with my own scribbled musings on these quotes, and I often return to this special journal. Today I opened page 164 and accepted this invitation to muse: “Creativity occurs in the moment, and in the moment we are timeless.”
Affirmation: I will shut down the Internet, turn off the phone, and glory in timeless creativity!
Like tools for a tradesperson, my how-to books are personally chosen for the most part, so it’s not a particular book, or thing. But, I certainly believe that one of the best gifts I’ve ever been blessed with is our group here: The Pen Warriors. The opportunity to retreat from the world for all these years: the support, discussion, tears and laughter. The brainstorming and critiques have been invaluable…so I would say the best gift is this group itself.
Second to that are the friendships and networking opportunities and the study of craft that I’ve found through Romance Writers of America.
Wherever you are, we wish you a wonderful December, and a glorious 2013.
We’ll be back December 31, 2012, with the Pen Warriors Top 10 list of things to make 2013 a better World!