I love the words of my title because they are a special anniversary for me. Eleven years ago, snowed in, all alone, surrounded by the White Mountains in northern Arizona, I heeded a quiet but insistent voice in my mind and began to write fiction.
The whole story is that I’d finished my second nonfiction book and taken it to the post office to mail to my editor on Valentine’s Day. When I got home, I heard, “So. Are you going to tell my story now?”
“Uh, I guess.”
I sat down at the kitchen table with a cup of Earl Grey tea. My little boom box was belting out Della Reese. No, that’s not right. Della Reese belted out of the little boom box. The snow was whisper quiet, and falling at an alarming rate. In the darkening afternoon, I fell into the world of fiction-writing.
Not that I’d never attempted it. I’d written short stories and poems, essays, prayers, plays, nonfiction books, but never a whole book with characters that develop and a plot arc. I started that first page with a date on the top: March 4, 1997. And, of course, my wacky word mind heard its homophone . . . march forth.
I didn’t know who this character was in my own head who had taken to talking to me. I didn’t know if I could write a novel. I didn’t even know if I wanted to. Regardless, dear one, I took my own advice and marched forth.
Six novels (and counting) later, as I write this post, please believe me when I tell you that marching forth based on an inner prompt is well worth it. I love writing fiction! I love my protagonist! I love the research! And when a publisher steps up to join me in putting the books out into the world (and there is no doubt in my mind that that blessed event is coming soon), I will love the publisher!
The next time you have a crazy notion, take action! You never know where it will lead. You might end up marching forth.
P.S. It is with great pleasure that I introduce to my blog readership The Spiritual Adventures of Mex Stone. The titles of the completed novels are Oklahoma! Hex, Brigadoon Moon, Butterfly Fan, Chicago Valentine, Mattress Police, Gypsy Chicks, and I’m in research mode for the seventh, Wicked Joy.