A bit about me and winning 2020 Nanowrimo

I am in my 60’s and I believe crafted words, music and kindness are as necessary as breathing and food. I have been reading and writing since I could talk and published my first poem in a kids magazine at 7yo, got paid my first check in 4th grade ($50 lots of money for a kid in the 1960’s), and while living with my Mormon foster parents my poem was a winner in the New Era writing contest, and somewhat ironically that is probably one of the few published pieces you might get if you Googled me. That and a few book reviews from freelancing with the Alibi in New Mexico.

Although never my official job, I continued writing for money, even saying on a talk show interview that I was a “print whore” because if you’d pay me,  I’d  write it. I was a single mom trying to get by, but my honest statement shocked everyone, or maybe it was how I said it. I wasn’t invited back which suited my pseudonym, fly under the radar style, which is pretty impossible in this century.

There is no such thing as a brief biography for my big life. I have traveled the world, however Australia and Antarctica are  still on my bucket list. I was a smart, resilient risk taker who knew “any what can be done with the right why. I have been an author, ghostwriter, journalist, critic, painter, poet, Mother, retail warrior, barista, bookstore associate, every kind of restaurant worker, secretary, drove a forklift in a grocery warehouse, and my last job was as a Nurse for MGA helping to transition babies on ventilators from the NICU to home. It was my bliss. I am a Nana and a breast cancer survivor. I live with serious MDD and PTSD. A lifetime member of the VFW, I am a veteran of the Navy then Army, first woman in my field for both. I have a 100% service connected disability which has exacerbated over the last 5 years to the point I live at Thunderbird senior living, need a Service Dog to maximize independence, misplace words and faces and require my own Home Health Visits. It also means walking, typing, communicating and memory and I are not quite the friends we used to be.Although completely fictional, I take the ingredients of my own experiences and those of other people and blend them into my Novel ‘The Clouds in my Head.” I was always told my head was in the clouds, so I guess that’s how they got inside. LolMy genre is what I like to call Silver Lit, you know like Chick Lit for the Social Security set. Like Chick Lit the main focus is on personal growth and relationships between people. There is romance, laughter and tragedy and hopefully enough reasons to read to the end as Magna, my protagonist faces changes in herself and the world around her. Oh,  did I mention she also has a service dog who is a perfect co-star.
Starting Nano this year felt like the first time I jumped from a plane, I hadn’t written creatively since 2017. When my legal pads and black pens  didn’t work anymore and my sentences struggled to make sense, I said I couldn’t write anymore. But silencing myself was not the right answer. As a tool to combat depression, I took a deep breath and dove in. I used Word dictation and it’s editing tool to write this year. Sometimes when I went back I didn’t know what I had originally said and would have to piece it all together again. All the things Id joke about before I depended on for this year’s novel. Detailed notes on each character, mini biographies. Timelines, though I made it easier on myself by containing my novel to Nov 1 to Nov. 15 2020 as the stories time frame. The election figures into the story.I am an official Plantster. I set up the framework and then let the characters speak for themselves.
With the Winners promotion I bought a digital program that I hope will help me polish my novel before enlisting a professional editor and publishing.

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