Happy Birthday

Dear Diary ~

It has been one year since I started my new adventure. Looking back I cannot believe all I have accomplished. Looking forward I am only starting to understand all I have to learn.

Last March, my friend excited and a bit anxious, told me she was going to write a book, a romance story. I was surprised and a bit envious. For a long time I had stories that played out in my head with characters that talked and emotions that flared.  Inevitably, I would get involved in something and wouldn’t get back to my story for a few days. When I did they were never the same. Well, let’s just say there were some pretty great stories that are lost forever.  So, when my friend mentioned she was writing a book, I told her I would love to also.

I enjoyed the prospect of telling my story but, here’s the scary part, my stories have always been just mine. Committing the stories to paper, giving them breath, exposed them (and me), but I was ready.

In late March my friend and I met at a diner and began to make plans. She presented me with my very own secure notebook for capturing those stories that were in my head. We laughed at the ‘secure’ notebook idea. All it had was an elastic strap but it was precious and a place to put my ideas. Before the week was over we started writing. She wrote a futuristic story about Lisabeth and Zane and I wrote a time travel story about Rebeka and Arik.

Our stories were as different as our lives. She’s involved in marathon running and visiting college campuses with her daughter. I walk on the tread mill at the gym and visit the grandchildren. As for writing, she is well on her way with her story. I finished mine.

Finishing the story, while a monumental accomplishment, was only the beginning. There were tools that I needed to add to my writer’s tool kit, the synopsis, query letter, log line, and pitch. To validate the story, I entered contests.  I pitched it to agents and editors, and queried others.  The feedback has been very encouraging. More work has to be done. It is such an accomplishment when  the sentence/paragraph/chapter sounds just right.

There are times when I feel I can do anything and other times when it all seems so overwhelming.  But I have met some pretty awesome people who are encouraging and inspiring. We share similar experiences and provide support and camaraderie. This year was a year a learning and experimenting, of digging deeper and finding golden nuggets, and in believing in myself.

So, a year has past. I am encouraged, excited and looking forward to the next one. Happy Birthday! As I make my birthday wish know it is for, no, if I tell you it won’t come true. You will have to use our imagination. The cake certainly looks yummy!

… Ruth Seitelman


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