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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Today is IWSG day. Come join Alex J. Cavanaugh and all the other writers who support each other, make us all smile and think in this monthly hop. No one is mocked or sneered at. All are welcome. We have all been there.

The twitter hashtag is #IWSG

Visit the website and look around: http://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/

This month's question is:

What was your very first piece of writing as an aspiring writer? Where is it now? Collecting dust or has it been published? 

My very first piece of writing as an aspiring writer was a fantasy trilogy that I titled The Snowhawk.  I started it in grad school with an idea about a group of Healers, headquartered in The Temple of Healing in a world I created.  I also created the names.  I had a story line with them, specifically one of them.  All planned out.  And then a fellow stepped in and ran away with the plot.  And then the villain stepped in and really ran away with the plot.  I wrote, rewrote, fiddled – all this before I had a computer.   I researched agents and sent out queries and was amazingly arrogant when I received rejections. 

A woman for whom I babysat learned that I was a ‘writer’ and put me in touch with her cousin, who was an editor for one of the NY publishers.  She read my manuscript and told me it was too long.  She did not say it was bad.  But I had other interests in writing, and The Snowhawk in its final three volume typewritten and saved nowhere form was shelved.  I had better stories in the works. 

Interestingly, I still have that manuscript.  I can’t use it now.  I’d have to retype it, for one thing, since it was a few decades ago and I only became computerized in 1986.  Remember the big floppies?  And that universe had spiraled away from my original concept.  I was writing the stories of The Memphis Cycle and The Orphan’s Tale, and others.  It was passé. 

But The Snowhawk wasn’t finished with me.  I hit a huge dry spell due to a combination of things – crooked agent, job issues, family health, The Recession…  I stumbled across The Snowhawk, which I had completely forgotten, in a box on the top of some shelving in my garage.  I took the box inside, opened volume 2 of the manuscript and began to read.  I frowned at the passage, thought I could fix it – and the Monsoon hit, blasting through the inertia and dryness. 

And suddenly I was writing again.  I turned to my real Works In Progress and got cracking. 
You can read about it in this post.

I will never get rid of that manuscript.  It is the reason that I am still writing and publishing.  It may never be published, but it helped to save me.

So...  How about you?  Go visit the Blog Hop - and sign up!


  1. Hi Diana - I think many of us are struggling ... but writing or blogging certainly can take us away into other worlds ... that's great you're working on revising it ... good luck - cheers Hilary

  2. I think the most in-the-zone writing comes when a character runs away with the story. Glad those stories inspired you once again.

  3. Hi, Diana! I like the monthly question thing, too. It's a good idea. This month's question has helped us get to know some of the other members a bit better. I already had something I wanted to write about, so I didn't do it but I thought the question was brilliant, regardless. Your first book sounds great! I too have a first book I'll never throw away. It's precious personal history now! :-)

  4. Diana,
    An inspiring story of how those early works can serve as a reminder of why we became writers in the first place. Thanks for sharing this.

    Anne from annehiga.com

  5. That's so cool that an editor read it for you. That's the key reason I would still pursue traditional publishing--to work with that level of a professional editor.

  6. I'm glad you kept that first story! I so know what you mean about life getting in the way of writing. It took me almost 30 years from when I first started writing my novel as a hobby (on a typewriter) to when I finally published it last year. Who knows? Maybe someday you'll publish that first story. Either way, its inspiration remains.

  7. It's fabulous that you went back and breathed life into an old manuscript! I have several and I wish that could happen to me. Have a great weekend! :)

  8. The days before word programs and computers were such a hassle for writers like me. Typing really discouraged me as I never had my own typewriter and my typing skills weren't all that good. I wrote everything longhand until I got to college and then papers had to be typewritten--again a hassle for me.

    Your persistence early on is admirable from my perspective. Even if your first foray turned out to be a dry run, it was still good to have to chalk up to experience and lessons learned.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out