Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Family, Great-Grandma's Writing Adventures
This is a photo of my granddaughter, Jessi, who lives next door, and my great-granddaughter, Kay'Lee. Jessi is Kay'Lee's aunt. They were together to celebrate Kay'Lee's 6th birthday. I mainly put the photo in to brighten today's post--and I like it.
Because Jessi lives so close, we've been in on a lot of her life. She even stayed with us during her grammar school days. Now she's in college, engaged and just landed her first real job.
Now on to my adventures. I can honestly tell you that as a child and even a mom raising five kids, I had no idea what I'd be doing in my so-called golden years. I really didn't like to drive outside of the town we lived in. I'd only flown once in my life and that was to take my two babies back to the east coast to be with my husband. The plane had trouble on the way, we had to make an emergency landing and I vowed never to fly again.
I've always been a writer, had several articles and other things published, but my first book not until I was in my late forties.
That book had been submitted to nearly 30 publishers before it was finally accepted. (I'm the poster grandma for perseverance.) While that one was being rejected I was busy writing another, and another.
Finally, as a published writer, I began going to conferences. My first mystery conferences were held in a mountain retreat with such big name writers as Sue Grafton and Mary Higgins Clark! I don't think there were more than 30 or 40 people in attendance at either one. What a great opportunity.
I was a founding member of the San Joaquin chapter of Sisters in Crime. Through Sisters I met more wonderful people and learned about Left Coast Crime and Bouchercon. Of course the Internet introduced me to other mystery cons of one sort or another.
I've been to Alaska twice to LCC and then Bouchercon--and of course I flew. The first time, after the con, I traveled in a big Suburban on a frozen river to visit and talk to students at a school in a small village. Exciting. I met two Native women at the con--and kept in touch with them via email. When I went to Alaska the second time, after Bouchercon, I went to one of the Native women's home in Wasilla, stayed with her for three days and visited a middle school where I talked about how to write a mystery.
With a friend I met through the Internet, I flew to New York to attend the Edgars. Wow, what an experience. From there we took the train to DC and went to Malice Domestic, and flew home afterwards.
With hubby, I've flown to all sorts of places in the U.S. we would never have even thought to visit if it hadn't been a mystery conference or other conference being held there.
I've been a part of and am now on the board of the Public Safety Writers Association--a group of people who write non-fiction or fiction about any type of public safety. Through this group I've met so many people in law-enforcement, forensic experts, people who are great for picking their brains but who've also become good friends.
I've gone on ride-alongs with police officers, including a son-in-law.
I've had the privilege of talking about writing and my books at several libraries in California, done book signings, put on fun book launches here in Springville where I live and also in Crescent City where I shared the signing duties with the Tolowa woman I wrote about in my book, Kindred Spirits.
Best of all, I've met so many interesting people, readers and other authors--including a couple of the authors on this blog.
Who ever knew I'd be having so much fun as a great-grandma? When will I slow down? Only when I have to.
Marilyn a.k.a. F. M. Meredith