Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Personally Challenged

It's midnight Wednesday morning - at least it will be in another 15 minutes, and this entry won't be nearly ready by then. That means it's time for the newest Round Robin Photo Challenge. This week's topic, as suggested by Kerrin of A New Day, A New Photo and MACRO CAPTURE, is a very different one, and literally a challenge to do. That's appropriate, because the topic is "Personal Challenge!”

Where can I start? Let me first eliminate some areas that, thank goodness, don't apply to me. Unless you count obesity and mild sleep deprivation, I have no major health challenges. I have a husband and a job. I have no legal problems, no addictions (unless you count being online, which I don't), no kids in trouble (no kids at all), no family crises.

But no one's life is perfect, and we all have our challenges. Look at all the weasely exceptions in the previous paragraph. Weight control, for example, is a challenge that utterly defeats me, most of the time. Time and again I promise myself that I'll get more sleep, but somehow there are always more important things to do. I have a job, but there are times when I think I ought to be updating my resume.

I don't want to talk about any of that tonight. Suffice it to say that like most people, I find it easier to do the things that give me short-term gratification than the things that make more sense in the long run.

But there have been a few challenges in my life that are very much long haul propositions. John and I met 30 years ago this summer, and have been married for nearly 28 years. (Hey, even a good marriage is a challenge!) I started college in 1975, failed to graduate in 1979, and finished my B.S.B. in 2005. My mom lived long enough to see me go back to school, and my dad was at my successful graduation.

And in 1974 or so, I typed half a page about a boy who turns into a monster. That was the beginning of a character and a story that have been part of my life for about 33 years. It took me 15 years to finish my first draft of what is now called Heirs of Mâvarin. It took me another twelve years to get the details right, and five more years to send three chapters of the revised manuscript to a certain publisher. Thirteen months later, I'm still waiting for a response, but really, that's nothing compared to the long history of the book.

But I'm 50 years old. If I'm going to have a body of work as a writer, I need to do more than sit around and wait. Here on these recently-cleared shelves are two of the four Starlog magazines in which Teresa Murray and I have an article together. I don't even know where my copies of the Relix magazines with my music articles are, nor the magazine with my L'Engle chronology, nor the puzzle book with my logic problem in it. The five series of Doctor Who trading cards are in the bedroom, but I wasn't going to risk waking John to retrieve and photograph them for you.

click on image to see a much larger version

Magazine publication isn't my goal anyway. I want to be able to fill a bookcase with my books - fiction and non-fiction, hardbacks, trade paper, and mass market paperbacks, book club editions, translations, numbered limited edition reissues, and even audio books. I don't have any of those things yet, so I've faked some of them up for you.

On the shelf above are copies of the as-yet-unpublished books titled Messages from Mâvarin, The Jace Letters, Mall of Mâvarin (okay, so that one's a stretch), An Adept in Mâvarin, Another Mâvarin, Return to Mâvarin, The Lives and Times of Joshua Wander, and Heirs of Mâvarin. All of these are substantially written at this point, although only Heirs is truly finished. Not shown are Prince of Mâvarin and The Mâvarin Revolutions, and several non-fiction titles I've worked on over the years. Oh, and that face-out copy of Mages is meant to represent an audio book boxed set on CD.

I will call these novels into existence before this lifetime runs out on me, with help from one or more editors and one or more agents. To accomplish this, I need to finish writing about eight books that already exist to some degree, and more that I haven't even thought of yet.

And I will meet that challenge. Really. Frankly, if I don't, I will consider my life a wasted one.


Now go see what everyone else is up to this time:

Linking List:

Kerrin - Posted!
A New Day, A New Photo

Steven - Posted!

Carly - Posted!
Ellipsis... Suddenly Carly

Karen - Posted!
Outpost Mâvarin


Kat - Posted!
In My Dreams I Can Fly ***Welcome Back Kat*** (New Blog)

Nancy- Posted!
Nancy Luvs Pics

Suzanne R - Posted!
New Suzanne R's Life

Marie - Posted!
Photographs and Memories

Teena - Posted!
It's all about me!

Gattina - Posted!
Keyhole Pictures

Valorie - Posted!
Dear Family
http://journals.aol.com/redbird914/Dear Family/


kmm said...

I always enjoy reading your entries so can't wait for the books. I'll clear off the bookshelf so I'm ready. One of the guys at work has written about 10 books and just got his first one published so please keep going.
great entry as usual cheers kerrin

Suzanne R said...

More power to you on writing your books! That was a dream of mine at one time but I came to realize that writing fiction wasn't one of my talents. You are bound to be more successful.

MariesImages said...

You will meet your challenge! Great entry & Congrats on your degree~

Teena said...

Thanks for sharing! Good luck!!

Thanks for stopping by mine :)

Steven said...

You always impress me with your creativity. Keep on hammering away and you'll get to where you wish to be.

Carly said...

I have complete faith in you! That person at the far back of the room at your first book signing at Barne's & Noble, screaming, "Go Karen," will be me. :) Go Karen!

TropicRedbird said...

^5^ ... thanks for sharing. You know, sometimes it's accountability that helps give us that necessary boost to meet those challenges. Best of wishes on the accomplishment of your book.
~ Valorie