Earlier this year an attendee at a workshop dubbed me and my two colleagues “Uppity Women.” I have been accused of that before, but Lois Gerber, a retired nurse and highly published author of articles, stories, and books on nursing can only be described as caring and nurturing. Our other colleague, Joan King, says she’s never been called uppity, but has been called a hick because she comes from a farming family in Oklahoma. She is a retired high school music teacher and I would refer to her as talented, kind and generous.
This Sunday, this “Uppity Woman” is meant to give a “solo” speaking performance at our public library—a first of its kind author event. Newspaper notices and flyers state I will talk about 1. NANO, 2. The Florida Writers Association, and 3. Publishing. Each notice is different. As is my name on the notices. I am Hart or Hunt, depending on which you read.
With that in mind, I pondered on what to write for the Vineyard, I also considered how I want to be treated by my publishers. Three things stood out: 1. Respect, 2. Appreciation, 3. Praise, attitudes we all want wherever we work. Fortunately I get all three from the editors and publishers at both companies with whom I have contracts.
Sometimes the communication wanes and I don’t hear from one of them for a while. I begin to chew fingernails. Did they not like my most recent submission? Are my books not selling well enough? Should I be doing something differently?
No matter the exterior packaging of a writer, I believe that underneath we are all jellyfish, quivering on the inside, insecure and needing our hands held.
So this Uppity Woman will speak on Sunday using the following as a guide:
National Novel Writing Month inspired me to write a complete novel in 2002. It’s still sitting on an antique disk. Since then I have written the minimum 50,000 words at least eight times. In 2008 I wrote The Prince of Keegan Bay, edited it with the help of two critique groups over the next four months, and then submitted it to The Florida Writers Association Royal Palm Literary Awards. It won first place for humor in 2009. I subsequently submitted it to Champagne Books, who published it. Champagne now has four of my books under contract and I have at least one more in progress to send to them. I also have a second in progress I might self-publish, just for the experience.
Since the publication of The Prince of Keegan Bay, I have had had two more books, begun as NANO projects, published by Double Edge Press: Elena-the Girl with the Piano and The Reluctant Daughters, both historical novels. All my work is passed through the FWA writing groups.
So, for my talk I shall explain 1. NANO, and how writing at a rapid pace without stopping to edit can help your writing, 2. The Florida Writers Association, and how its writing groups, magazine, conferences and competitions can help your writing, and 3. Publishing, which feeds the ego and allows you to share your work with the world.
By the way, Joan, Lois, and I now bill ourselves as The Three Uppity Women, Writing Workshops.
Veronica Helen Hart (aka Ronnie) lives and works in Ormond Beach, Florida. You can read more about her and her books at www.veronicahhart.com.