Putting it Aside

Born and raised in Louisiana, Robin Caroll
is a southerner through and through. Her passion has always been to tell
stories to entertain others. Robin’s mother, bless her heart, is a genealogist
who instilled in Robin the deep love of family and pride of heritage–two
aspects Robin weaves into each of her 25 published novels. When she isn’t
writing, Robin spends time with her husband of twenty-five+ years, her three
beautiful daughters and two handsome grandsons–in the South, where else? She
serves the writing community by serving as Executive/Conference Director for
ACFW. Her books have finaled/placed in such contests as the Carol Award, Holt
Medallion, RT Reviewer’s Choice Award, Bookseller’s Best, and Book of the Year.
I
remember the first manuscript I hacked out on a typewriter. (Showing my age,
aren’t I?) It was bad, and I mean, bad. That was back in the 90s. Thank
goodness I lost that manuscript in one of my moves. Yes, it was THAT BAD. The
good news was (and still is) one story does not a writer make.
The next
one I hacked out wasn’t AS BAD, but it was still pretty bad. And the next
one—well, it was improving, at least. Again, one story does not a writer make.
Then I
wrote a story I just loved. Wrote it, rewrote it, polished it until it was
“ready.” Submitted it to a publisher. Imagine my surprise when I received a
form rejection letter. You know the ones that are addressed to Dear Writer? And another. And another… Back
then, I didn’t even realize that “unsolicited manuscript” would get that form
rejection letter quicker than quick. That was early in 2000.
Between
then and now, there have been many a manuscript on my computer in various
stages. Some completed, some not. Some I really love, some…well, not so much
anymore. But there is a story on my system that I love. It’s one that comes
straight from my heart. It is ready
for submission. Again, let me reiterate, I LOVE this story. My beta readers
love this story. But for some reason, editors don’t. Or it’s not right for
them. Or it’s too similar to something they’ve already contracted. Or . . .
Know what
I’m talking about? There comes a time in every writer’s career when they have a
story that means so much to them, is so personal to them, that it’s almost
obsessive in the way we write, rewrite, and edit that story. When it’s finally
ready to go out, we just KNOW it’s going to be snapped right up. But it
doesn’t.
Each
writer will come to this crossroads sometime in their career. Each writer will
have to cross the hurdle, much like overcoming writer’s block. Each writer will
have to make that painful decision to either independently publish, or put the
story aside and move on. Yep, you heard me—put the story of our heart aside and
move on to something else.
Ouch,
that hurt. For me, it was several months of pouting. Kicking the couch. (Would
never kick my dogs) Pouting again. Stomping around the house until the hubby
and kids were cowering in closets. Depressed. Angry. Pouting.
And then
I grew as a writer.
I saved
the story of my heart onto a jump drive. (Ok, two different ones—I’m obsessive,
what can I say?) Then I did the hardest thing: I deleted it off my desktop. My
heart pounded, I felt nauseous. But I knew I had to. I didn’t break down. My
heart ached only a little before I did the unthinkable—started a new story. I’d
learned there’s a time to put away a story and move on to something else. One
story does not a writer make.
I still
miss that story of my heart sometimes. Every six or seven months, I pull out
the drive and read through it. I don’t save it to my computer though. I read
it, then put it away. In early 2000, I’d moved on to something else, and doing
so got me published.
One story
does not a writer make.
One day .
. . one day it’ll be that story’s time. It’ll be its turn. And I’ll take it
out, probably revise it for the millionth time, and send it out again. Who
knows? It might be snapped up in a minute. Or I might publish it
independently—the timing might be right for it then.
Until I
decide, I’ll keep pressing forward. Keep writing what I can. Keep giving each
current story all my attention. I’ll keep doing so because I want to be an
author, because I DO have more than one story in my heart.
One story
does not a writer make.
As a white water rafting guide, Katie
Gallagher must battle the forces of nature on a daily basis. When sabotage
becomes apparent on a weekend rafting trip, Katie must determine who she can
trust—and who has their own agenda. Hunter Malone has a mission on a business
adventure trip on the Gauley River, a mission that didn’t include a spunky
guide who could handle the class-five rapids better than he’d ever imagined.
But can she handle the truth?