Back in the Dark Ages when I began this sacred journey (being younger than some writers who claim they hail from the time of cave dwellers) I wrote by hand on college lined notebook paper with a certain kind of Bic pen--had to be that kind. And I went through bottles of whiteout. Once a page was stiff with whiteout, I'd crumple and throw until I was surrounded by a pile of discarded prose.

My cats collected about me, often sparring with each other for the prime spots, known only to cats. Those furry bodies heightened the summer heat and I had no air conditioning in my bedroom back then where I do most of my writing seated in my bed propped against the headboard with pillows. Only, now I have a laptop.

When my now grown children were small, they snuggled in my roomy bed for story time. We spent happy hours sailing to new realms in our imaginations. Thus, it seemed the apt place to weave my own tales. As it’s also my husband’s bedroom, I often wrote late into the night with dim lights so as not to disturb him. He graciously tolerated the grating of the quill pen and I even favored candles until I caught my hair on fire. Not to worry, I soon beat it out, but now prefer a lower watt bulb. I also went from excellent vision to needing bi-focals…hmmmm.

Back to my digression: In those medieval days, I knew nothing of computers. My long suffering mother typed up all my jottings on hers, after I handed over my latest work in an envelope marked, "Guard with life!" As it was my only copy. If her home caught on fire, I expected that envelope to escape unscathed––and her, of course, and my dad, and the dog, with my envelope clenched in its teeth.

Faithful Mama and I actually made it through multiple revisions of book one, a lengthy epistle, and were well into book two before my dear husband gave me his old desktop computer and I was launched into cyberspace. No internet for me before then either. A whole new world opened up nearly as vast as the universe.

With much floundering, I’m learning how to navigate, although I recently got lost at the Coffee Time Romance website. They ought to have search and rescue. That’s a mighty big cafĂ©.

Fortunately, I have cyber-savvy friends to whom I frequently turn for direction. A word of advice to newbies, make fast mates of graphic artists. Fellow Pink Fuzzie Pam Roller was already my pal before I hit on her to do my website, but after the superb work she’s done, it’s safe to say I am indebted to her forever. Rather like that Moor, Azeem, who faithfully served Robin Hood after he saved the guy’s life. So, Pam, your wish is my command. Just don’t actually ask for anything. :)

And then, there are the dreams. I knew I had some psychic ability, but have discovered this second sight is more deeply rooted than I realized. From that initial dream twelve years ago, about a warrior taking a young woman captive at a river in the Shenandoah Valley, to the elderly brave shrouded in mist who gave me a warning as I sailed away on a black sea, to the characters who’ve appeared with revelations of their stories, these many visions have guided my journey.

I’ve also been led into a foreknowledge of how I would fare with a certain agent/editor. The dreams were always right, dang it. Like the British agent (I queried the world) who was impressed with one of my colonial frontier stories and was on the verge of signing me when I dreamt I met her at a party where we chatted happily until others came between us and I lost sight of her. I knew before she said that she’d decided to go another route. Thus it was with anyone in the publishing world with whom I had contact. If I didn’t dream of them, then they were not to be. If I did, it didn’t usually go well either.

Ditto for contests. Early on, my hopes were soaring high for a particular contest, when I dreamed my hot air balloon (is that apt, or what?) crashed on the rocks. Yep, so did my entry. But, I recently double finaled in that same contest. Ten years later, but what’s a piffling decade?

Lately, my ‘spidey senses’ have detected a new wind blowing, a change in the direction I should track. Ever mindful of that inner voice, I decided to submit my light paranormal romance, Somewhere My Love, to the Wild Rose Press. Within a week, I received a raving reply from the editor who offered me a contract. And I finally figured out what that old warrior had been warning me about all those years ago, that it would take quite a voyage before I’d find my harbor. But ‘Land Ho!’

Now, the rich icing on the cake is my final in the 2008 Golden Heart with my historical romance novel, Through the Fire, one of the world's most rejected manuscripts! An excerpt of 'Fire' is posted on this blog.

To all my friends and supporters, a hearty thank you!

Posted by Beth Trissel

29 comments

  1. Brit Blaise // April 2, 2008 at 9:38 AM  

    Ten years later, but what’s a piffling decade?

    Too funny! Thanks for sharing your journey.

  2. Nightingale // April 2, 2008 at 9:52 AM  

    Lord of the Pages. LOP That mystical journey to Publication. You wrote about the trek with the same lyric words to be found in your books. Congrats on reaching land (Did you see Johnny Depp on the voyage???) and on the Golden Heart! Your time since that Time of Whiteout has been well spent and now well received! Onward Lady Beth!

  3. Beth Trissel // April 2, 2008 at 10:10 AM  

    Glad to, Brit. It seemed about time. :)

  4. Beth Trissel // April 2, 2008 at 10:11 AM  

    Thanks Linda. Onward indeed. What else do writers do but write?

  5. CM // April 2, 2008 at 10:34 AM  

    Beth,

    What an incredible journey you've had. Here's hoping that the path continues to wind onward and upward. I can't wait to read your release.

  6. Dorothy McFalls // April 2, 2008 at 11:59 AM  

    WooHOO! Congratulations on the Golden Heart final!! That's super news, Beth!

    Dorothy

  7. Beth Trissel // April 2, 2008 at 12:01 PM  

    Thanks CM and Dorothy! I'm psyched!

  8. Lisa Marie Wilkinson // April 2, 2008 at 12:23 PM  

    Beth, I choked on my coffee when I read the "hair catching on fire" line. Too funny!

    Congratulations on your Golden Heart final. I'm thrilled for you, and I can't think of a sweeter, more deserving person.

  9. Mona Risk // April 2, 2008 at 12:46 PM  

    Beth, your long perseverance paid off. You are now a published author and a GH finalist. I will be in San Francisco to cheer you. Wishing you a GH win.

  10. Beth Trissel // April 2, 2008 at 1:00 PM  

    Woo hoo! Thanks Mona and Lisa!

  11. jenny gardiner // April 2, 2008 at 2:14 PM  

    Whoo Hoo!!!! We are of course SO happy for you!

  12. Beth Trissel // April 2, 2008 at 3:18 PM  

    You are a real sweetheart, Jenny.
    Thanks.

  13. Katie Reus // April 2, 2008 at 3:32 PM  

    Congrats on your Golden Heart final!! That's amazing :)

  14. Amanda Brice // April 2, 2008 at 3:36 PM  

    Great story! Thanks for sharing your journey!

  15. Alisha Paige // April 2, 2008 at 4:28 PM  

    Congrats on your Golden Heart nomination! Thrilled for you!

  16. Pat McDermott // April 2, 2008 at 4:40 PM  

    Entertaining blog, Beth. May all your decades be as much fun!

  17. Kay Cassidy // April 2, 2008 at 4:49 PM  

    Huge congrats on the sale and final, Beth! :-)

  18. Kay Cassidy // April 2, 2008 at 4:52 PM  

    I didn't notice the comment moderation note. LOL Please delete the first comment. Thanks! :-)

  19. Beth Trissel // April 2, 2008 at 5:28 PM  

    Thanks so much, ladies! I'm feeling very uplifted!

  20. Beth Trissel // April 2, 2008 at 5:39 PM  

    BTW, I had an invite today from a snarky blogger inviting me to read her post about E-pub--a vicious rant, so I'm even more appreciative of these kudos.
    If you want to read the amazing responses to her nasty post, here's the site of the battle.

    http://www.rantingsbyzelda.blogspot.com/

  21. Helen Scott Taylor // April 2, 2008 at 7:12 PM  

    Sounds as though you enjoyed the journey, Beth, and that's one of the most important things. Well done on your first sale. Looking forward to reading the whole book!

  22. Beth Trissel // April 2, 2008 at 9:41 PM  

    Thanks Helen! I have enjoyed the journey, and I realized that's really the important thing.

  23. Toni Anderson // April 3, 2008 at 2:37 PM  

    Congratulations on your sale, Beth, and good luck in the GH :)

  24. Skhye Moncrief // April 3, 2008 at 2:57 PM  

    Congratulations!!! I used to write on paper as a child/teen. It drove me nuts because I'd scratch everything out. No white out. :( We must have been poor! Then one day around the year 2000, I realized I could TYPE stories on a computer. Geesh. Thanks for making me laugh! ~Skhye

  25. Beth Trissel // April 3, 2008 at 4:23 PM  

    I enjoyed your writing memory, Skhye. No whiteout? Man, you were deprived. :)
    And I'm glad I made you laugh.

  26. Susan Macatee // April 3, 2008 at 7:36 PM  

    Congratulations, Bess!
    I can relate to writing with pen and notepaper back when I started. I also spent a lot of frustrating time typing on an electric typewriter and stocked up on both whiteout and correction tape.

  27. Pamela S Thibodeaux // April 3, 2008 at 9:00 PM  

    Wow, Beth! I too began writing in 5-subject notebooks...then a word processor, then a computer. I put off buying one so many times saying..."All I do is write."

    Can you say....UNDERSTATEMENT? LOL!

    Great post...as for Zelda's rant...just ignore that kind of silliness.

    I know its sometimes difficult, but think of it kinda like the "bad" publicity Mel Gibson got for The Passion...all that "bad" publicity just made people want to watch the show!

    Hey, maybe her rant will make people want to buy our books! ;-)

    Good luck and God's BLESSINGS!
    PamT

  28. Beth Trissel // April 3, 2008 at 10:56 PM  

    Thanks Susan and Pam for sharing your pen and paper beginnings, and for the support. A little controversy, as Pam pointed out, is not necessairly a bad thing.

  29. Joanne // April 6, 2008 at 9:08 AM  

    Congratulations, Beth, on your final in the Golden Heart, and for sharing your incredible writing journey with us.