With the advent of each New Year and a fresh new calendar, I reflect back over achievements, disappointments, or goals I set and procrastinated about. This year, two achievements stand out: I received a contract for Sour Grapes, the second book in my Shakespeare in the Vineyard mystery series, and I managed to hike the Pinnacles for the third time. It gets harder with each passing year.
My readers always want to know how long I’ve been writing, so I thought this might be a good place to reflect back thirteen years to when it started. That’s peanuts to those who have been writing all their lives, but better late than never. I’ve always read, mostly comic books as a kid, but still about places I wanted to be, some fantasyland where the world appeared perfect.
When I retired from Sandia National Labs in 1998, and then again in 2000 as a DOE contractor, murder never entered my mind except in the mysteries I loved to read. I attended Penny Warner’s book signing, later joined her critique group, and wrote my first novel set on Martha’s Vineyard. Getting that book published is one of my goals for 2014. I haven’t been idle these thirteen years, just struggling to perfect my work before sending it out. Which now I realize was a mistake. Just write it and then edit it, I’m told. Finish it. And I agree. I have more ideas for my mystery series and a few short stories I’m eager to write. A few quotes I’d like to share:
“And since you know you cannot see yourself, so as by reflection, I, your glass, will modestly discover to yourself, that of yourself which you yet know not of.”
—William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar
“Reflect upon your present blessings — of which every man has many — not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.”
― Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol
“One of the saddest things in life, is the things one remembers.”
― Agatha Christie