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What is an Author?

          According to the dictionary Author: Noun; a writer of a book, article, or report. Synonyms: writer, man/woman of letters, wordsmith, novelist, dramatist, playwright—

          Verb: be the author of a book or piece of writing.

          So, what is the difference between author and writer? According to the authorities on the matter, a writer is a person who writes a book, article, or any literary piece. While an author is essentially the person who originates the idea, plot or content of the work being written. At times, the author and writer can be the same person.

          Well heck no wonder I was confused as to what to call myself. So, with that explanation from the experts, I find it easier to call myself author or writer. I’m proud to be either, yet when I think of some of my favorites, I pale in comparison so it’s best I don’t compare myself to them.

          Bye the way, when I was in the 7th grade my oldest brother graduated from high school. At his graduation, the main speaker said something about experts that’s stuck with me all these years. He gave an example of what an expert was. He said, “I looked up ex in the dictionary and it said it’s an unknown quantity, pert is a drip under pressure, therefore and expert is an unknown drip under pressure.” So, when I hear someone referred as an expert in their field you can guess what comes into my mind.

          I believe at times we, or should I say I, get so caught up in doing it right that I lose my voice. And I’ve worked hard on finding my voice, so I really don’t want to lose it. Sadly, or maybe not I tend to write like I talk, in part sentences, taking a convoluted path around to get to the point. I my veer off course only to eventually get back to the point I was trying to make. I also have a Yodaish way of speaking where a sentence will come out bass-ackwards. I’m aware of it at the time, but my thoughts tend to leapfrog over each other in their race to get out while they’re still in my mind. No wonder, at times I’ll notice people looking at me with a quizzical expression on their face. So, I will apologize and return to the topic we’d began on, except on those occasions when the original thought is completely de-railed.

          The good thing about writing, is in the editing process this can all be taken care of, hopefully without diluting the emotion or feel of the thought. This is where I have much to learn, even in re-reading I will miss mistakes as I tend to see it as I mean it, not as I’ve written it. I’d like to say it’s because I think so much faster than these old fingers can keep up with. But that’s not always the case. Of course, there are those blatant mistakes such as spelling and wrong words that pop right out. It’s the more subtle things that take time, patience, and persistence to catch, like repetitive words, cliches, and punctuation to name a few. Terry has been invaluable to me though the process of editing, with her gentle way of explaining why a passage might be stronger if a few changes were made. Then having me do the work, which is how I learn. It’s been a few years since I sat in a classroom with the teacher making us go through the exercise of diagraming a sentence. Oh, God how I hated to have to get up in front of the class, walk up to the blackboard and do that. I could do it, but the downfall was in having to explain why I did it the way I did, and part of the grade was the explanation even if the sentence was done right. I’m ever so grateful not to have to go through that embarrassment in this process.

          So, to wrap this up, what is an author? I am my friends; indeed, I am, and I’m still in awe of this whole process. Like a kid making new discoveries, that little kid is dancing inside me. This also reinforces one of my beliefs, life is about learning new lessons and I’m still learning and plan to continue to do so just as long as I draw breath.

And so we begin

I am an author, it’s official, I’ve completed my first novel and it’s on its way to publication. I am beyond excited, confused, relieved, astounded and feeling naked in front of the world. It’s a dream come true and after many years of getting in my own way this day is now officially here. Now I wonder why I put so many roadblocks in my path to get to this point. But that I cannot undo, so here I am approaching 80 years of age about to publish my first, but hopefully not my last, novel.

I want to invite you to join me on this, the next chapter of my life, where I will once more take on something new, a blog. The purpose will be to discuss, explore, many things about, life, writing and the road to this point.

I would like to say that I’ll be able to share with you my process of getting from the kernel of an idea, how it came about in an organized manner that led to the finished product. I’d like to say that, but the fact is, getting to this point has been filled with words tumbling over themselves to make it to paper, voices of people whom I have come to feel as friends chattering to have themselves heard then, at times those same voices deserting me as I tried to force things to happen.

For years I have referred to myself as a wanna-be writer. I would get frustrated because I didn’t know how to do the process so I would buy books to educate myself that would lead to me even becoming more frozen as I let self-doubt interfere. All the critical voices of my past would rear their ugly head to say, you don’t know what you’re doing. Why do you think you can write a book, especially a book someone would want to read? It’s ironic how one can let all the negative block our desires. Another problem was writing something I wouldn’t be embarrassed to have my mother or children read.

But thankfully, despite all the angst and self-doubt I followed the words of Stephen King, who to me, wrote the best book on writing out there. He said if you want to write, write. Once more the words began to flow, and I felt hopeful. I began writing, not with the idea of it being the great American novel, but simply for the joy of writing. I shared chapters with a good friend I’d met online in a writing group and her enthusiasm and encouragement spurred me on. I shared with a few more people and they too said, more, so more I did.

I began to write a daily blurb on Facebook to try and generate a pittance of discipline, which I truly lack in my day-to-day life, not only where writing is concerned. I am, truth be told a bit of a flitter. I tend to flit from one new thing to another. You see, I love beginnings, figuring out how things work, and all the excitement that comes with that. It shows in all the varied hobbies I have taken up over the years, besides putting pen to paper. I will learn just enough to do it to the point I am becoming more comfortable, then I flit off to begin something anew. That is probably why I can crochet an Afghan but not a doily, I have painted 5 pictures, but like writing I turned out the first piece, and even if I do say so it was darn good, but with each one after the little voice of doubt intruded and instead of it coming naturally, I began to force, overwork and overthink it.

I’m also good at one of these days I’m gonna and I will start only to sabotage myself. I am a tactile learner, hands on for me is how I learn. If you want to teach me something, show me and I can pick it up most of the time. Setting and reading a book on how to simply frustrates me. That is why I found the books I would read to learn how to write would seem to stop rather than start the engine that could. I find if I trust my instincts, learn the basics, and do the deed I’m fine. It’s when I get in the way because I want to do it right the first time, I’m in trouble.

So, here my friends I want you to keep my feet to the fire. I want you to ask me questions, share some of your stories and experiences, make it not just my blog, but ours. I can go on forever, I’ve got the gift of gab but if what I’m sharing is of no interest to you than I might as well be talking to the wall and what’s the fun in that.

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