When the days are short and the weather cold, it is a our tradition to reflect on changes the year about to pass has brought, and to give thanks.
As each year closes, we have been amazed at blessings that have continued to shower on us, and we give praise to the Lord who has made each of our years better than the last.
This is not to say there aren’t challenges and setbacks. This year has blown by in most respects. Amidst health issues and inevitable and unplanned expenses, I was able to retire from my “day job” in mid October and joined my husband in his leather business full time. While only a couple months into that transition, we are extremely happy with it.
I had two major plans for 2014: retiring, and my book writing project, “The White Haired Shooter.”
Both these plans underwent a multitude of twists and turns during the year, and a quote attributed to Woody Allen really fits:
“If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans”
I started blogging in January of 2014, with articles that form the information base for the book, and by early summer had established a fairly solid direction and felt ready to start putting the book together.
To better prepare myself, I began studying the process of writing, publishing, and marketing. Part of my studies involved taking part in “flash fiction” events and contests, and I got hooked on learning the dynamics of story writing. That process rekindled a bookworm’s childhood dream of writing books myself – and I suppose, on the brink of second childhood, that’s poetic timing!
As I’ve shared in previous posts, I am still writing. I have down-sized the scope of the original how-to book, and began writing a novel that illustrates the challenges, progress, and integration of self defense – in particular guns- in the lives of three mature women. One of the women just happens to have a how-to book designed to help the mature woman learn to shoot, and, da da da daaaaa, it is written by yours truly, the White Haired Shooter. (Funny how that worked out, eh?)
Haven’t figured out how to market the how-to book part yet, but entertaining a few ideas, and having a blast doing it.
Quite a change from my original intent. But I like to think, a better approach. There are many training manuals, videos and classes available for women these days, to just write one without any “real” credentials – other than I am a mature woman, I shoot, and have assisted in training others – isn’t much of a platform to launch from.
The audience I am targeting (all right, I’ll try to control the puns) is the mature woman, and her decision whether or not to learn to shoot a gun as part of self defense. That is so much more than just the basics of pulling a trigger and learning proper grip, and is the primary aim (okay, I promise that’s the last one) of the White Haired Shooter. I had an epiphany, taken straight from my study of fiction:
SHOW don’t TELL
And that’s what Sylvia, Laura and Pat, the main characters of the novel, are doing. I believe it’s got the potential to entertain while informing, and be far better than trying to integrate that theme into a how-to manual alone.
This project will take longer than I ever imagined, but I am excited about the different levels and opportunities opened up by basing the mature woman’s experiences and challenges in a work of fiction.
As a major part of “getting schooled,” I am once again side-tracking, this time by writing a couple of novels based on short stories I wrote during the summer. I feel better “practicing” with them, and then bringing new skills to the main book(s).
Blogging, unfortunately, will be inconsistent for some time. With the changes retirement has brought, and working our own business, I have a lot of adjusting to do. Old schedules have been tossed, and new ones haven’t yet – if ever – been formed. God only put so many hours into a day, and they do fly by when we’re having so much fun!
Finally, and from the heart, here’s wishing you and yours have a wonderful holiday season and a blessed New Year!