Welcome to my new blog! I’m excited and a little nervous to begin this venture on my own. You see, for the last two years I was part of a group blog called the Prairie Chicks http://prairiechickswriteromance.blogspot.com I’ve always believed in safety in numbers.
The whole reason I helped to start Prairie Chicks was because I was a bit afraid to start my own blog. First of all, I didn’t feel I had the technical skills to start my own blog, and secondly, how much did I have to say?
But after two years, the Prairie Chicks have decided to disband. Everyone had their own projects, blogs, and other ventures they wanted to pursue. And so I’m on my own.
I learned a lot and gained confidence during my time with the Prairie Chicks. It was a wonderful experience, made even more wonderful by working with friends. I learned that, surprisingly, I have a lot to say. Turns out I can bather on for days. I feel ready to start my own blog.
So here I am. If you’ve never read my posts at Prairie Chicks before, let me introduce myself. My name is Jana Richards and I’m a romance writer. I write several types of romances: romantic comedies, contemporary romances, and romantic suspense. A couple of my stories have a paranormal bent, and my latest contracted story, not yet released, is a historical romantic suspense set in World War Two. I’ve written in a variety of lengths as well, from full length and novella to short stories. I love them all. Basically, I write the story that calls to me, and apparently all kinds of stories call to me. I’m not sure if that makes me versatile or just undecided.
I plan to write posts of interest to other writers on issues of the writing craft. But I also want to write about aspects of my life.
In addition to being a writer, I’m also a wife, a mother, daughter, sister, niece and, employee. Though writing consumes me at times, I still have other interests, like gardening, yoga, golf. I’m kind of a news junkie and like keeping up on current events. I love to read, though there never seems to be enough time.
Right now I’m reading a series from one of my publishers called “The Class of ‘85”. These are stories about a 25th year class reunion of a group of high school students from fictional Summerville, New York. The publisher gave a call out for stories, the only criteria being that at least one member of the couple is a graduate of Summerville High. They don’t even have to actually attend the reunion. The editor wanted stories between 7,500 and 40,000 words.
Back in March of this year, when The Wild Rose Press put out the call for these books, I thought it was a fabulous idea and I wanted in on it. I had just finished edits on my last story and was eager to start another. Things were quiet at work, so I made arrangements to take a week off so I could concentrate on a solid week of writing.
And then my mom had a heart attack. She’s 89 years old and lives about 600 kilometres from me. It was touch and go for a while, but she pulled through. There were many trips back and forth as she recovered. Eventually she was moved into a nursing home and we cleared out her apartment. She’s doing reasonably well now, and is settled into the nursing home which is located in my small hometown.
But my writing suffered. For a while, I couldn’t write much more than a blog post, and even that was tough. I gave up reading a lot of emails and blog posts. Fiction was beyond me for some time.
After about three months, with Mom being looked after in the nursing home, I began feeling the urge to write again. I started a story for the “Class of ‘85” series that I’ve called “The Girl Most Likely”. I’ve recently finished it and sent it off to my critique partner Janet for a look-see. All I can hope for is that The Wild Rose Press will still be accepting stories for this series when I’m ready to submit.
A writer can be as disciplined about her schedule as all get-out, but when life throws her a curve, sometimes she’s got no choice but to step back and let other things take priority.
So that’s one aspect; the daughter. My Mom’s health is still an ongoing issue, and I’m sure I’ll be making several more trips in the future. But I’m glad to do it.
I’m sure life has thrown everybody a curveball or two. How do you cope when something unexpected and frightening happens?