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April 28, 2005: The Joy of Writing

Even though the release date is May 1, Once Upon a Sofa is already in some stores and is shipping from Amazon. In fact, it’s been doing so well, it’s been at the top of Amazon’s Regency Best Seller list for several days. Who knew I had so many friends?

April has been interesting I visited my local bookstores and introduced myself as "Myretta Robens, local author." They were glad to meet me and happy to order my book. My friend Linda (who you might remember is CEO of my writing career) hauled me to the Harvard University Bookstore (the Coop), found the tiny romance section and sought out the floor manager to introduce me and tell her she should order Once Upon a Sofa. She agreed she should and invited me back to sign them when they arrive.

But in the realm of shameless self-promotion, flogging my book at bookstores was nothing. This month I set the gold standard when I went for my annual physical exam. After my PAP smear, sat up on the examining table wearing in my little paper gown with the little paper drape over my lap and handed out bookmarks to the doctor and nurse-practitioner. I dare you to come up with self-promotion more shameless than that.

I went and had a professional photograph done. I had hoped to be younger and thinner when this moment came, but there is nothing I can do about that now. When the photographer sent me the link to the proofs, my immediate thought on opening the page was, "Oh look: pictures of my mother." Unfortunately, they weren't. You'll see the result on my web site fairly soon.

And I’ve been writing! Suddenly things have started to click and the several false starts I made on my current manuscript have turned into something that seems right. I’m encouraged. I’m energized. I’m writing. I believe there will be more books coming.

Once Upon a Sofa is released and my journaling days are over with this entry. I'd like to end my saga with a few thoughts about the joys of writing. It's solitary, but I like solitary pursuits and when I'm at my computer, I'm never far from my closest friends (which may or may not be a good thing for that procrastination problem). It's a wonderful to finish a manuscript and to feel that you've done the best you can do. Despite the anxiety attendant on other people reading it, it's still a thrill that some of them might want to.

Writing has brought me some extraordinary friendships. Sandy Tabor started out as a critique partner (and a peerless one) and has become one of my dearest friends. Linda (my CEO), who was always a friend, has become even closer as we share our writing. I've met wonderful people and made more friends through the RWA and, as Megan mentioned in her Journal, she and I have become good friends. We talk regularly about our writing, about the Regency, about what’s happening in our lives. And we laugh at most of it. I've corresponded with a couple of readers who found me through this journal and have been heartened by their kindness and good wishes.

Despite the woes of procrastination and promotion, despite the slow starts and the dead ends, I love writing and I have loved documenting my journey to publication. It's been fun to share this process with you all each month. I thank you for being so welcoming and particularly thank Laurie for giving me the opportunity. I'll be around. Look for me at my web site, MyrettaRobens.com. Look for me at Amazon. Look for me on the AAR boards. Thanks for reading. Thanks for everything.

-- Myretta

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