Tag Archives: journalist

Two Days to Becoming Magic: A Salute to Just Journalists

assorted wooden alphabets inside the crate

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

It’s just two days to the release of my new romance, Becoming Magic—and I can’t seem to stop thinking about The Capital Gazette‘s dead.

This probably wasn’t considered a mass shooting. A mass shooting, I think, is defined as ten or more victims. There were only five in Annapolis yesterday.

Just five people who didn’t get up and go to work this morning. Because yesterday a man decided it was okay to take a shotgun into their office and shoot them.

This is not a very magical way of thinking.

This is not romantic at all.

This is the life we’re now living.

Somewhere along the timeline of my life it became somehow okay to solve your problems by picking up a gun and shooting the people who you see as causing it. How did we get here?

Some say we need to go back to God.

Some say we’ve lost our common decency. Those people may be right because I can’t help but think that yesterday there was a certain dismissive attitude about the five dead people. I heard the whisper of common conception as plainly as if someone were standing behind me shouting it into my ear.

They were just journalists.

Just journalists. I went to journalism school. I worked on small newspapers in both North Carolina and Virginia. I remember getting up in the morning to drive an hour to the small newspaper I worked at and feeling like I was the luckiest person alive to have gotten a job doing something I loved doing. I loved writing the news in that tiny town. I loved helping with the layout and typesetting and taking photos of people’s kids playing soccer and even—a couple of times—driving all over the back country of North Carolina delivering the papers.

So I was just a journalist, too.

I wasn’t even that great at it, and the hours were terrible, and I got paid next to nothing. But I was proud to have a press pass and to work to uphold the basic principles of journalism.

I imagine those journalists at The Capital Gazette felt the same way.

Just journalism is nothing to sneeze at, fellow citizens. Just journalism is all that holds those in power in check. Just journalism holds a light of truth on the unethical. Just journalism verifies and monitors and maintains independence.

And all too often, just journalism suffers because of it.

I apologize for the length of this stream of consciousness column. I encourage you to read up about the victims of yesterday’s shooting. They were just journalists and I salute them.

Oh yeah, and buy my book, on sale July 1.

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Filed under Becoming Magic, Writing

End of Year Retrospective: Why I Write

This is the time of year I look back on what I’ve accomplished and wonder—yet again—why do I bother writing romance novels?

My readers number in the dozens. And most of those are friends. (Wonderful friends!)

I could probably have a very successful career as a journalist or a librarian if I dropped the novelist pretense. (I do have degrees for both.)

If I give up writing romance novels I’d have lots more time for other stuff. Fun stuff. Like kite flying. Or boating. Or acting. (Did you catch that I was in a local production of A Christmas Carol?)

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And yet…the truth of the matter is, I don’t really write for readers. I write for me. I even publish for me because I like seeing my writing in book form. It’s satisfying in a weird, probably narcissistic way. But it’d be great to have more readers. It’d even be great to make a living at this thing. To be a best-selling author with Hollywood fighting to turn my books into movies. To be able to donate money to charities and take care of my family and set my parents up in a nice house, preferably closer or at least be able to get to see them more—all that is the dream.

However, as I close out my seventh year as a novelist with thirteen romance novels under my belt, I am faced with the near certainty that that’s not likely to happen.

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Let’s face it, the days of the reclusive novelist who can sit at home and write and send their work out to the publishing world to sell are over. Everyone writes books these days. Actors, politicians, psychiatrists, musicians, librarians, bloggers, YouTubers—I could go on, but you get the picture.

The pipes are literally clogged with all the books all these non-writers are writing. How on earth is little ol’ non-flashy me gonna attract attention to my independently published romances with all those flashy covers “written” by all the flashy personalities taking up all that shelf space?

Gotta try, though, don’t I? (Email list sign up here.)

So, I’m turning over a new leaf in the new year. I’m working out an actual marketing plan and exploring other avenues for publishing. I’m looking at what’s worked and what hasn’t and what I’ve never tried before. And I’m kicking it all off with a newsletter that launches on January 1. If you want to keep up with what’s happening with me, you might want to sign up. Here’s a link to do that: Email list sign up.

Oh, and even if you don’t really care what’s happening with me and my career, you might want to sign up anyway since I’m giving away a $50 Amazon gift card to one lucky subscriber. Want that sign up link again? Here you go.

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Filed under Thoughts, Writing