Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Birth of a Blogger (exactly what this world needs...)

NOTICE: Operation Awesome's One-Line Pitch contest is FULL. Thanks to everyone who entered and spread the word! Keep coming back to learn the winners, the agent's identity, and more surprises. And if you missed entering, keep visiting OA for your chance to enter another contest. Thanks again for making our launch, well, awesome!

I was born on this date in 1969, the very same day that the Internet was launched by hooking up a single computer to the first packet switcher. Today those two parallel story lines converge in the incandescent, climactic moment known as my first blog post. As a fiction writer, I don’t believe in coincidence – only plot, arranged, revealed, and imbued with meaning. Thus, in pursuit of a coherent theme on the anniversary of two births, I have little choice but to write about beginnings.

I've hesitated to write for a blog, and without the support of Operation Awesome, I wouldn’t have done it. I don’t expect this introductory post to be received with the same enthusiasm as yesterday’s Mystery Agent pitch contest. It's hard to put myself out to the world as a writer, to suggest to others in the literary community that I have something worth saying. As an unpublished writer, the hardest part is to expose my dreams to family, friends, and not-so-friends before those dreams have been fulfilled.

As hard as this is, it's not nearly as hard as beginning a novel. I always meant to write one, and I began a few times, writing what I knew based on my limited experience of the world. But they weren’t the stories I wanted to read. No wonder they fizzled out.

I don't know where the idea for my first completed novel came from. I never lived in a 1960s traveling sideshow, and I never had the tiniest bit of magical powers. So while I don't know where my ideas came from, I do know how I freed them. I decided to write for children. And if I wrote for kids, I could write about anything.

I researched for a year, maybe two. I outlined. I hesitated. And when I finally I began, the story pulled me through.

Now I’ll confess that when UCLA connected its host computer to the Internet on September 2, 1969, there was no one on the other end. It took almost two months before another computer was able to receive messages. Already this blog has a slightly wider audience, but if it didn’t, that would be OK. Putting myself out there as a writer is a milestone, just like finishing that first novel was a milestone. Both are only beginnings.

My first novel is resting quietly in a drawer for now, and I'm writing another book. It wasn't any easier this time. The only thing to do was begin, try not to stop, and hope the story pulls me through. And when I do stop, begin again until I get to the middle, and eventually to the end.

Of course, the end is where revision starts -- another beginning and another blog post.

18 comments:

  1. So glad you decided to post...I feel Operation Awesome is the beginnings of something wonderful...Keep writing...step by step & word by word :)Good luck on your manuscript!

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  2. New follower here.

    Nice to meet you all!

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  3. I was going to say, what a coincidence! But we don't believe in coincidence, so I'll just say, THIS IS SO COOL! And Happy Birthday, Kelly!!

    *clangs goblet against yours* To beginnings!

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  4. Thanks for a great post. You are fortunate to be in with such a wonderful group on OA! Happy Birthday from another child of the 60's *cough* (1968) Best of luck!

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  5. Hugs for venturing into the world of blogging. I know you have something worth saying :)

    Happy Birthday, Kelly. <3

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  6. Happy Birthday. Great post. Writing for kids is fabulous. Good luck on your current project.

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  7. Thanks for the kind wishes! Michele, the girl who sat in front of me in homeroom wrote in my high school yearbook, "Never forget you were born in the Sixties!" And I never can! :(

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  8. Great post, and an educational one at that! I had no idea the internet was "started" then! And happy birthday! =)

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  9. Coffeelvnmom, I once wrote an article on the history of the Internet, and this factoid always stuck with me. Additional sign of oldness: I wrote that article FOURTEEN YEARS AGO.

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  10. This is such a great post, Kelly! I'm sooo glad you chose to venture into the blogosphere with us. Nice way to kick off a birthday, huh?

    Congrats!

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  11. Too bad I missed this contest. Sounds like a great opportunity!

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  12. I wanted to comment on the other post, because you guys are so flippin' AWESOME! Thanks for linking to me and QT, I'm honored.

    I should bake you a bunch of cookies or something. Does anyone have a nut allergy?? :)

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  13. Great post! I absolutely agree that the hardest part was sharing this dream of publishing before reaching it. But luckily so many people are out there ready to cheer us all on and help us out. Good luck with it all!

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  14. Happy Birthday! It's hard to take those first steps, but it gets easier :) You did a great job!

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  15. Happy Birthday, and what an excellent post! I'll definitely be checking back for your next one.

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  16. Kelly, it's the strangest thing - I don't know why, but it feels as though the internet hasn't been around for that long. Obviously it has, but time flies the older you get, I guess;) Also, maybe it seems like it hasn't been around that long because it wasn't as easily accessible at first. (Or maybe it was, I don't know... I didn't get it until I was well into my twenties... so less than ten years ago!)

    Jessica =)

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