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  • Beth Black

What Came True

I wasn't one of those writers who dreamed of a literary career at age three. Not even at age eight. But in my early 20s, I woke up. I started with essays and short stories. It became clear to me that I needed to live more in order to have more to say.


So when a friend in a small writers' group told me that my work was good enough for the Orange County Fictionaires, I didn't believe him. I just didn't feel ready. You see, the Fictionaires are a venerable writers' group for professionals. It would be some 15 more years before I did feel ready. While that took a little longer than the original plan, it was not all wasted time. By then, I had life experience, a university degree and an on-staff job.


I got in.


There were dreams of what such a life could mean. Would I travel? Meet with editors and publishers? Gain a following? What would it mean to become a professional writer?


Well ...


The fact is, some of it did come true. I've seen my byline so many times, it's a normal occurrence now. A magazine byline inspires a nod and a place in my files. In the past, it resulted in a happy dance and "Huzzah!" Okay, I might still do that for a film credit. Though I've written plenty of un-credited scripts for the glamour to fade. But just a little.


I've taken part in public readings, which are always fun. And I have worked with (or met) plenty of other pros in the field. Mostly, I've come to appreciate the quiet place in my head where thoughts sprout words that grow into phrases that develop into sentences that bloom into stories. People hear me talking to myself, and they know I'm just arguing with one of my characters. Usually.


Not everything has come true yet. But my situation seems to be evolving, still. And while that's a frightening thing for a career plan, it does keep life interesting. Writers need interesting. We eat it like bread.


And so one of the good things is about to happen. A party! We're celebrating the creation of a collection of books written by six members of the Orange County Fictionaires. I'm one of them. And I'm pretty jazzed about it.


The Better Late Romance series has provided me with a creative escape from several of the pandemic months. While sitting at my desk, I've careened around hairpin turns and soared up long hills on electric bikes. And I helped two lonely hearts find love. Where You Go, I Go is now available on Amazon. And the party will be October 20 at 6 p.m. (PST). Click here to let me know you'll be there. And pour yourself a cold one. It's going to be a virtual happy hour with surprising door prizes. Hope to see you there!



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