Wow - another year has come and gone. Seriously, where does the time go? It seems like just yesterday that I was sitting here, starting out on the 100th revision of my first book and now here I sit, a published author! YES!

When I wrote my first paid-for article and saw it published on the AZ Republic nightlife website a few years ago, I knew I was hooked on this writing thing. I just had to figure out a way to quit my day job so I could do it full-time. Most experienced writers/authors will tell you to do your writing on the side - at nights or weekends when you have free time. Or for the love of God, at 4am if you are a working mother with three needy children and a hubby. (Which I was not, thankfully.) Then, and ONLY then, when you had accumulated enough business or written the next Great American Novel could you quit your day job to do what you love. Pfft! Not that I minded writing at nights and on weekends when I was SINGLE, but I preferred writing DURING my day job - it was a great way to make my boss think I was working really hard (and even late) on many occasions. Unfortunately, I knew I couldn't keep up this charade forever. And when I found myself at the age of 34 sitting in a cardiologist's office because of daily heart palpitations (which were later dismissed as stress pains), I knew something had to change.

So I quit my job. It was the best and worst decision I ever made. And the only reason it was the worst is because now I'd be paying for my health care (which sucks) and not getting a hefty paycheck deposited into my bank account (which also sucks). But I sucked it up. Life was way too short to live it tied up in a gray cubicle, always wondering when my "someday" was going to come. Screw that. I was going to make my someday happen. Now.  That is what made it the best decision of my life to date.

And over the past year, I did just that. I wrote my first book, a memoir - "Love, Lies & Lessons Learned" (now available on Amazon & B&N). I agonized every day for nearly two months writing 2000 words a day. I took a short break and then agonized for what seemed to be two years but was in actuality only another two long months to work on a 2nd draft. I sent it in for professional copy editing. And then I edited it myself one more time before I sent it to my publisher. (And yes, it STILL has errors. If I can deal with it, I hope you can too.) All the while I marketed my book via Facebook and Twitter. I had no idea how many people would actually buy my book when it was released, but I had a feeling it would be more than one. And since that was my goal, I felt pretty dang good.

I'm still waiting for the actual sales indicators from my publisher and to be honest, I don't really care what they show. I would do this for free. Watching my book go up and down on Amazon's Kindle rankings and hearing from readers I have never met or friends I haven't heard from in years who bought a copy of my book telling me how they purchased my book and were up till 3am that same night finishing it - makes it all worth it. And I would do it all over again. Connecting with my readers, ones I didn't even expect to have, is like crack/cocaine for me. (And no, I have never done crack/cocaine Mom - I'm just assuming this may be similar to how good it feels.)

So thank you my dear readers. Being able to use the word "readers" in the plural sense is exhilarating, tantalizing and orgasmic. (Again, sorry Mom.) So much so, I've decided to start the painful process all over. (Maybe this is what it is like for those who are into S&M?) Again ... NOOOOO ... I have not tried that.

Today I started on the sequel to "Love, Lies & Lessons Learned." Tentatively it is going to be called "Happy Endings", mostly because I think that is a funny name but also because in LLLL, I wasn't sure I would ever get my happy ending. I've experienced enough life to know that there really are no endings, only transitions from one phase to another. Have I received my "Happy Ending"? (And NOOOOO ... not that kind.)  I guess you will have to read the book to find out.

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Comment by Michelle Oeltjen on January 4, 2012 at 4:36pm

I friended you! :-) I'm so excited for you and can't wait to hear how WDC goes. Chuck is awesome to listen to. Another thing I just thought of is for you to research the specific agents you want to pitch to - what genre they shop, etc - so that you don't waste anytime in line for an agent who only does fiction if you are non-fiction for example. That hour goes by fast!

Comment by Lisa W. Rosenberg on January 4, 2012 at 10:34am

Hi Michelle!  Thanks for the friend request--or did I request you?  I meant to.  Anyway, CONGRATULATIONS on publishing your book!!!  And here's wishing you the best with the sequal.  It all sounds wonderful.  Also, thanks for the advice re: the WD conference. 




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