I hope everyone is busy with attending the Savvy Authors DigiCon E-Pub Conference, but I hope you'll take a few minutes to welcome our next warrior guest Ju Dimello.
Thanks to our hostess Melinda for coming up with this unique theme for budding writers to congregate and share a part of ourselves. Without much ado, here I go, spilling all my secrets in a colorful journey...
Hey, a warrior's gotta have some memorable roots..So here's mine :
Born and brought up in South India, I hadn't stumbled across romantic novels until my early twenties. Twenty-two to be more exact...and I should thank my hostel mate for 'loaning' me my first ever Mills and Boon! I've been hooked ever since.. And "the rest they say is history"? No way!
Reading and me :
Well, here I can shout and claim that I don’t remember a time I wasn't fascinated by stories—either in the form of comics or listening to the various epics from my grandmother or nagging my uncle (who, btw is an English Literature Prof) to narrate some stories.
My maternal uncle gifted me some of his earliest paper-backs : those of Irwing Wallace even before I entered my teen years.. and boy, did I struggle?
You bet !
But I couldn't stop reading after I got my hands on BOOKS... In school, I lost myself in mythology, Dr Who, Robin Cook, Sidney Sheldon, Agatha Christie, Sherlock Holmes etc.
One thing I came to realize was that - books were my companion through hard times and happiest moments.. A good book always had the power to pull me out of the dumps and they made my day complete, satisfied.
From the moment I had my hands on the romance, I couldn't get enough of them. I am addicted and I love being addicted :) Should I iterate that Happily Ever After's are a must for me now? The spicier the better ;)
Transition to writer :
Totally unlike most of the wonderful authors out there who wrote since their childhood, I feel like a fish out of water when I think of how odd my writing journey began....
The golden days of my story telling days began with an idea of my first story when I was about 8 yrs old. It was about a girl who had been injected with some drug that would make her listen to everything the villan says. Obviously she didn't have a hero to help her out of it..but her cousins - who were a part of a secret organization of rich-spies helped her. Any guesses who were those rich-spy cousins? Who else but our cousins gang - Myself Lucy (English names sounding exotic to our ears, were a must for us to get that drama feeling), my sister was named Dany, cousins respectively named Miranda and Shiela. Every day we enacted a new episode with some case we cracked using our crime solving skills.
Then I ran into some stints with poetry.. One day I had lost my favorite pen (ahem, coughs), and I wrote an ode to it.. Ah, my fish out of water feeling is now almost gone..as I'm realizing - I am not that different either.. Who said we writers are normal :)
The actual muse of writing descended on me in February 2009 when I landed flat on my back when chucked out of my job. Recession and all that jazz. Sleepless nights, hair-pulling moments..and bham! Suddenly a story took hold in my mind. I think it was an escapism in itself..or probably my mind's way of preserving its sanity.And the it was as if right time came into effect by itself. And I've been thankful ever since. Strange but true. For that gave me the exact momentum not only to dream, but the courage to follow them thorough even after I got another job.
Happy days yet? I wish. My husband encouraged me to follow my desires, which is the greatest support I could get.. and well, it also means, I have to wholeheartedly support his - which was to pursue academics. So, I quit my job a couple of months ago to move to Canada....And I'm sitting in this freezing weather, staring out to the 4-5 feet of snow as I type this post, wondering about life. I know that I must be filling the walls (er..documents) with my creativity in the long, blissful days that stretch ahead without interruptions. But I miss going for a job and the steady income it provided :) Miss the mundane days to fuel my characters's steamy nights.. I worry about my parents and in-laws who depend on our financial and moral support..And trying hard not to feel worthless.. I thought I was prepared for this move, but I’m still adjusting..
The most confusing thing is, when I sit to write, the fact that I'm not applying for jobs hover in the back of my mind...and when I try to apply, the characters turn their backs to me and refuse to talk! Grrrr... Talk about the proverbial caught between rock and hard place...And is it any wonder that I named my blog as "Dreams and realities"?
My journey so far :
After numerous MS's shelved under various stages of completion, I subbed the story I thought was my strongest (early 2010) to spice briefs and my second strongest one to noc bite.. (after winning a pitch). Got the quickest R's in history (within 2 weeks) and that was the hardest.. to realize that I wasn't yet ready.. and then to believe that my story wasn't all crap.
After moping, crying and a lot of kicking (both given and taken), I jumped back into the wagon with a wee bit thicker skin and an open mind to learn. On my later submissions, I garnered a few feedback and nibbles....I have a line of medals and proud badges I wear on my sleeve (aka R's) for all my attempts so far and I'm still learning, writing and subbing and hoping :)
And what I've found so far is that I'm a through and through novella girl. I love to start my stories with a bang! And my characters are out of this world, literally, since they're all paranormals ;) and they're rearing to get down and dirty right from page one ;) Rest assured, it is like controlling a herd of wild bulls to do some farming (ie, story writing).. I know every parent (writer) is in love with their child (stories), but I hope when mine does get released, I can refer back to these words of mine :)
A few closet revelations :
I am an introvert. Until I started my blog, I never had any online presence (except emails)! I shied away from it until I decided to bite the bullet sometime in late 2009! Don't you dare think that I am the same in person or one-on-one conversations. As my DH says, I have the unique ability to either convince someone or confuse someone, no matter how confident they are ;) And that’s his polite way of saying I literally eat everyone’s brains! Ugh!
Hey, but that doesn't mean my writing was/is all that crappy.. To prove it, let me write you a poetry which I had written sometime in my high school.. I lost the original paper, but I can recall it pretty decently..
LIFE (A contrast)
What a horrid life is this,
When what you want is amiss!
When you want to be free,
And just go to watch the sea,
None agrees to your proposal,
And nothing is at your disposal.
Life, life, how bad,
The worst we've ever had!
What a wonderful life is this,
What you want is at your fingertips.
If you know only to sing,
It’s like trying to fly with only one wing.
Learn to dance as well,
Be happy as a bluebell.
Life, life, how beautiful,
Even though it must be dutiful!
Ah - there you have it ;) ::ducks head and hides:: before someone throws something at me ...
Happy reading and happy writing to all ! So bring on your best. This warrior is here to stay!!!
It's been cathartic to share my battle scars with you and I want to thank Melinda once again for hosting such a wonderful event where we can meet every Wednesday. I also want to thank Nas Dean for pointing me towards this blog :) And thanks to each one of you for being there as role models, friends and supporters in this journey.
Don’t hesitate to drop me a line whenever you feel like or you’re always welcome to pop in my blog: http://judimello.blogspot.com/.
And I'm going to borrow the following line to end my post..You haven't yet seen the last of me yet. I'll be back! (Hopefully soon and as an author).
Thank you so much for guest blogging today! Everyone make sure you follow the link above to Ju's blog to continue to follow her on her journey to publication.