Chicago July 29 – Aug. 1, 2014
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Editor’s note: We asked Leslie to take this week to introduce herself. Why don’t you do the same? If you haven’t said hello yet, now’s a great time!
Howdy! I’ve posted as a guest on The Catholic Writers Guild Blog a couple of times in the past few months, and am honored to join the great team here on a regular schedule.
My topic (4th Tuesdays) is Advice for New Writers – and the first thing I’d like from you is some feedback. I’ve looked at past posts and am impressed with the depth and breadth of subjects addressed. What would you like to see in the next twelvemonths? Do you have questions or ideas you’d like to ask or discuss in more detail? Please let me know, and I will incorporate your needs in my posts. Don’t be shy! My skill set does not include mind reading!
A little about me, a resume of sorts. Like most writers I’ve met, I’ve been writing(and in love with writing) most of my life. I wrote my first song lyrics as a grade schooler, and submitted a poem to the New Yorker magazine while in high school. I still have their form rejection letter, although it’s in danger of crumbling by now! I love to play Scrabble and Upwords, and love crossword puzzles, the Jumble, and Cryptoquips in the paper. In an attempt to develop my mathematical side, I beat my head against brick walls trying to do Sudoku, but have developed…um, more persistence than improvement on that front.
As a writer, my first love is fiction. I am a member of Romance Writers of America and my local chapter, Louisville Romance Writers. The learning opportunities offered via this organization are many and varied, and my craft has improved vastly through online and in-person classes. I’ve attended regional and national conferences, have met and pitched numerous times to editors and agents, and have entered and judged many contests. I’ve won a few contests, placed in a few more, and have completed two full length fiction manuscripts that I’m actively querying. I’ve also sought out non-fiction opportunities and have been published in my weekly archdiocesan newspaper.
On a personal level, my husband and I recently celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary. We live near Louisville, Kentucky, and are extremely blessed to have two of our three adult children nearby, along with our grandchild, with whom we spend time frequently. Our third child currently lives on the East coast, and our roots are in the Rocky Mountain west. My husband and I are pilots – he is a retired airline pilot; I am a general aviation pilot and flight instructor, and active with the Civil Air Patrol. I’m also a registered nurse, although I haven’t practiced for many years. Like most writers, I also have an artistic side, and enjoy creating pottery and quilts. Lest you think I’m good at everything, I occasionally make spectacular mistakes in the checkbook, and have created some legendary culinary disasters. When the kids still lived at home, they knew dinner was ready when the smoke alarms went off.
Being Catholic in a secular publishing world is a challenge for me, and sometimes I struggle to find the best venue for my work. But prayer and constant refocusing (continued conversion) help me keep it all in perspective. I hope that my experiences prove to be helpful to you as we journey together, and I look forward to a year of conversation along the way!