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IMG-20130930-00256Milestones—We all have them. Birthdays, anniversaries, special events, holidays, retirement. Back in the 70’s I made my first writing milestone: the publication of my first poem (Seasons which I’ve blogged about here) In the 90’s I made my second writing milestone: my first newspaper article. That one was a freebie for the newspaper, but soon after that I got the gumption to ask the editor how I could become a stringer.

Each year I added new goals to my writing milestones; get published in a regional magazine; write for children; write Sunday School curriculum; write a new type of article-news, advertorial, human interest stories; find a way to reslant and reuse research I’d already done; write a book; send it out to a publisher; start a web blog. Not only would I set these goals, but I would write them down. At the end of each year, I’d look back and see what I managed to accomplish.

Earlier this year, I passed a milestone I’d been trying to achieve for some time—the sale of my first book, albeit an e-book. Now, I have another milestone marker in my writing journey. My debut book, The Nun and the Narc,  is now in print! You can find it online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble

Seeing the words bound between two covers feels a lot like seeing my first byline in the newspaper or on a magazine. The feeling is magical! I whooped around the house then unable to keep my gaze off of the front page slot my article got and my name under the word written by. Every article I’ve ever published has been carefully trimmed from the newspapers or magazines and filed away for posterity. I will keep a copy of The Nun and the Narc—well, maybe two, or three—on my shelves to remind me I have reached a long desired accomplishment.

I haven’t sold a print copy yet, unless you count the ones I purchased for book signings and gifts, but I’m holding fast to the principle that there are readers out there who still love paper as much I  love looking at the shiny covers snuggled around my baby. The feel of the glossy front cover under my fingers and the breeze the pages create when I rifle them is something I will never get from a Kindle or Nook or from reading a pdf on the computer.

And so another round of milestone markers begins: book announcements, hunting new marketing spots, blog touring, giving away the more expensive version of The Nun and the Narc to create buzz, and hopefully lots of book signings where I can meet and greet readers in person will begin.

On to the next Milestone! I’ve got a lot of work to do!

What are your writing milestones?

To celebrate my print book release I’ll be giving away a copy of The Nun and the Narc to a lucky commenter. Just leave a comment on  this blog post between October 22,  2013 and October 29, 2013, along with your email address. Only commenters who leave an email address will be eligible to be entered into the drawing. It’s not a fancy rafflecopter, just a simple write-the-names-down-and-draw-from-a-hat deal. Good luck to everyone!

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