It hardly seems like a year ago I was just coming up with the concept for Been Blued.  True, I thought it could turn into a series, but I was surprised when the publisher strongly recommended it upon reading through the sequel.  I guess I was still thinking in ‘traditional publishing’ terms at that point–from two to five years for a manuscript to be noticed from the bowels of the slush pile, then another two to five years for someone to probably reject it, or, miracle of miracles, decide it might be worthy of print.  Even if you’re absolutely the brightest thing to come along in a century, getting published can be like winning the lottery.  It does happen, but not for most people.  I had thought it would be the readers who suggested (or demanded) a series.

The second title in the Martian Symbiont series, Martian Blues, is undergoing its last round of changes by me.  I should finish in a few days or less, depending on personal demands and Internet availability.  I’m working on the third title in the series in between work, marketing, and whatever else I have to do.  The dog ensures she’s high on my list of priorities.

It’s a demanding pace, but I guess I’m part ‘type A’ personality.  I don’t even let the migraines slow me down as much anymore.  I got a handle on dealing with them a few years ago, managing the pain, and improving my attitude.  It also helps that I’ve quit drinking a certain diet soft drink.  In fact, that’s the best health tip I have for anyone consuming soft drinks–switch to water.  I lost thirty pounds with no effort, my appetite improved, my vision improved, and my concentration improved.  I’d been wondering why it was so hard to lose weight when I was barely eating a thousand calories a day.  So, stop the pop.  Save it for special occasions, but no more than that.  (I went from a fourteen to a size eight; one more size and I can tell people I’m not half the woman I used to be.)

True, it’s been a while since I wrote to most of my correspondents.  Cards and letters to family kind of went by the wayside, first when I was getting over a career disappointment, and then when I became busy with writing.  It is a career that will eat up your extra time if you let it.  Perhaps it’s a good thing I don’t have my own Internet connection.  It keeps me from spending all my time online.

Since getting published, I’ve noticed two things.  First, people keep giving me pens.  This makes little sense to me.  Do people walk up to actors, and say, “hey, have a TV?”  I’ve also noticed I tend to spend much more time thinking about how computers work, and what I might be missing out on.  Okay, so I need to figure out how to do a podcast, and then how to put it on my website,  I now have ‘people’ I can contact to ask these questions.  The problem is making the time to actually learn everything I suddenly need to know.  And a year ago, these things weren’t even an issue.  Thank you, 2007, my life will never be the same.

In case you think I’m complaining, I’m not.  I’m simply surprised at how much things have changed…and how much they’ve stayed the same.  I’m not making enough from the books to quit the day job yet, but I expect that’s coming.  I have so many novels in my head, that getting them published should provide a livable income in the future, if only by sheer volume.  😉

Have a wonderful Christmas, and expect great things from 2008.  I do.  Thanks for reading.  🙂

Phyllis K Twombly

About Scifialiens

Author of the Martian Symbiont series: three titles, so far; Been Blued, Martian Blues, Martian Divides. Currently writing screenplays. 'Mating With Humans' can be found on her account. Enjoyed writing from the start. Also a Star Trek and Doctor Who fan. Canadian so far. Paternal grandparents were American. Feels more at home in the States. Loves dogs and most other animals. Loves cats from afar--allergies. Plays flute and saxophone; 'messes with' keyboard and electric guitar. Single so far. Not really looking at the moment. Age: irrelevant. Not to be confused with the fictional comic book character, Phyllis Twombly, who lived for 600 years in the American Midwest.

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