I was thrilled not long ago to learn that my collection of essays, “Running with Stilettos,” earned a first place award from the National Federation of Press Women in its 2009 communications contest. This would be on top of the “Silver” IPPY award it brought home a little before that from the Independent Publisher Book Awards. Two different categories entirely–the IPPY was for “humor,” while the NFPW award was for “non-fiction biography/autobiography.” Go figure.
Ironic…but not bad for a book that was supposed to be a suspense novel. At least that was the plan about five years ago, after I got back from an idyllic week of writing on Lake Michigan at an artists’ retreat in Wisconsin called The Clearing. But as I’m fond of saying, I set out to write one book…and then life got in the way. The number of family matters and serial crises over the next few years that proved stumbling blocks to zeroing in on a really major and focused writing project would be too tedious to mention here…other than to say that sometimes in adjusting your path you find a new one!
And that following the encouragement of your good friends–which led to cautiously, tentatively setting up the blog a couple of years ago, which led to publishing the book, which led to having so much fun as a result that I should be arrested–can lead you to some really rewarding surprises.
I haven’t given up on the suspense novel yet. The first eight chapters are still sitting, along with my spiral notebooks and collections of colorful pens and a flash drive, in a bright yellow tote bag decorated with flowers in my family room, waiting for the “right” time to sit down and get to work on it again. I’m sure that one day I will.
But in the meantime, I’m running with those stilettos as far as I can…and planning a sequel to be out in print before the end of the year. Hurray not only for the road less traveled…but for the path entirely unexpected!!