Thursday, July 12, 2007


You're a Kindergartener on the first day of school and no one has time for you. Mommy has already left. You're on your own. Are you going to throw a fit and demand that the teacher hand over your high school diploma NOW? Or, are you going to take a deep breath and try to learn?

The good news is if you're willing and eager to learn, you won't flail alone in the dark for long. There are people who will share their light to help you find your path.

For me on my path to publication, it all started with Gwyneth Bolton's encouraging words. Then, Susan Grant told me I sure could write, but I needed to learn the craft. So, I set out to do that. I sped-read voraciously.

I remember the first time I read Accidental Goddess by Linnea Sinclair and how the Heroine grabbed me on the first page and dragged me right into it. I remember being electrified by that! This is what I love as a reader and I loved writing that way too. I was totally floored by Games of Command as Linnea built on her strengths. Like I said in my review, the heroine of Down Home Zombie Blues shoved my emotional nose right into the doo-doo. Awesome.

I followed Linnea over to the Alien Romances blog where I came to enjoy the way she and Jacqueline Lichtenberg played off each other in their columns. I followed Jacqueline to her website, Sime-Gen, and explored that too.

It was in Jacqueline's wisdom that things really started to gel in my brain. She talked about the Intimate Adventure and novel structure. So, I got my hands on her book, Dreamspy, and started reading. On the first page, the Heroine grabbed me and started dragging me along with her through the story. Not only that, but Jacqueline's telepaths were lightyears ahead of mine in the Star Captains' Daughter and they were portrayed clearly and effectively. I could see the structure. I could see the Intimate Adventure. I could see the influence on Linnea's strengths.

Yesterday, I started reading Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein on Jacqueline's recommendation. And again, I was grabbed on the first page and dragged into the story. For those who don't know, Heinlein is, like, the granddaddy of science fiction. He would be a hundred years old now if he had lived this long. Within his works, I found the roots of Jacqueline's 'Intimate Adventure.'

This all reminds me of something one of the ladies interviewed on the History Channel's show 'Legacy of Star Wars.' During the segment on mentors (Qui-Gon, Obi Wan, Yoda,) she said when someone offers a helping hand "don't look to see if the hand is green, just take the hand."

The links to all the authors' websites and blogs can be found on my personal blog on the lower right hand side.


Mystery Robin said...

That's a fabulous post, Kimber. I think I need to read Heinlein, too!

Marva said...

I can't believe you haven't read Stranger yet. It isn't required reading for rebellious teens anymore? Stranger and "Catcher in the Rye" turned many a teen's head upside down, then shook it up.

Stranger was the first science fiction novel I read. It was given to me by a friend of my older brother. I had a mild crush on the guy and was quite happy to take the book. Ah, the good ol' days.

Good article on legacies and accepting help when offered.

Kimber An said...

Hi, Mystery and Marva! I've never read Heinlein before. I was never a rebellious teenagers. Not all teens are, yanno. That's a stereotype. In my circumstance, I was the 'emotional parent' because my mother was the rebellious one. This may explain why my alter ego is Mrs. Potatohead!
I think I was pretty much just a Trekkie until my twenties.

Kimber An said...

Oh, and a Princess Leia fan too.

Gwyneth Bolton said...

Great post, Kimber An. It really speaks to the fact that the writing community is pretty awesome and we are all willing to help one another. But it is aalso very clear about the importance of being open to listen and learn. That is key and sometimes difficult for "hard heads" like me. ;-)


Kimber An said...

Oh, I can't imagine you as a hardhead, Gwyneth! You have such a soft heart.
Children have such a great advantage over us adults. They're born eager and open to learn. Sadly, a thoughtless or even intentionally cruel word can begin to strip that away.

david gray said...

Great post, Kimber An! While I haven't read Stranger (though I do have it) I've read Friday (long, long ago) and For Us the Living. Given JL's post on RAH and Intimate Adventure, I may need to go back and read/reread them. I'm yet another kindergardener as scribes go, and at 48, I hope Yoda doesn't find me too old to begin the training. ::grins::

Kimber An said...

Thanks for popping in, David. Maybe we should go see if they have any Empire Strikes Back lunchboxes on eBay. Then, we'll be totally cool Kindergarteners.