I might as well start by introducing myself. I'm 48 years old and live in the greater Sacramento area where I teach part time at some of the local colleges.
My husband and I have three dogs, three cats and a gopher snake. The dogs are: Roxy, a 12 year old border collie/chow mix, Wiley, a 7 year old Kelpie, and Flick an almost two year old Belgian shepherd/border collie mix (as far as we can tell). The cats' names are Leo, Merlin and Oberon.
I compete in NADAC agility (the dog sport where dogs run and jump through a timed obstacle course) with Wiley and have just started training with Flick. Roxy used to compete but she's retired now, and is embracing the life of a couch potato. The pictures are of Roxy and Wiley doing agility. The photographer is a fellow named Dave Mills, who is excellent at sports photography.
When I'm not working or playing with my dogs, I spend a lot of time obsessively working on my novel. I've always enjoyed reading science fiction and fantasy novels (and pretty much anything else I can get my hands on too). After more than forty years on this planet, I finally screwed up the courage to write one.
I've always enjoyed writing and had lots of ideas for novels, but until recently, the perfectionism bug kept me from every putting more than a couple of chapters down. I finally just gritted my teeth and started writing a first draft last summer. I've had these characters in my head for forever, but was always intimidated by the fact that I'm hopeless at plotting and outlining. As it turns out, what works best for me is just plowing ahead.
The result is my first novel, Umbral Heretic. It's in the revision phase now and is still far from where I'd like it to be. Whether or not I'll ever be able to whip it into a shape where I'd be comfortable submitting it for publication, self publishing it or whatever, I don't know. But the experience of taking on a project like this has been fun and interesting in of itself. And I am now addicted to writing. Even if I decide to set this one aside at some point, I am thinking there will be others and a slew of short stories as well.
I'm not an expert on writing or the publishing industry. So this blog is not going to be (at least initially) offering expert advice to aspiring writers who want to get published or become great writers. It's going to be more focused on the learning process I am going through as I strive to become a better writer and connect with other people with similar aspirations and interests. Hopefully, some of it will be interesting and useful to at least a few other people.