Was it really only 3 years ago? A Writer Girl Gets Nostalgic

This 2016 photo popped up on my FB memories the other day, and it took me by surprise.

Was it really just three years ago that I was a RITA finalist? It seems much longer.

The photo was taken at Harlequin’s reception for its finalist authors, prior to the big HQN author bash at RWA Nationals. I’d attended the HQN party twice before, and each time it was a pinch-me-I’m-dreaming experience. For a newbie published author to be among names I recognized from book covers– women whose careers spanned decades, was nothing short of fabulous. The rooms were always beautiful, dancing with my glammed-up chapter-mates, and random people out on the floor was one of the highlights of attending RWA. And we all got souvenir socks to take home.

That night, I had no idea that on the Writing Career Roller Coaster, I was speeding toward one of those sudden drops which sends your stomach into your throat. The more daring riders might throw their hands up in the air, but I’m not one of those. I tend to keep a tight grip on the bar, and brace for the inevitable twists and turns that come when the track levels out.

The track has since leveled, and though I’ve been ridden through some twists and turns, I’m getting my bearings back. I brought the Red Hot Russians series to a successful conclusion and discovered that I love self-publishing. Though I shelved the book idea that followed, and more than once wondered if I’d ever write again, working on a short story this spring reminded me of how much I love writing romance fiction. I have a new website (soon to be celebrated with a Grand Opening). I’m giving a workshop on goal-setting to the Indiana Romance Authors in August. The short story comes out in an anthology later this year.

And fall- my most productive writing season– is coming.

What will I be writing? Still working that one out. Even the idea of saying “Yes, I’ll be writing,” feels rather fragile and vulnerable. But for the first time in a long time, the desire is there.

So I’ll start with that, and use this photo of my three-years-ago self, as a reminder of what amazing things can come from it. Will I ever be a RITA finalist again? Heck, I never thought I’d be one in the first place. But I was. And the memory is picture perfect.

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86 thoughts on “Was it really only 3 years ago? A Writer Girl Gets Nostalgic

  1. Kathleen Bylsma says:

    Your new website is very nice! And you know those stories are going to find their way out! 😉
    Congratulations on your new position.

  2. Gladys Paradowski says:

    I enjoyed the picture and could imagine your joy at being a Rita Finalist. You have had a lot of experiences . I wish you luck at repeating as a Rita Finalist!

    • Elizabeth Harmon says:

      It was a great night and to repeat would be amazing. Incentive to keep me going through the next project. 🙂

  3. Betsy Pauzauskie says:

    I’ve enjoyed reading your three years of ups & down. But, when you talked RITA Award nominations . . . WOW that’s a BIG HIGH! And, it’s a blessing to enjoy what you have done and are doing. Congratulations on your easy to navigate new Website. And, Best Wishes for a productive workshop this month.

    • Elizabeth Harmon says:

      Thanks Betsy. Writing, and knowing readers enjoy my work is indeed a huge blessing, and I look forward to getting back to it. Thanks for the feedback on the site. I’m glad you’ve found it easy to navigate and stop by again. I hope to host giveaways frequently and blog about my new work.

    • Elizabeth Harmon says:

      Clean and uncluttered is what I was going for. Now if I could only manage the same thing with my house! 🙂

    • Elizabeth Harmon says:

      We may not be the most daring people on the block, but we know how to ride out the storm. Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Rosie says:

    Wow, that roller coaster ride, from uppity, to down, to twists and turns, sounds like good fodder for a novel in itself! This was a nice celebration, good to have some mountaintop experiences!!!

    • Elizabeth Harmon says:

      A story without struggles isn’t much of a story, and the same can be said for life in general. Thanks for stopping by my Grand Opening and good luck in the giveaway.

  5. Patricia Solla says:

    Best Wishes on your new assignment. Website is cool and easy to navigate. Thanks for the children’s books recommendations.

    • Elizabeth Harmon says:

      Working in a library rocks, and I’m always happy to steer people toward good reads– both kids and adults. Thanks for stopping by.

    • Elizabeth Harmon says:

      Thanks Brenda. It was a lot of work, but I’m happy with how it turned out. I appreciate you stopping by, and I plan to host giveaways regularly.

  6. Beth T. says:

    Sometimes when Shutterfly surprises me with, “Here’s what was happening ten years ago this week…” it can hit me like a gut punch as I open it to see something tender and unexpected: people or pets who have passed away, times that are gone. But how wonderful to look back at one of those photos and instead be reminded of “Look at one of life’s highlights!” As you head into autumn I hope you’ll find renewed excitement for the writing life; as a quilter I find the darker, cozier days to be very inviting to get busy and be creative.

    • Elizabeth Harmon says:

      Its true those memories can be a double-edged sword, and in some ways this one was too. But it was definitely a highlight, and I’m at a place now where reminiscing feels happy again. Wow, a quilter! I’m always in awe of the beautiful things people create, and how pieces of fabric can tell stories too. We have a quilt my grandmother made that has swatches of material from some of my mom’s dresses when she was growing up. She can remember every dress and when she wore it. Happy quilting this fall, Beth. Cheers!

    • Elizabeth Harmon says:

      That’s so true Nancy. Looking at accomplishments and obstacles we overcame helps us push through the new challenges, and turn those to accomplishments too. Thanks for stopping by, and good luck in the giveaway.

    • Elizabeth Harmon says:

      Thanks! A new website has been on my to-do list for a while, so being between projects was the perfect time to get it done. Looking forward to getting back to telling stories

    • Elizabeth Harmon says:

      Thanks Anita. I’ll be hosting more giveaways, and will spread the word through my newsletter and Facebook. I appreciate you stopping by.

  7. Michelle Catallo says:

    FB posting of the past are so heartwarming sometimes! Love the look and feel of the site! Cheers to your success and much more.

    • Elizabeth Harmon says:

      Thanks Barrie! It was definitely an honor to be a finalist, and great to reflect on as I move into the next project. Glad you stopped by.

    • Elizabeth Harmon says:

      I’m glad to be writing again too. It’s been too long. I’m glad you stopped by and good luck in the drawing.

  8. Emmaline🌷 says:

    Not sure if my initial comment went through or not, but it originally said
    “Time waits for no one, but there’s also this other saying: life is long, fill it up! You can totally be a finalist for the RITAs again!”

    • Elizabeth Harmon says:

      I like the life is long sentiment and I’m all for filling it up. Thanks for the vote of confidence and for stopping by my website. Good luck in the drawing.

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