Will Write For Wine (Part Two)

August 22nd, 2008 by Melina

A tribute to two awesome (drink!) ladies!

We’ve all had those moments.  You know the kind where somebody has made a comment or you’ve discovered a piece of information that’s turned out to be life-changing?  You can feel it in your bones.  It’s like the Earth has shifted on its axis and you just know that life, as you know it, will never be the same again.

I’ve certainly had my fair share.  There was the moment during Yom Kippur services when my mother leaned over and whispered that I should spend my junior year of college in Israel.  There was the day I found out about a program that would allow me to teach and get my teaching certification at the same time.  There was the flyer I found at the Columbia Teachers College Bookstore that advertised an intensive MA program in Instructional Technology and Media.

And then there was the day Lani Diane Rich and Samantha Graves did a podcast about NaNoWriMo.  Writing fifty thousand words in the month of November?  There was no question.  I didn’t even think about it.  I was in. The next thing I knew, at the advice of Sam, I was making playlists and collages as inspiration for my story.

In the months prior to that, I’d quit a horrific job, gone to Greece to deal with a family crisis and been rejected for job after job.  At the time, I was only working one afternoon a week.  I was also applying to a graduate program that would later reject me.  And, I was months away from turning 30.  If you’d done a Google search for “Quarter Life Crisis,” you probably would have found a picture of me, wearing ragged sweat pants, desperately searching Craigslist for the job that would help me feel like a grown up.  Oh yeah, and pay the rent.

(Psst!  If you’re one of the people who’s told me you love books but aren’t a writer, listen up.  You never know what can happen.)

The only reason I was listening to Will Write For Wine was that I’d followed Lani over from Literary Chicks.  I was a reader, not a writer.  Sure, I’d always loved to write and I sort of planned to write a book someday, but my aspirations weren’t any more serious than my childhood plans to become a princess.  I liked WWfW because it was funny and I thought it was interesting.  But I felt like an outsider and a fraud because like I said, I was a reader.  Not a writer.

Little did I know what my life would be like almost a year later.  So, in tribute to Lani and Sam on the very last day of WWfW, I’m posting the top twenty ways Will Write For Wine and the Will Write For Wine Forums have changed my life:

1.  I listen to Adrienne Pierce and Alison Krauss
2.  I read wine notes
3.  I can’t say “awesome” without saying “drink”
4.  I’m on Twitter and MySpace
5.  I’m always looking for chances to use “killer words”
6.  I love coding sites in WordPress
7.  I use Scrivener
8.  I listen to Grammar Girl
9.  I’ve read romantic suspense (and loved it!)
10.  I can use and define terms like “GMC,” “POV” and “headhopping”
11.  I create characters who drink a ton of wine
12.  I’m crocheting for the first time in years
13.  I’m a member of RWA
14.  I won NaNo
15.  I went to RWA Nationals
16.  I’m addicted to Bubble Shooter
17.  I’ve met three out of the six Literary Chicks
18.  I have my very own blog
19.  I have a completed manuscript and a query letter, almost ready to be sent off
20.  I’m part of the most awesome (drink!) writing community ever!!!!!

I feel like the end of the show is sort of a graduation.  Lani and Sam guided me through the entire process of writing my very first novel, and gave me the tools I need to send my book off into the big, scary writing world.  Even if I never get published, it’s all been worth it.  Writing has given me a type of joy and satisfaction I’ve rarely experienced, and I will forever be indebted to them.

So, thanks Sam and Lani!  I wish you both the best of luck with your exciting plans for the future!

Posted in NaNoWriMo, Writing Life

10 Responses

  1. Cynthia

    Very well put.

    I look forward to seeing where I community goes from here.

  2. admin

    Cynthia, I’m looking forward to that too!

    I just want to say again how grateful I am that Sam and Lani were so generous with sharing their time and knowledge with us. They are extremely talented writers who are also natural (and hilarious) teachers.

  3. Ilana

    And so many of the others.

    I’d also gotten started, but it was Lani’s NaNo challenge that finally got me really moving. (And I met you (aww).) I’ve also come a lot farther and faster than I would have on my own. Someday, I hope to be able to post on their book news, but like you said, its worth it just to be able to say I have.

  4. admin

    Ilana! Yes, aww :-) Your “NaNo Encouragement” e-mails were priceless.

    I’m sure you’ll be posting good news on the Wiffer Writing News board soon. Hang in there!

  5. Kim

    What a wonderful tribute! Or should I say “Awesome” tribute, so we can all drink? I wish we could all listen to the last podcast together. I, for one, will be thinking about all of my fellow Wiffers while I drown my sorrows in a bottle of wine (screw top, since I still can’t use a corkscrew.)

  6. Pam

    Melina–what a lovely post! You made me get all misty, darn you!

    But, the forums will live on so many more adventures and good things to come. (Like your first contract–woot!) :-)

  7. admin

    Kim, I’m so sorry about your thumb! Thank goodness for screw top caps! I wish we could have all listened to the podcast together too.

    Pam, I think there were a bunch of misty Wiffers this weekend. I can’t wait to see what wonderful things happen in the forums — especially the writing news thread!

  8. Robin

    Melina, this was a great post, and I so enjoyed “hearing” it on the podcast! I wish you the best of luck as you continue writing! Are you ready for the next NaNo? :) I’ll see you on the forums!

  9. Carrie, Words To Mouth

    Ahh, what an awesome tribute to Lani and Sam. It’s incredible to see what a difference cyber support can make in one’s life.

    I really am kicking around the idea of NanoWriMo…feel so overwhelmed with all I’m doing, but then again, feel the push to complete that book, a book, any book…need to finally finish at least one.

    Thanks for what you do, Melina…you’re an encouragement to others.


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