One, two, three! #mfrwauthor

For  week 50 of the Marketing for Romance Writers yearlong blog hop, the writing prompt is:

My biggest accomplishment

Compared to my wife, I’m much more accomplishment oriented; she’s more relationship oriented. My accomplishments are important to me, and I have three major ones.

#2 (tie) Music and literature

Music – I can’t possibly decide which is more important to me, my writing or my oboe playing. Music has been important to me a lot longer, since my teens, but although I came to writing twenty years later, it occupies more of my time these days. Hence, a tie.

In my mid-teens, going to orchestra concerts felt almost painful. I wanted to sound like a professional oboist, wanted to make tunes soar and wring tears from the very walls. I didn’t think I ever could do that.

I still don’t make walls wet and never will, but though I’ve never made a living with music, I’ve been principal oboist of the Civic Orchestra of Tucson for 31 years, and held the same position with the Kamloops Symphony for a decade. I’m not nearly as good as I want to be, but I’m better than I ever expected to be.

Hoornaert, Perfect Ten

My first book, writing as ‘Judi Edwards’.

Writing – I didn’t write my first novel until I was nearly forty, and I was pretty shocked when Silhouette published my second effort. I honestly didn’t think I was good enough to be a writer. When Silhouette dropped me after three books, I was hurt but unsurprised. It just confirmed my self-doubts.

I didn’t write for several years, and then wrote a couple of science fiction books that didn’t sell. For over a decade, I published nothing. Then I lucked out with a hardcover/softcover sale of The Trial of Tompa Lee, still my biggest non-Silhouette seller. I wasn’t prolific, but I began to think I might actually become a real novelist.

I’m not there yet, by own standards, but Rescuing Prince Charming, released this month, is my 17th book. My confidence (and ego) have grown to keep pace.

Sales are moderate to disappointing, but some of the reviews have been good. “I haven’t read a romance I enjoyed so much in a long time,” and “quite unlike anything I’ve read before and is well worth getting,” and “many steps above the average sci-fi romance novel.”

I bet you can see my head swelling from wherever in the world you live.

#1 Family

You may notice that my accomplishments aren’t one-time things like, say, running a marathon or winning the Nobel Prize for Literature. Instead, they’re ongoing processes that define who I am. That’s especially true of my number one: my family.

At the risk of feeling ancient, I’ve been married to my high school sweetheart for 48.5 years, since a week after graduation. If the marriage wasn’t mostly a happy one despite the inevitable ups and downs, there’s no way I’d be writing romance.

None of our four children is an axe murderer  (yet) .Our family life is stable and happy enough that everyone comes home for Christmas, even though we’re scattered across three countries and two continents.

That, my friends, feels like an accomplishment.

What about you?

What have your achieved? Tell us in a comment, then check out the other >writers taking part in this blog hop.

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18 comments

  1. Cathy Brockman · · Reply

    Those are great things to be proud of.

    1. Which is probably why I’m proud of them.

  2. A great list. I come from a musical family so I know how much hard work and practice it takes to be good enough to perform anywhere. To hold the positions you’ve held for as long s you’ve held them has to mean the walls secretly get a little choked up when you play. And a close-knit family in which the people actually like each other is no easy feat, either. Loved your post.

    1. It helps that I have a real knack for the oboe. It’s supposed to be one of the hardest instruments, but from my first honk back in high school band, I liked the sound.

  3. You are indeed an accomplished fellow! Congratulations, especially on the number 1!

    1. At the InD’Scribe conference, my sales table was next to a woman who had an oboe sticker on her briefcase. We compared notes, so to speak.

  4. A marriage of 40+ years is definitely an accomplishment worth crowing about.

    I’m pretty proud to have been with my DH for more than 35 years — and they’ve been incredible fun!

    1. I’m willing to guess that both of our marriages are going to last into the future..

  5. Your number one beat mine by a nose. Our number of years will be 45 next spring. I tell everyone I was a child bride. 🙂 I think the music achievement is fantastic. I can’t play or sing a note.

    1. I’m only 39, which means I must’ve -9 years old when I got married.

  6. Excellent list! RPC is on my TBB list, and I look forward to reading it early next year!

    1. What a truly wonderful person you are! And such good taste, too!

  7. Thanks for sharing, Ed. It is so inspiring to hear from others in similar situations as my own, so I appreciate the words of encouragement!

    1. Yeah, it’s great to ‘meet’ people in similar situations to our own.

  8. Thanks for sharing your wonderful accomplishments!

    1. I should’ve linked to a bit of my playing, but I’ll spare your ears for now.

  9. Thanks for sharing. It’s great that you have time for both writing and playing your oboe. Congrats to you and your bride.

    1. For years and years, I clung to those artistic interests by the fingernails. Thanks largely to my frugal wife, I was able to leave the rat race a bit early, and since then I’ve indulged my interests more thoroughly.

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