The oak tree is an emblem of strength,
endurance and prosperity. The acorn
signifies potential, power and luck.
As a writer and as a person I count myself lucky because of the solid support I get from those near and dear to me, both literally and figuratively. Today’s post came to mind because of the necklace I chose to wear this morning. Given to me by my daughter as a support for me as I struggled to go the last months before publishing The Loyalist’s Wife, I wear it whenever I can and I take special pride in the fact that she wears an identical one.
Again today I took out the card which came with this gift and reread the poignant words printed above. What a fitting epithet to give to a writer!
We certainly need strength, both physical and mental, to do the daily pages so that, one day, the book will be done. Not for us the short task, done in an hour. My first book took me over six years, the second almost two, and the third will be about that length of time as well. I have learned that those two pages I wrote today, if repeated often enough, become a first draft which then becomes a work in revision which then becomes a work for beta readers which then becomes another revision in my hands and my editors’ hands until finally it satisfies. Endurance, for certain.
Oh, but once the book is complete, endurance is still needed for all the marketing and speaking and book clubs and contest submissions and, and, and untold miles of running the author race. Usually I relish those miles but every so often I think about the whole journey and long for more tangible rewards. Yes, and even prosperity from my books. The work is a reward in itself, for sure, but who among us does not want to be well paid for her labors?
Just now, with the third book, The Loyalist Legacy, I am working on the early pages and it’s slow. I don’t mind; my speed will increase in a couple of weeks as my brain tells me the story and my typing fingers get back into the magic of words surprising me on the page. From this little acorn (I finished page seven today!) will come the mighty third book of the Loyalist trilogy. What potential I have there.
The power comes from knowing I am in control. Whatever that book will become is up to me. With luck I’ll be delighted with my final product so that my public engagements will be a joy as I talk about the journey, read from the novels, and sell books. Next to raising my family with my husband this is probably the most significant journey I’ve ever taken. I get to tell the stories of my ancestors in pivotal moments of history, all the while leaving a legacy for those far beyond my own family. It’s pretty cool.
Whether my books become bestsellers or just good sellers is really not the important thing. That I push through and create the best works I can is what matters. Oh, sure, I love the reviews and comments and even thrive on them but in the end it is I who must be pleased and satisfied and I strive to reach my potential. Don’t you?
For All Lovers of Historical Fiction!
Book Two in The Loyalist Trilogy!
John and Lucy escape the Revolutionary War to the unsettled British territory across the Niagara River with almost nothing. In the untamed wilderness they must fight to survive, he, off on a secret mission for Colonel Butler and she, left behind with their young son and pregnant once again. In the camp full of distrust, hunger, and poverty, word has seeped out that John has gone over to the American side and only two people will associate with Lucy–her friend, Nellie, who delights in telling her all the current gossip, and Sergeant Crawford, who refuses to set the record straight and clear John’s name. To make matters worse, the sergeant has made improper advances toward Lucy. With John’s reputation besmirched, she must walk a thin line depending as she does on the British army, and Sergeant Crawford, for her family’s very survival.
The Loyalist’s Wife, Book One in The Loyalist Trilogy!
by Elaine Cougler, winner of the WCDR 2014 Pay It Forward Scholarship
Short-listed for Inspire! Toronto International Book Fair’s Canada Self-Published Book Awards
When American colonists resort to war against Britain and her colonial attitudes, a young couple caught in the crossfire must find a way to survive. Pioneers in the wilds of New York State, John and Lucy face a bitter separation and the fear of losing everything, even their lives, when he joins Butler’s Rangers to fight for the King and leaves her to care for their isolated farm. As the war in the Americas ramps up, ruffians roam the colonies looking to snap up Loyalist land. Alone, pregnant, and fearing John is dead, Lucy must fight with every weapon she has.
With vivid scenes of desperation, heroism, and personal angst, Elaine Cougler takes us back to the beginnings of one great country and the planting of Loyalist seeds for another. The Loyalist’s Wife transcends the fighting between nations to show us the individual cost of such battles.