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This month I’m going to talk about me. But not the flower-crazy, stick shift driving, word challenged, female who likes all things sparkly. No, I’m going to talk about me, Jansen Schmidt the writer. Have I mentioned that I’m also a writer?

While this picture is not my actual desk, it accurately reflects my writing style when I’m really in the zone. You writers out there know what I’m talking about. It’s not a mess, it’s research and, I don’t care who you are, do NOT touch my desk, my notes, my piles of papers. There is a method to the madness. Those post-it notes contain key points that must not be forgotten in the plot at any cost. The empty cups are a sure sign that my husband the cabana boy has retired for the night and there will no longer be anyone to bring me beverage refills or any other form of sustenance. But I carry on. I persevere. Just a thousand more words, one more chapter, six more pages of edits, then I’ll be done for the day.

Why do we do this? Why do we put outselves through this agonizing process called writing? I’ll tell you why I do it.

In 2009 I was bestowed with an Honorable Mention is the Writing on the Walls contest sponsored by The Storyteller Magazine. As part of this recognition, my short story, Dancing In the Middle, was published in the Writing on the Walls III anthology. (http://www.thestorytellermagazine.com/past-wow-winners.html)

I was over the moon with my very first real publishing experience! This was it! It’s official! I’m a legitimate author and I have a book out there to prove it. I have a book cover to post on my website. I signed a contract and everything! Of course it’s not mine alone, but hey, I’ll take what I can get.

Dancing In the Middle is about a dance instructor with a secret who is unknowingly smuggling drugs into the United States from Mexico. It has strong romance elements and incorporates my love of all forms of dance. Dancing In the Middle was featured on a blog! How cool is that? You can experience that thrill here: http://sjdriscoll.com/?s=Jansen+Schmidt.

See how much more exciting my life is now that I’m a published author. I’m in demand. People can’t get enough of me. Okay, so maybe one guest blog feature has gone to my head, but it brightened my day immensely to be featured on Sally’s blog. I can’t wait for that first real book signing.

But I digress.

This Honorable Mention accolade boosted my enthusiam for writing and justified what I do as – REAL! I wasn’t just playing around any more. I was officially – an author. With that came added responsibilities, a reputation to uphold, expectations for future stories. Oh the pressure!

Fortunately, I carried on, putting more words on the page, drying up hundreds of highlighters and red pens, rubbing down countless erasers. Running the cabana boy ragged. My stubborness persistence paid off!

Writing on the Walls IV

In 2011 I entered the same contest with a different story. Finding Emily also received an Honorable Mention in the contest and will be available in the 2012 Writing on the Walls IV anthology, in either paper or e-book format in June 2012 at Amazon.com or Mockingbirdlanepress.com.

That’s right, now I have 2 book covers to post on my website. I entered the same story in the 2011 Silver Quill contest and came in second place. (http://www.thestorytellermagazine.com/silver-quill-winners.html) As a contest “winner” I received a cash prize. Oh the heart-stopping excitement! I have now received income from my writing. Before you get all gushy with kind words, I will confess that that prize money was almost enough to buy lunch for me and the cabana boy my husband. But hey, it was cold hard cash for a well written story. I’ll take it!

Finding Emily is about a tenacious private investigator’s inter-state search for a missing child presumed dead. With the help of a research librarian, he unravels the truth and sets out to find Emily.

For more information about the Writing on the Walls contest or The Storyteller Magazine visit: http://www.thestorytellermagazine.com/index.html

As a result of all of this craziness hard work, I now have the distinct pleasure of introducing myself as a multi-published, award winning author. That sounds more impressive than it really is, but I’m keeping it.

For more information about me, Jansen Schmidt the writer, visit my website at http://www.jansenschmidt.com. There you can find excerpts from my current works in progress as well as finished manuscripts waiting for some lucky editor to snatch up for publication. You can sign my guestbook while you’re there so I know you visited.

As this post publishes on the worldwide web, I will be at the start of my much needed vacation. But, please leave a comment and know that I will respond to each and every one when I return. I love seeing your comments. Oh, and don’t think that while I’m away you can borrow my cabana boy either; he goes where I go. After all what multi-published, award winning author goes anywhere without her cabana boy?

Word of the Day:  Gadroon

Fun fact about me:  I did not learn how to ride a bike until I was 13 years old. Sad – but true.

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