Monday, December 19

Don't give up, don't ever give up...

We're talking about advice this week, either the best we ever got or the worst.

I didn't even have to think about it.

I'd gained a lot of weight in the 10 years since I stopped smoking. The 30 pounds I always attribute to giving up cigarettes was closer to 50. I fit cozily into the "obese" part of the Body Mass Index Calculator. I'd lost weight before, several times, and didn't think it would be that much of a problem. But it was. I couldn't lose an ounce. Until my sister-in-law Lynn and I started Weight Watchers the same week back in July. It is a program I can live with and like and hopefully stay slim with. As of now, I've lost 40 of the extra pounds. I still have a ways to go--eating right and exercising. The picture on today's post was taken from the Nickel Plate Trail yesterday when I was walking, a true Winter Wonderland trek! I thought when I started the program, I'd quit when it got cold. But I haven't. I'm not giving up.

I started reading romances in high school in the late 60s, and I read a blue million of them even though there were things about them I found offensive--he's 34, she's 17, come on. Then the Harlequin American line happened, and I felt the first stirrings of I’d like to do this. I bought and read them as quickly as they came out.

And then, in 1984, there was Number 73. Muriel Jensen wrote Winter's Bounty. I was well and truly caught. She wrote not only what I wanted to read but what I thought I'd like to write. Muriel wrote about 70 books for Harlequin/Silhouette, and sometime in the 90s, I sent her a fan letter, not really expecting a response. But I got one. She sent me a long letter and a copy of a magazine--I don't recall whether it was Romantic Times or RWR, but I read it cover-to-cover, over and over.

Somewhere in that letter, Muriel wrote the words, “Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up.” I taped the letter to my desk, and the paper was yellowed and the ink faded before I sold my first book. Always Annie came out in 1999 and Muriel Jensen sent me flowers in a sunflower cup that still graces my bookshelf. I'm not all that successful as an author, nor do I expect to be, but I've also never stopped writing. I'm not giving up.

There it is, the best advice I ever got about writing. Or, for that matter, about anything else. I hope you take it.


  1. Thanks...I'll take that advice, because for me to give up after writing six manuscripts is NOT an option.

  2. Good, Em! I'm not sure how many it took me, but it was numerous.

  3. Great message, Liz! My romance writing inspiration was Suzanne Simmons (Suzanne Guntrum) who has passed away, but gave me such courage to write what I believed in and to keep going, no matter what. So, I'm going...

  4. Suzanne was wonderful, wasn't she? I was at a party where she was once, and I just sat there and listened (and laughed) because she was so knowledgable and so very funny and fearless.

  5. What a great story, Liz, and what great advice!

  6. Great story, Liz!

    Super congrats on all that weight!

    I will never give up! Em, you have six msss? I have 15!

  7. Nice post Liz! Isn't it great when you meet someone that has such a good impact on you? I love positive people with positive messages. The flowers was a really nice gesture.

  8. Congrats on the weight loss! That's awe-inspiring all by itself. And your writing story is awesome as well. I love how the writing community is always so supportive of one another. There aren't that many businesses out there that are.

  9. Very timely advise, in my case anyway. Thanks for the post.