An industrial engineer takes on writing.  Is there a graph for that?

cropped-work1.jpgI spend most of my days as an industrial engineer, which means someone pays me to help them spend less money by being more efficient.  Think Tom Hanks’ character in Cast Away, only I’d open that last package. I spend a lot of time in Excel, own more than one clipboard, and have made unsolicited layout suggestions to grocery store employees.

It is a pretty sweet gig for a geek girl like me but has very little to do with writing outside the occasional awesome graph-filled memo.  It had been twenty years since my last formal education in any sort of writing, but that hadn’t stopped me from nursing a novel idea for most of that time. In October 2017, I made a goal to finish that novel in one year.

If I have a goal, I am unstoppable.  There was just one small problem: I didn’t know how to write a novel.  Minor details!  I set about writing, learning, and more writing.  I attended classes, went on a cruise, watched a lot of YouTube (classes, mostly!) and read a bunch of books.  Somewhere in there, I also received an Honorable Mention with the Writers of the Future Contest for a short story, so I feel like my writing improved.

In October 2018, I accomplished my goal of writing a novel.  I’m posting it chapter by chapter on the blog, and you can read it here.

The goal for 2019 is to write a second novel, unrelated to the first.  I still feel like I don’t know how to write a novel, but there’s only one good way to learn. I’ve completed the second draft of it and am starting to brainstorm the third (also unrelated) story.

Aside from spreadsheets and writing, I also enjoy walking, reading, lifting weights, hiking, and trying to figure out my cats.  I’m a greeter at my church (though not the scary-greeter type), live way too close to a frozen custard place, and might be sitting under one of my many Star Wars blankets as I type.  I’m an INTJ, Hufflepuff, Critter, and gamer.  I have a robot vacuum and I am not afraid to use it.

Writers of the Future Contest Honorable Mention

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