I first envisioned Mastering Night as a place to share writerly things, like technique
and thoughts and people that inspired me along the way. Those ideas have changed
over time. A writer goes through stages and probably reflects them without even
knowing. Back then, when constructing the site, I'd had many questions about the
creation of Quick Fall of Light. As an inexperienced writer, I wanted to give out "the
recipe" of how I did it, because I believed, and still do, that anyone can write. The
thing that not everyone can do is believe in it through thick and thin. In other
words, you have to find your own way through words and meaning, dialogue and
plotline, the building of an inner circle of confidantes who know your intent and
share, unrelentingly, their own rubies to help you mine yours. It all takes time. . .
and often lots of it.
The six years since publication of Quick Fall, I've realized, were just as important as
the years leading to the completion of it. Filled with confidence, I built another
novel, Ancestral, in roughly the same length of time and had plans to build even
another. But as 2016 turned through its seasons, I realized I wasn't meant to follow a
pattern. . . either in my life or in my writing. I dug through my own books, my old
pile of hopefuls, ideas that had been silently guiding me through years of writing,
and discovered another side of me--the nonfiction side. Not writing for most of the
year, I drove across country, twice, researching, building my depleted stores, while
rejections continued for a small submission of short stories I'd written much earlier.
I faced the blank page, blankly, until very recently.
At this point, Mastering Night is a little shop of writing projects, some large, some
small, and some still in the making. It's pretty basic, except for one thing. After
multiple rejections, all from excellent literary journals, I decided to publish
One-Eyed Jacks on this site. It had already gone through a favorable review with a
well-respected Pacific Northwest Writers Contest, judged with high marks. I loved
the story even though I'd waited many months for mainstream acceptance. And I
still do. The story of a dog ill-prepared for a world that doesn't understand his gift
is universal. We've all seen animals that act wisely with no rational human
explanation given. One-Eyed Jacks is no exception.
Mastering Night now lists where I've been and where I'm going. . as a writer. It's a
way of saying thanks for being there all the way along, as readers and friends. Please
return every so often to see what's new, because, one thing I know for sure. Through
thick and thin, I still believe in writing. It's never far from my mind, and for now,
and hopefully a long time to come, it will move me to put words on paper. As
Maya Angelou once said, "There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story
Mastering Night 2016---2017