Happy Anniversary to Us!

Though I haven’t had much time for blogging lately, I couldn’t miss celebrating the 4th anniversary of the Riskies!

Four years ago, Megan, Cara, Amanda, Janet and I all had Signet Regencies coming out soon and decided that we’d try blogging as a way to promote those books and also to maintain a web presence until we found new publishing “homes”. Although there hadn’t been an official announcement, we all knew the line was ending soon. What I didn’t know at the time was that the Riskies community would also become like the pub everyone goes to after work, a great place to hang out and have fun between wrestling bouts with our muses.

I’ve done my share of wrestling. Last summer I realized how badly stuck I was and also that I needed to part from my agent. Once I did that, I felt freed. My writing started to flow and I was searching for a new agent when life intervened. As many of you probably know, my husband suffered a severe stroke in January, resulting in right side paralysis and speech aphasia. He’s making a slow but steady recovery, but it’s a long, arduous process. For many months, I was both too busy and too overwhelmed to even think about writing. But at some point this summer the urge to write again came over me. This fall, I’ve been trying to carve out some time to write, though husband and children still take most of my time. (The house is officially a Dust Bunny Preserve.) But it’s still hard and sometimes it feels as if we’ll never see the light at the end of the tunnel.

But I’ve realized I can’t wait until my husband is through the recovery process or until I can write regularly to be happy. Many of us get caught in this thinking. Writers think they’ll be happy once they get that next (or first) contract. But whether your goal is selling a book or something else, you have to enjoy the process and find happiness along the way. Otherwise you might break down before you get there.

So go do something you love. If that’s not possible, at least make time to enjoy being with friends, like the Riskies. It’s what I’ve been doing. Though I’m often too tired to comment, I visit as often as I can, because so many posts make me smile. Here are just a few of my favorites from this year:

So thanks to my fellow Riskies and to everyone in our community. You are the lights in the tunnel.

No Risky celebration is complete without prizes. To enter the drawing for a copy of the anthology HIS BLUSHING BRIDE which includes my novella, “The Wedding Wager” along with stories by Alice Holden and our dear friend Regina Scott, just tell us some of your favorite posts this year. Or if you’d like, share something that helped you make it through a personal “tunnel” of your own.


    About Elena Greene

    Elena Greene grew up reading anything she could lay her hands on, including her mother's Georgette Heyer novels. She also enjoyed writing but decided to pursue a more practical career in software engineering. Fate intervened when she was sent on a three year international assignment to England, where she was inspired to start writing romances set in the Regency. Her books have won the National Readers' Choice Award, the Desert Rose Golden Quill and the Colorado Romance Writers' Award of Excellence. Her Super Regency, LADY DEARING'S MASQUERADE, won RT Book Club's award for Best Regency Romance of 2005 and made the Kindle Top 100 list in 2011. When not writing, Elena enjoys swimming, cooking, meditation, playing the piano, volunteer work and craft projects. She lives in upstate New York with her two daughters and more yarn, wire and beads than she would like to admit.
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    13 years ago

    Hi 🙂
    Happy 4th Anniversary!
    Thanks for sharing such a personal and heartfelt post. There is great wisdom imparted therein. Reading books got me through me own dark tunnel.
    Love and best wishes to you and yours,

    Ms. Lucy
    13 years ago

    Happy Anniversary! Beautiful post:)

    Louisa Cornell
    13 years ago

    I’m so glad that writing still calls to you, Elena, especially in those times when life draws to a narrow focus, a tunnel of sorts, from which it is very hard to see the light.

    Ever day brings you and your husband closer to that light, but there have to be things along the way that make you put one foot in front of the other. Writing is like that for me.

    Reading romance novels got me through that dark, dark tunnel after my DH died. They made me believe in happy endings again and that helped me to survive days on end of getting up, going to work and just existing.

    And even now my day job is more horrible every day – the stress, the tension created when a company decides that profits are far more important than creating an atmosphere conducive to wanting to do one’s best. The prevalent attitude is simply get it done, with fewer man hours and more to do, simply get it done and no excuses nor explanations as to how four people simply cannot do the work of eight are acceptable.

    My refuge from all of that has to be my writing. I leave work outside my writing studio as much as I possibly can and I write.

    Places like the Riskies blog really help to ground me in the reality of writing, in the idea that there are people for whom creativity and history and romance are more important than money or the things so many think are important. Thanks for that, ladies!

    13 years ago

    Happy 4th Anniversary!
    I am going through Radiation for breast cancer and the well wishes of on-line people,of my family and friends help me get through the dark tunnel. Just this week as I arrived back at the Cancer Lodge I received a beautiful basket bouquet of flowers from my brothers and sisters. It sure helps when you know someone is caring about you. My faith helps tremendously also.
    I’m sending best wishes for your dh and the family for a complete recovery.

    13 years ago

    Happy Anniversary! What a great heartwarming post! We all have our own problems we have to deal with and reading gets me through my tunnels. It takes me away from these problem just for a little while and I couldn’t go with out my books. So thank you to all authors that give us these pleasures and excapes.

    13 years ago

    Happy Anniversary. Thanks for the beautiful post, Elena.

    Elena Greene
    13 years ago

    Thanks for all the lovely comments, everyone.

    RKCharron, Louisa and Virginia, I find books help me through tough times too. And Louisa, I got a letter from another reader who said books like mine helped her get through a bereavement. There can be no more powerful justification for what we do as romance novelists.

    Robynl, sending healing thoughts and prayers your way.

    Diane Gaston
    13 years ago

    Oh, Elena! It is so great to have you back, even if it is just for our endless anniversary celebration.

    I have been reading a book called “Happy For No Reason” which I think has lots of wisdom in it. I remember years ago realizing that I could be in control of my own happiness, no matter what was happening. Not so easy to accomplish all the time.

    I’m glad your husband is progressing to the point that you can THINK about writing again! We miss you here and on the bookshelf

    Diane Gaston
    13 years ago

    robynl! Big huge Risky hugs to you. It’s a scary time and you deserve all the support in the world!

    Tessa McDermid
    13 years ago

    Thank you so much for sharing, Elena, this time and all the other times. Books and writing have helped me through so many troubling times, I can’t imagine how others survive without being able to slip away for a little while. Best wishes for you and your family.

    As for picking a favorite post, well, the one the day before would be perfect. All those lovely gentlemen lined up for our viewing pleasure! Nothing like a virile, goodlooking man in Regency wear to get my blood heated up. So thank you, Riskies, for reminding me that one reason I love to read is that I want to be the heroine and fall in love with the hero!

    Here’s to many more Happy-Ever-Afters!

    Amanda McCabe
    13 years ago

    Elena, it’s so wonderful to “see” you here! Thank you so much for the great post–books really can be a life-saver (they have been for me, many times) and reassuring friends.

    13 years ago

    Happy Anniversary to you! I have enjoyed your posts about your upcoming books, your guest posts and historical info that I didn’t know.

    Megan Frampton
    13 years ago

    Elena, it is always so lovely to see you. Like most of us, books have helped me through difficult times. After my dad died, I was able to lose myself in books, either through reading or writing my own. I knew he’d be mad if I gave up on something we’d both worked so hard on, so I am persevering, even though sometimes it is quite hard to persuade myself to do so.

    Carol L.
    12 years ago

    Sharing is a way to unleash some pressure. Readiing the posts here and reading books by The Riskies has gotten me through some gloomy and sad days. Books and stories are great in that way. If they don’t eliminate they do reduce a lot of sadness. Happy 4th and many more. 🙂
    Carol L.