For those who are unaware, I am a writer. Now, I don’t just mean the occasional blog that I post (and I really need to post more often)
No, I mean I actually write fiction and non-fiction, and when I’m fortunate and blessed, I actually am able to sell them. I have been writing poetry, songs, and music for decades, mostly for myself.
But a few years ago, I was inspired to write a story and offer it for sale. It happened like this…
I am a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism. This is a historical recreation group that studies the renaissance and middle ages. They hold a large event in Mississippi in March called Gulf Wars – and by large, I mean 4-5000 people or more. Also held in March, in Memphis, is a science fiction convention called MidSouthCon. Usually there would be a fairly large contingent of local (and not so local) members of the SCA who would present a demonstration of fighting styles, arts and sciences, and information on joining. This particular year, however, the last few days of Gulf Wars and MidSouthCon were being held on the same weekend. The people who were organizing the demo were desperately needing more people to attend, so they sent out a call – if you could come, you could get a hefty discount off the entrance fee.
This particular year, I was not going to go to Gulf Wars. I had been to a couple of conventions when I lived in California and had enjoyed them. I took a look at the MidSouthCon website. Oh, my. They had professional development available for teachers who attended. They had a full track of programming for writers. They had science and kid activities and movies and gaming and anime…and more. And (notice I’m repeating this) a full track of programming for writers.
I volunteered. And had a blast. And learned a lot from the seminars and panels that I attended. And decided then and there that I wanted to come back the following year. But I didn’t want to pay for it. So I decided to come back – but as a guest.
Now, I not only do I do historical re-enactment, but I also do school programs. I am on the Arkansas Arts in Education roster, Arkansas Arts on Tour, and the Mid-America Arts Alliance roster. My two programs are “Life in a Castle” and “Life in a Log Cabin.” Someone who knew that I liked to write, and also that I did these historical programs, suggested that I put together a program aimed specifically towards people who were interested in writing historical fiction or non-fiction, and fantasy set in a medieval type world. I thought that was a good idea, so I had already started thinking about it.
When MidSouthCon rolled around the next year, I applied to be a guest. Now, what I didn’t know, was I should have applied about two months earlier. When I got the response back, I was told that I had applied too late to have my own presentation – however, they wanted to put me on a couple of panels. So they did, and I was thrilled.
Lee Martindale moderated one of the panels I was on. At the end of the panel, she announced an open call for a new anthology. The title was The Ladies of Trade Town, and the theme was the oldest profession. Everybody burst out laughing.
Lee went on to say that she did NOT want erotica, she did NOT want heavy horror, but light horror and any other genre was acceptable. Everyone is still laughing. Into my mind came the thought,
“That’s NOT the oldest profession.”
“What IS the oldest profession?”
At that moment, I had a vision. Adam, Lilith (who according to some myths was Adams first wife) and the serpent are all LOUDLY arguing over who had the oldest profession.
On the seventh day.
When God was trying to rest.
The story wrote itself in about 15 minutes, and became the first story I ever sold.
So far, I have sold a handful of stories to anthologies, a thin non-fiction book of self-affirmations and meditations, a few newspaper stories and features, and I write a magazine column on herbs. I also have two or three fantasy novels and one science fiction novel in progress, and I have finished a couple of children’s picture books. Hopefully I will eventually get them all published.
Oh, and the world’s oldest profession? You’ll have to buy the book to find out. It is the last story. .