Sometime in the mid to late 1980’s I took some writing classes, and later, got in on several workshops. These all provided invaluable lessons, one of the most important being, get yourself a copy of Writing Down the Bones, by Natalie Goldberg. For me, it was a gem of a book! Something I learned many years later, from an aunt who happened to be a retired high school English teacher, was that if I would read my work aloud, I would hear what needed attention. Great advice! One more thing—I accept now that most of what I write is destined for deletion, not a book.
Fast forward to 2010. Writing had definitely taken a back seat to family and work. Then along came a terrible time when I was really thrown off track, and I finally realized I better get back on it, and fast! I dug out all the old stories I’d written and found one I’d begun during the last workshop I’d attended years before. I dusted it off, got to work, and finished Crossroads Serenade in 2010. Writing that book developed my inner strength and resolve. My brother Gary was instrumental in self-publishing it, tech-challenged soul that I am. In 2014 he helped me publish the sequel, The Pink Victorian. In 2019, again with Gary’s help, Myth Agent, a time-travel novel authored with my maiden name, was published.
I decided to call my website By the Stream Publishing in honor of one of my great grandmothers, whose Swedish surname, Bystrom, (Bee-strum), meant By the Stream.
“Save for possible sequel,” I had written alongside many notes I made while writing Myth Agent. I wasn’t really certain I would want to write any more about these characters when I had finished this book. But after hearing some readers say they were eager for the story to continue, I began searching through my notes for words that could become the meat of a chapter, or perhaps only a sentence or a mere phrase in the next book. I spent a good deal of time researching for Myth Agent to make it as historically accurate as I could, and I’ll do the same with the next book by researching dates, historical figures, inanimate objects—you name it! Research is nearly as much fun as writing!
Here in Corbett, Oregon, the legendary East Wind hammers us with exceedingly high gusts each winter, (114 mph is the highest recorded) and sometimes ice pellets and freezing, sideways rain blow along with it. But I have no problem imagining the hot, humid summer day in Guhlston, Iowa in the mid-sixties—that’s how the next Myth Agent book is opening—at least for now!