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I’m excited to start blogging about writing…the in’s and out’s of the process. If you are thinking about being an author, I hope you find my “writing” blog useful to you. There could be days, perhaps like today, that are meant to give you background only, but there’s always the chance it may trigger an idea for you.
Let’s start at the beginning…with paper and pen.
I started writing poems as a young girl. I was quiet and shy, so this was a way of expressing myself…and it still is today. I’d only mildly ever entertained the thought of writing a novel because the poems seemed to satisfy my need to vent, cry, explain, celebrate, or whatever the emotion was that needed to be released. Then the desire to expand my writing got stronger, like a craving for a favorite food or addiction that you can’t escape. It was the need to write a story, actually, my story. I didn’t want to tell it as an autobiography but to spin it into fiction. I hadn’t taken any writing classes. In fact, I wasn’t all that great with language arts to be truthful (yes, I know that’s obvious..lol) but the power to write was building in me like an atom bomb. I picked up a tablet and pen and began my first novel. At the time, I was extremely busy raising two children, and hanging onto a career that kept the bill collectors at bay and food in our tummies. But because the need continued to tap on my shoulder, I kept my tablet close by and would jot down a few words. One day my sister, Cathy, read the first few pages and began to cry…it was obvious she knew where I was going with the story. Perhaps she felt the sting of our childhood at that moment, or maybe it was the way I expressed the scene I was creating in the book. Either way, it felt good to draw that emotion out in her, and it pushed me to continue. Unfortunately, my real life became overtaxed and the book was put away.
Fast forward to retirement…and a new story unfolds. What rekindled the desire to write more than poems again began in a doctor’s waiting room. As I flipped through a magazine I came across an article that was titled “Write About It”….and so, I did. I started out with my blog, which follows my experiences, my opinion on subjects not everyone wants to deal with, and life in general. Then I started a journey of writing short stories for contests…nope, never won one, but it sure was fun. There was also writing exercises where they gave me three words and I wrote a short story based on them. It’s a fun process, and it has a way of getting the creative juices flowing. I’ve been asked where I got the idea for my first book, and as mentioned in a prior blog, it was an old memory. When I was in grade school, I met a boy. We had recently been taken in by our grandparents, and as shy as I was, going to a new school was painful. But this one boy, William, befriended me. For the next three years, we were, as some might mock, in love. He’d blow kisses across the playground when we ended our day and went our separate ways. The love story ended when we moved back in with our parents, and a new school was on the horizon. Now, all these years later…obviously a lot of years since I’m now retired…I woke up in the middle of the night and wondered what happened to the first young man who stole my heart. Of course, I have no idea, nor was I willing to take my investigation too far, where this boy (now a man) was because, though I remember his name, I’m not entirely convinced I have it right. Also, since I’m married, I didn’t think my husband would appreciate my digging up the past. But as the memory unfolded, I thought about times we lose track of someone and wonder who they became as adults…and a story was born.
It’s all about the idea that unfolds in your mind. Then, (and this is the fun part) how does it end. So, here I am, three published novels later, a fourth in the editing process, and a fifth in the writing phase, and a “starving artist” is born. I never claimed to be a Longfellow with my poetry or a Margaret Mitchell stringing words together to create great literature, but it’s okay because I love what I do…and in the end, that’s all that really matters.