I began writing when I was in 5th grade. My lovely teacher, Miss Hanabury, gave each student a composition book as we walked into her classroom the first day of school. She explained to us that we should write in this notebook every day. We could write about anything we wanted: our favorite foods, our pets, our home-life, our family, our hopes and dreams, our summer vacations, what we wanted to be when we grew up or just what was happening on a day-to-day basis in our lives.
I felt like someone had given me the stars and the moon, the whole universe, right in my young hands. I covered the outside of that composition book in cartoons and pictures of things and people I found interesting. I wrote at least 15 minutes a day every day, even on the weekends. I discovered I loved to write.
In high school I ventured into the world of poetry. I would sit outside with the wind teasing my long hair and work through my teenage angst. Growing up in the Bay Area near San Francisco in the late 60s and early 70s, the world was ripe for contemplation. I became the free spirit, the artist honing my craft.
And then I didn’t write. Not until I had my children did I feel the need to pick up my pen again. My mother had died and I realized I knew very little about her. I didn’t know her favorite color or the type of music she listened to as a kid. I didn’t know if she had been a good student or what she had dreamed to be when she grew up. I decided that if something happened to me, I didn’t want my children to not know me. So, I wrote them letters about how I grew up and how I felt about the world.
But an interesting thing happened. My children and I stayed close and soon the assurance they would know me, allowed me to write about things they said and did. That morphed into writing personal essays which then led to short stories and, over the years, to the idea I could actually BE a writer. I joined a writing guild to gain confidence and techniques, and published three of my short stories.
My first book, Good Morning, Mrs. Nelson, is currently available as an eBook and paperback on Amazon. It is a compilation of blog posts, and conversations I had with my students while teaching high school English. It was a fantastic career and fun to chronicle. Here’s the link if you’d like to order.
I continually write. My brain wakes me at 4:00 in the morning with ideas about characters and dialogue. I have another book in the works filled with short stories and my third publishing adventure will be a novel I have been working on for over 10 years.
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