I won several different writing awards when I was a kid. Nothing huge, but it was just enough to encourage me to continue. When I was in middle school I started a young adult novel entitled "Lake Valdoom." I remember sitting in my room and writing it all by hand, with a pencil and really terrible cursive. Now it's collecting dust somewhere in my parents' house.
I have always had a knack for rhyme. Not the most lucrative skill. Most people don't like rhyme...from what I've read, even most greeting card companies shy away from it. So what was I meant to do with this random talent? I had no idea.
I ended up majoring in journalism. I figured it was a way to write that actually had a career in front of it. (Yes, you fellow journalism majors, go ahead and LAUGH). It really was a bad decision, because I quickly learned how much I hate writing with a FORMAT. I hate that word more than I hate schedules. But alas it was too late- I'm very sequential, so starting all over again with a new major just wasn't going to happen. My senior year in college I took one creative writing class on a whim. I absolutely loved it- I thrived on it. We got to write short stories and then print out copies for the class and critique each other's work. The most wonderful thing about this was the affirmation I received by my other classmates. Sure, my mother had always told me how great my stories were. But that didn't count for me. Seeing and hearing people talk about my stories- seeing how much they enjoyed reading them-that counted. If it hadn't been for that class, I might have stopped writing creatively for good.
To make a long story short, I graduated college, got married, got a job in a completely unrelated field (as most of us do) and have since had two beautiful children. As a result, I began writing again- I thought that the best thing I could do for my kids was write for them so they can have it as a keepsake when I'm not around one day. Thus began the birth of my children's books. And BINGO- I had a use for my random gift of rhyme.
At the end of 2009 I had written a book entitled "Sally Circle." It's a children's picture book and my preschooler loved hearing me read it. After some encouragement from my husband and mom (my forever fans), I have started the process of becoming published. I kicked off 2010 with a feverish desire to get published- somewhere, anywhere. I started by submitting a short story of mine that I had written in college for my creative writing class entitled "Masked." The first place I sent it rejected me. Ouch. But I sent it somewhere else and it got published under Black Lantern Publishing (blacklanternpublishing.com). Granted, it did not pay. Granted, it's just online. But someone out there had read my work and decided that it was good enough to put on their site. This was what I needed. I immediately sent out a few other works of mine- and got another rejection. But that one acceptance was all I needed.
I am now writing new things every day, mainly short stories and PB's. I truly hope that you join me on this journey and I would love to join you on yours as well!