When I was a small child my mother taught me to love reading. Every Friday afternoon she took my sister and me to the public library, a one room building about the size of a large living room. We would choose several books, and then she would take us to the five and dime store to spend our allowance which was about a quarter a week. Obviously, things were a lot cheaper then. Afterwards, she would take us to dinner. This was a great Friday treat. My father would have enjoyed these outings, but he had to work on Friday night so it was just the three of us.
So, from an early age books were associated with something good. Both my sister and I became avid readers. I remember thinking how incredible it would be to put words on paper and tell a story that people would enjoy reading. I daydreamed about becoming a writer, but it never occurred to me that I could really do it.
It was my younger son who showed me the way. He called me one day a couple of years ago and told me that he had written a book. I wasn’t surprised. I knew he had a lot of talent because he had won a prize for a short story he had written when he was in college. I liked his story a lot, and it made me think. If he could do it, why couldn’t I?
While I was thinking about it, I had dinner with several of the teachers from the school where I teach. One of them suggested that each of us should write a book and critique each other’s work.
Well, that did it. I sat down to write my masterpiece. The problem was, I couldn’t think of how to begin. There were umpteen dozen ways to do it. Finally, I realized that it didn’t matter. Pick one way and get started. I typed my first sentence, and from that point the words seemed to fly from my fingers to the computer screen. It was absolutely exhilarating!
I finished my first story in record time. Nobody liked it much. My husband didn’t want the hero to be crippled, and nobody liked the heroine. One of my friends said that the heroine was a good girl so of course she wasn’t as interesting as a bad girl.
I was not discouraged. I liked my story so I decided to write another one. It was almost finished when I found out about a small publisher who sponsored a yearly writing contest. The first prize was publication of your novel. I decided to try it, and several months later I received a call from the publisher telling me that I was one of two grand prize winners.
I’ve been writing ever since. I don’t think I could stop if I tried. My house isn’t dusted as often, I don’t cook as much, and I’ve even been known to take my computer on vacation. Yep, no doubt about it. I’m hooked.