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For as long as I can remember I have been a story-teller. As a small child, I took great pleasure in creating my own paper-dolls and then developing elaborate stories for them to enact. As I grew older, those imaginings made their way to paper. At the ripe old age of eleven I wrote my first novel entitled “Planet X”. It was only a classroom assignment but it stirred something deep within me. While others in my class moaned and groaned about creating story-lines and working on character development, I was completely in my element.
At age thirteen I tried my hand at writing a romance novel. Written on legal pads while I was supposed to be selling corn at a roadside stand, I was certain that story would be published by Harlequin teen and I’d be an instant best-seller. From there I progressed to fantasy novels and more romance stories, most of them saved to a floppy disk via the reliable Commodore 64. It’s doubtful they will ever see the light of day.
As adulthood loomed over me, I needed to become more serious, study harder and daydream less. At the time, I didn’t think I could make any real money using only my imagination and a hand-me-down IBM computer. I set creative writing aside and pursued a career in technical and copy writing. This was probably one of the biggest mistakes I made in my life. While technical writing helped hone essential skills, it sucked any ingenuity right out of me.
Fortunately, I had children – lots of them. They helped me access the imagination I had tamped down deep inside. They gave me an excuse to take time off from a nine-to-five job and focus my energies on them. Their imaginative play invites creativity to flow and I can’t thank them enough for giving me back my own childhood dreams. Now they are older, more self-sufficient, and I have started my writing journey all over again.
To me, writing is not only an escape into my imagination; it’s an opportunity to connect with my psyche, make sense of the world around me and deal with all that life throws my way.