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The Evolution of Writing

After winning a new Schwinn bicycle for my entry in an essay contest – why I should ride my bicycle safely – and seeing my name in the local newspaper, I decided to be a writer.  I was 12 years old.  While my friends were choosing to be nurses or teachers when we grew up I dreamed of writing books. I didn’t intend it to be a career. Girls in my family and peer group were not encouraged to have careers.  We would be homemakers first.  If we worked at all it would be no more than a temporary pastime until marriage and babies came along. 

Many years passed. The marriage and babies came as did full time jobs (never careers no matter how many years they lasted).  My children grew up and had babies of their own; the grandchildren grew up and made me a great-grandmother.

Through those years I did write but the many other chapters in the story of my own life took precedence over my dream of writing about others. 

In my twenties I entered a magazine short-story contest and was so embarrassed when the manuscript was returned that I tore it to shreds and never told a soul.  Many years later I learned that most of the famous writers whose work I read received numerous rejections before finally publishing their first story.  I wish I had saved my tale to see just how bad (or good) it was.

Occasionally I took a class and renewed my dream of writing, though it was always short lived.  I wrote scripts for fashion shows, eulogies for family funerals, a motivational seminar which I presented numerous times, a bi-monthly newsletter for a local support group and too many business letters to count..  Still I would not have been comfortable telling anyone I was a writer.

Excerpt From Long Journeys: Finally I have taken the liberty to call myself a writer and committed to spend whatever time is necessary to complete these stories about the guardians of an old book and the search for my ancestor Elizabeth.  Some days I get several pages written; others I spend researching, scanning through records I already have or looking for new ones online, sending emails to strangers who may have the answers I need, or just looking out my back window remembering childhood stories.

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