I was not one of those kids who wanted to be a writer when she grew up. I wanted to be a famous singing act with my sister (neither of us can hold a tune, by the way), then a vet, an orthopedic surgeon (did I mention I sucked at math and science?), until I finally settled in my teens on what I considered the perfect career — a news anchor. I held on to that one right up until I graduated journalism school, when life took a crazy turn and I had to reconsider everything.
But if you were to ask me what I loved the most as a kid, I would have said reading. I LOVED TO READ. Yet for whatever reason it never occurred to me that I could be on the other side of those books I hid under the covers reading by flashlight, long after bedtime. Despite my lack of writer awareness, seems I did pen a few stories back in the day. And because my mom keeps EVERYTHING (I do not have this gene, and apologize to my daughter often for it), I still have a few of those gems tucked away. In her infinite wisdom — perhaps mother’s intuition — she also had a couple of those stories bound, which is beyond special to have now. I plan to do the same for my kiddo when she writes her first story — as long as I can count on my mom to keep it safe until I get around to it (thanks, Mom).
One theme I noticed in much of my early writing is that it always involved animals. Like ice skating elephants that fall in love, and hippos that go missing from the zoo, and BFF mice that love cheese, have a fight, and do the right thing by saying “sorry.”
Even though my stories these days are not guaranteed Happily Ever After, seems that was a requirement when I wrote AND illustrated (I know, I know, you’re impressed) MY TRUE FRIEND at age 8. Also, I discovered my preference for first person started way back when.
I also found a play I wrote in high school that bears a striking resemblance to the concept of my “practice” book – the one that sits on the proverbial shelf and acts as a reminder that I have learned a thing or two along the way. It was a tad eerie to find it in the pile of art, knickknacks, yearbooks, and report cards I was “gifted” when my mom cleaned out the attic — my mind already thinking about plotlines and storytelling tricks.
So while I say I’m as surprised as anyone I’m now a writer and author, the trip down the memory lane of my early scribbles might suggest otherwise …
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