When Stevie and I were young we always looked forward to my parents bedtime stories. I remember the colorful images they inspired perfectly in my head, still to this day. Sometimes they involved a hobbit with a golden ring overlooking a lake of fire. Other times, a majestic lion lying on an alter, an evil queen hovering over him. When the story would end, when all was dark and silent, I would lay there awake, my mind buzzing. I wanted more.
I thank my parents for sparking my love of stories. Unfortunately it wasn't until years later that I actually started taking the time to read, and not just for school assignments, most of which made me want to pull my hair out and use it as kindling to set my teachers desk ablaze. Reading assignments
killed all enjoyment in reading for me. I truly hope for you, it did the opposite. I guess that's what I thought my experience would be reading any book; a major bore-fest.
Stevie was the real book freak in the family and I thought it was weird. Almost every time I left the house she was sitting on her bed in her room with a book in her face. I didn't get it. Why read words on a page about someone else's life and adventures when you can go out into the world and experience those things for yourself? Though, I was definitely not do this. My weekday schedule was this: school, x-country, hang with the boyfriend, home. It didn't deviate from this much, if at all.
Long story short, Stevie was reading a certain series involving a boy with a scar and a dark wizard, and she really wanted me to read them. And I wouldn't, of course, but she was persistent. Very persistent. I finally started the first book and when my eyes hit the last page (with that crushing feeling of finality I've come to know so well), I realized that I hadn't had the urge to rip my hair out or go jump off a bridge or do anything self destructive at all. I had enjoyed it. Crazy. Very soon afterward, I was done with as many books in that series that were out at the time (four, I believe) and the rest is history.
As far as writing goes, I started a few stories in my youth. One, called The Golden Girl (heavily influenced by the Nancy Drew series), followed two middle-grade best friends who happened upon a golden sarcophagus in the middle of their, suddenly less dull, suburban town. My next one was title-less, but involved (again, midde-grade) archenemies that were thrown together when their bus abandoned them during a school field trip and they're left stranded in the woods forced to survive, which means getting along with one another. Oh, and then a bear attacks. And that's as far as I got. Never a good sign when you get bored with your own writing.
I didn't get serious about writing until after high school. Stevie and I were attending Clark College at the time and, on a whim, we decided to enroll in a writers workshop. It only met once a week for three hours, so it was tolerable. Why not? I didn't care much for the teacher and she didn't care much for me (probably because I would bluntly tell her that I wasn't going to follow her advice and keep my writing the way it was.) Our classmates... meh, they did the bare minimum and would read the first page of our assignments with some acceptable feedback (the rest was just BS) so it wasn't all that helpful, but the point to all of this is, I started writing. And while assigned reading killed reading for me, well, assigned writing did just the opposite. It brought writing to the forefront of my life, my hobbies, and ambitions. That's when I started the ultimate writing challenge, a novel (multiple personality disorder and time travel. Great combination right?) I still want to finish that one.
Now, we're starting a literary magazine and hopefully a small press in our near future. On top of having two kids under two, two dogs and a husband (okay, three kids...), life is getting a lot more complicated, but that's okay with me. In fact, I'm excited. More than I have words for.
Please share with us your stories; how you became a writer and your future ambitions. Give us some feedback too while you're at it. What would you like to see from us? In our magazine, blog, podcast, website, etc. Suggestions and comments are very much appreciated. Thanks for reading! Till next time…