As a child, before I would go to sleep at night in the suburbs of Chicago, I would take the time to read. When I cracked open a book, even at the innocent age of ten, I couldn’t seem to put it down. I would skip television… <gasp> … for the chance to finish the great read in my hands. I mean, how do you turn away from the antics of Judy Blume’s, Fudge? And don’t get me started on Nancy Drew and the Hardy boys. I would visualize my wedding to Joe Hardy (In Shaun Cassidy form…<swoon>).
My pre-teen years brought about a new type of book. I couldn’t seem to sleep without the covers partially covering my head. My eyes would jet between the Tigerbeat covered walls and the dark ceiling, following a Christopher Pike or VC Andrews book. They scared the bejezzus out of me. Yet, every time they concocted a new mixture of words on paper, I was first in line to purchase the torturous tomes.
Barbara Conklin, Caroline B Cooney… They solidified my love of reading. Gone were the quirky children and spine-tingling fear. My new love was teen romance. The nightlight beside my bed would burn till all hours of the night, as I cursed the authors portraying such captivating stories that my sleep deprived eyes clawed through just one more chapter, over and over again.
My own writing journey started during this time. I found that putting words to paper was a release. Unfortunately, I never saw the release as anything more than that. It wouldn’t be until I was married-with-child and miserably slogging through the daily nine-to-five grind, that I would revisit the hand written stories of old (See kids… when I was younger, computers were in schools… very rarely in homes. How did we document our lives, you ask? Pen and paper… OK I’m showing my age, but at least I didn’t say quill and parchment.)
I revisited an old story, that is currently hidden somewhere in the great abyss (AKA… my closet). That story is mercifully lost forever (or till I can afford to hire someone to clean my closet.) However, what did come from that unfortunate first attempt was a drive to keep trying. Ideas sprang to my mind as I watched friends, family and co-workers.
Have you ever said, “You can’t make that up?” I said those words… often, as I feverishly wrote down the occurrences on scraps of paper. My purse was a wasteland of post-its and torn receipts, thoughts littered among the wreckage. From the debris, stories grew and morphed into the works you see today.
My family and plethora of animals support my insanity, while regularly rolling their eyes at the random things that stream from my mouth…
“So, I was thinking of writing a book about this family that drives cattle using spaceships…”
“What do you know about cattle? Or spaceships?” Adoring family asks.
“Nothing, but doesn’t it sound interesting?”
Even though that project died mid-flight, many others have taken hold. As I begin a new literary adventure, my excitement grows. I can’t wait to share it. As you read each book, I hope you feel the exhilaration and love poured into each page. I hope you get entrenched in the imaginary world, turning to your own bedside light burning till all hours of the night, cursing my name as you read just one more chapter. That is my dream.