I can remember being a little girl and holding my books in my arms and I would sit for hours by myself just turning the pages. I'd turn each page one by one, touching the words, loving that those words would take me away some place else. A few times I ran with Bambi, I sat on Dumbo's back and once I even sat on top of that big scary whale.
My imagination took me places I needed to be and sometimes places I didn't need to be, but none the less I went on journeys that I'll never forget and I owe it all to the people behind the words.
I was eight when I knew what I wanted to do when I "grew" up. I wanted to write amazing stories. I wanted my words on those pages between the covers of many books. I wanted to go on journeys, so I picked my pens, pencils I grabbed as much paper as my little hands could hold. I'd head straight to some place private and away I'd go. I then created my own worlds, my own journeys and let my imagination take the lead.
As the years flew by, my love for the written word grew and so did my imagination. By the time I was eighteen I had boxes full of stories, hidden of course. Never, not one time, did I tell anyone what I did in my spare time. I never shared the deep passion I had with any of my friends. They didn't know that I'd go home at night and rush through my homework just so I could pick up my story where I left off the night before. I'd sit up well after bedtime writing until my hand refused to make another letter.
By the time I hit the tender age of twenty-five I found myself married with three lovely children. As you may have guessed my writing pens and notebooks took the back burner. On and off over the next twenty years I'd dig out a story and do a complete rewrite or begin a new story. However I was never able to give it my full attention and more often than not I'd find myself laying the notebook down and walking away to tend to the family. Eventually the notebook would find itself in the story box, left but never forgotten.
When I was in my early twenties I began a story I titled: Behind Blue Eyes. That project has been with me all this time, and the characters as well. TJ, Torro, Ryan, Benny, and Richie are like my kids. I know them better than I do my own. This group of boys helped me make it through some tough times in my life and believe it or not- I'm still writing their story. This is a three part series and will be available soon.
Sometime in my early thirties, I came up with a story that helped me to cope with the fears I had in my life. I call that special story: River of Tears. All of my children by this time were in school fulltime and it gave me plenty of time to put aside so that I was able to write everyday. I found myself almost done with that particular story when it was found and read by someone in the family. Because the story takes place in the same areas this family is from, it was assumed that it was about this certain family and I was asked to stop writing it. Although this book is completely fiction, I did get some of the events that happen in the book from this family. I mean honestly, isn't that what writers do?
Out of respect for this family and the fear that they'd hang me, I put the book away in that box, where it kept the other unfinished stories company. Several years later I pulled this story back out- it demanded to be told, those characters created themselves and were not at all happy that I ignored them.
Unfortunately a series of bad events began happening and I, out of respect, shelved the story with no intention of bringing it back out. I was determined to leave it in that box, for good.
You're probably wondering why? Well, because this family was sure it was about them and no matter how many times I told them it wasn't, they didn't believe me. Now you're asking well how did they know you were writing that story again? That's easy really. I live with one of them.
A year ago, during the midst of a move I uncovered that box of stories and on the top of the pile sat the story that I heard everyday in my head. After all the years it still wanted to be told and I'm very happy to say that I finally did it.
Time has a way of helping people grow. They mature and see things in different ways and once they found out I was indeed working with the manuscript once again, they were thrilled. This family today supports me 100% and they realize now that the story wasn't about them after all, but about imaginary people, in an imaginary place that resides in my imagination.
Becoming a published author has been a dream of a lifetime for me. And yes, it's been a wonderful journey and there's not a second that goes by that I regret.