Saturday, February 20, 2010

Me and Writing

Today, I thought I'd talk a little about my journey into the world of writing.  My mother was a beautiful poet, but poetry is not something I write well.  I've written some, but usually it is a way for me to express extreme feelings more than anything else...feelings of pain, loss, desperation, love...the kinds of things you usually don't want to talk about to anyone.  At least, it's that way for me.  So poetry is not really a genre I can get into, even for kids.

When I was ten years old, I wrote a poem about my three kittens...Mischief, Trouble and Whiskers.  Mischief and Trouble were males ( naturally) and Whiskers was female.  That poem made it into the Houston Chronicle, even though we no longer lived in Texas.  I don't suppose the fact that my mother had been the Feature Page Editor of that paper had anything to do with it, do you?

When I was twelve, I wrote a story about a mare I was training that had suddenly gone blind.  I continued to train her, using voice commands, and showed her to a championship.  That story was also published, in both the Houston Chronicle and in a now long-defunct magazine, Children's Digest.

And even in college, I published a very small book of Japanese Haiku...actually, the college published it.  But writing was never, at that point in my life, something I wanted to do.  I wanted to get my Ph.D, start teaching in college, and continue raising and training horses.  So I did.

Along the way, I began painting, started teaching that on a private basis, sold some, exhibited a couple of times, but never gave it a lot of thought as to becoming professional with it.  Although I did.

But in 2005, Chrismas I think, my daughter sent me some books on Writing for Children.  She also sent me a note which basically said, "Mom, get off your butt and start writing."  So I did.

Since then, I've completed two courses with the Institute of Children's Literature, am enrolled for a second novel course,  and have published several stories and articles.  My journey is far from complete, and is certainly not without its hills and valleys, but wherever the road takes me, is where I will go.