In junior high, I wrote my first poem. It began “so tall and proud the mountains stand, much larger than a grain of sand.” Not award-winning to anyone else; but to me, it was gold. Simply because the things I hid in my head and heart found their way to sheets of paper. My dad, a budding poet himself, and my mom, an avid reader, encouraged my writing. I excelled at language arts, always loved my abc’s much more than my 123′s.
As a teen and a young adult, I cultivated my prose and poetry, even won a couple awards. In high school, I served on the yearbook and the newspaper of our small private school. As a young woman, journaling became my passion. Rather than write “Dear Diary,” I poured out my heart to God. A shelf full of the ups and downs of my life as a teen and twenty-something sits in my bedroom. In my thirties, now married with two babies, my passion changed from personal journaling to scrapbooking; but my love for words never disappeared. Our family albums are full of my thoughts and feelings. Quotes and single definitions are littered around the photographs that capture our moments, helping us remember who we are and where we came from.
A New Chapter
As I begin my fourth decade of life, I stand at the cusp of a new venture. A while back, I laid aside my enjoyment of reading, writing, and scrapbooking. My desire to create seemed to die as I allowed circumstances in my life to overwhelm me. One night in May 2011, I had a dream — a literal dream — that changed my life. When I awoke, my heart burned with a desire to write the details. So, I did. Then I pushed myself to share those details with family members and my counselor. I thought I’d either be shot down before I got off the ground or be labeled as crazy; but I was wrong.
My Twilight-loving counselor shared Stephanie Meyer‘s story, which inspired me to research her online. What I learned about her resonated within me and gave me the courage to take a new step. Like me, she had a dream and wrote about it. Her sister, like mine, inspired her to write and sell her novel. A stay-at-home mom of three, she wrote in between caring for her children… also like moi. She earned a bachelor’s in English from a “religious” institution and I earned a bachelor’s in Elementary Education while minoring in English at a “religious” institution. All those similarities were enough to spur me in a new direction.
The Write Direction
I am at the beginning of my new novel-writing adventure. Originally, I believed “Broken” (a working title) was meant to be a script. Can’t remember why I changed my mind; but I did. As I delved into learning the in’s and out’s of how to write a novel, my story has morphed into something pretty different than that dream. The main characters, Jason and Nina, are about the only things that remained, although even their circumstances have changed dramatically. That’s all a part of the process, I hear. A Contemporary Romance such as this is typically between 80,000 and 100,000 words from what I’ve read. The first twenty thousand words took me about seven months to write and re-write. Can’t tell you how crazy my family thought I was when I told them how Jason “talked” to me, directed me about what he would or would not do in various situations. My husband almost had me committed! And I gave my counselor a chuckle more than once.