Road to Publication, Part 2: In which I discover writing…
An excerpt from my old blog:
“Ever since I can remember, I’ve existed at least 50% of the time inside my own head. Stories just happen in there, either based off of things that are happening to me at the time, or just craziness out of nowhere. Back when I was a kid (but older than I wish I was), I would use things like dolls and toys to help work out the story. It looked like I was just playing make believe like a regular kid–but I was most assuredly never a ‘regular kid’. At times I would even have a cast list with full names (first, middle, and last) for each of my characters, and I would write down major plot points while I was working them out. I could do that for hours but, eventually the story would collapse in my young mind, and I would get frustrated and give it up for days at a time.”
So that’s how the stories started, but when did I get into writing them down? Let’s go back to Ms. Roberts for a moment, if you will. During this time of ‘finding myself’, I also read Lessons Learned. Something about this story made me think, I could do that. She was my hero, I wanted to be just like her (even my dad reads her). So I begin to use all of my ideas of all of the things I was going to do in my life, and started turning them into stories.
The first book I started to write took place in New York City. I’d just gone to New York for my twenty-first birthday. It was the third time I’d been to the city so I had begun to feel an affinity towards it. Also, as an art student at the time, I was imagining I’d eventually live there. So I began to work on a story about a young art director at a nouveau gallery in the city, and an artist from Sorrento, another place that I’ve been blessed to spend time in.
I chewed on that one for awhile, incorporating a lot of the things I got to experience in New York. But the problem with that story became the ending. I just couldn’t find the right way to end it. I still have the manuscript, still plan on finishing it. I keep thinking that one of these days, I’ll come up with the perfect way to end it. I don’t ever want to force it, because I’m absolutely sure the reader would feel that.
Eventually I had to distance myself from that one. I began another story about a girl who was orphaned, and then grew up helping out on a rehabilitation horse farm. I had only made it a few chapters into that one before I had to take a step back from it. There was more story, more threads, than I’d dealt with before, and I wasn’t ready to work through them. Then, one day the unthinkable happened. Our house was broken into, my computer stolen. I hadn’t touched that manuscript in so long that it wasn’t backed up, so I lost it. It’s still up there in my head, I just haven’t had the energy to try and pull it back out. I will though, some day. Luckily, the first manuscript was backed up, and also printed, so it was saved.
As I grew up, got married and joined the world of the full-time workforce, I had to put writing on the back burner for awhile. Besides, as fun as telling stories was, I knew that my imagination wanted to be stretched more. I wanted to come up with things that didn’t exist in the real world, didn’t think I could be a real storyteller without it. With that in the back of my mind, I went on to live my life. Find out how my current book came about in the next installment!