I got a late start into writing. I don’t count the summer between the eleventh and twelfth grades when I thought I could write the next Great American Novel. Should I mention that I had just finished reading “Gone With The Wind?” This fifteen year old had no life experiences on which to draw. Prior to that, my reading repertoire consisted of “True Confessions” and “My True Romance” magazines.
After graduating from high school in Memphis, TN, I decided I wanted to be a pianist. (Do you remember Roger Williams’ Autumn Leaves?). I even went back to DeShazo College of Music to update my piano skills. After that I wanted to be the next Joannie Sommers. (She was a singer from the fifties). When those two options failed, I turned my hand to writing popular music and song lyrics. Much to my horror (and naiveté) the pathway to publication with Sun Records really did cross the bedroom. Okay…I’ll get married and have a baby.
Two husbands and one son later, I was single again. My creativity blossomed once again, this time into poetry and prose. My third venture into matrimony truly was the charm. Much to my dismay, I learned that happiness killed my creativity. What a revelation…I can only write when I’m miserable.
So, the next few years were devoted to genealogy (a dogged pursuit of my ancestors and anyone else’s ancestors who were even remotely related) and my voracious appetite for reading. Being the OCD woman that I am, I even kept a card file which I took with me when I combed the used book stores for fodder.
My happy life went on. Then in 1989 I had to have my ankle rebuilt. The doctor admonished me to keep my foot elevated above my heart. I had grown tired of reading…after the first few pages, I could usually predict the endings. “Why not,” I foolishly thought. “Maybe I could use this down time to write a book.” OMG. Why hadn’t I thought of this sooner?
Tune in next week for Chapter Two of my saga.