How I Began Writing

I wish I img_0143could tell you I have a Masters in English, or I’ve been writing all my life. I don’t, and I haven’t. However, I can tell you I’ve always had an interest in writing. I just happened to get sidetracked along the way.

As a child, I grew up in Lynnwood, Washington, which is about 20 miles north of Seattle. While in elementary school, I was selected to go to a regional young writer’s camp – and loved it! Though I don’t remember much, I recall thinking how much fun it was to write stories and be creative.

While other kids signed up to be crossing guards, or some other fun job in 6th grade, I signed up to be a librarian. Maybe it was because I had nine siblings, and my home was constantly chaos and mayhem.  Or maybe it was because I loved to walk down each of the rows of books, lining the spines up flush with the edge of the bookshelf. For whatever reason, the library was my happy place.

Then I moved to Walla Walla, Washington. I still loved writing creatively (I’ll post one of my old high school papers at a later date – just for giggles!), but life was filled with sports, JROTC, boys, and work.

I went to college, double majored in Education K-12, and Special Education, with a minor in English.  I didn’t get far though. I met my husband, got married, and immediately started having children.  One of those kids was a little girl named Elisha.

Elisha was a spitfire from the beginning, and an overachiever at everything. She was in the “Gifted” program in elementary, played volleyball (all conference, went to state in high school), sang (went to state as a soloist and ensemble), track (won state in 2 events, 4th in another, went to a division 1 college, and is currently a 3-time JUCO All American), was ASB President, and succeeded at virtually everything she put her mind to.

Still, she struggled. She struggled with friends, being a teenager, boys, people being mean. You know. Life.

When Elisha was about 15 or 16, my sister, who actually DOES have a Masters in English, e-mailed me and told me about this thing called NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). She knew I’d always  toyed with the idea of writing a book and she thought it would be fun for the two of us to write our stories together.  It was simple. 50,000 words in one month.  How hard could that be?  Ha! Little did I know.

Though I don’t know the actual numbers, the experience was pretty similar to this:

Day 1: Patty wrote:  350 words.  Me: 125 words.

Day 2: Patty’s word count: 350 words.  Me: 450 words.

Day 3: Patty’s word count: 350 words.  Me 1,200 words.
Patty e-mailed, informing me she was done and didn’t want to finish. I was on my own.  The problem was, I’d was in the thick of it now.  I’d decided to write a book about Elisha, and I was on a roll.  Now, approximately 4 years later, Unleashed! I about to be published!

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