The twelve-year-old girl received a Royal portable typewriter for Christmas one year. Her parents were hoping it would encourage her to take the “Commercial” track in high school. It didn’t. It encouraged her to write.
It was the 1950s and her mother would get Family Circle magazine when she bought the groceries. The girl discovered there were stories in the magazine. Stories she read and stories she thought she could write. So, she did; she wrote a story and sent it into Family Circle. She received a rejection letter. Her first of many.
But she kept writing and submitting to whatever magazine struck her fancy. She didn’t nail her rejections to the wall, like many years later, she learned a young Stephen King had done. She kept them and then when she was older and her parents moved from the little house, those rejections were tossed along with her all her Beatles stuff.
But by that time, the teenager was grown, a mother, divorced, and working as an RN. But she still dreamed of writing. And she did, getting up at 5 AM before getting ready for work, pounding on her computer keyboard which had taken the place of the Royal.
Even with her daughter grown and she found herself working in administrative positions, she still wrote. She did have some minor successes:
Short stories in several small literary, horror, and children’s magazines
Columns and freelance articles for the local daily paper
Poems in small poetry journals
One indie-published paranormal romance.
One erotic romance published by a small press
One letter to a first lady who then invited her to speak in the Rose Garden with the president.
Two awards from her writers’ group
Short stories in several anthologies
Now that 12-year-old is 76, retired, with many medical and physical issues. She still writes. But now, even though several books are languishing in her computer, she writes essays like this one and posts them on Medium.
Shorter writing is easier than novel-length — it doesn’t tap out her diminishing energy.
But she does wonder if she should continue as that energy decreases and overall pain increases.
But this essay must prove she wants to continue to chase that 12-year-old’s dream.
And so she continues…