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Thursday, August 14, 2014

What if We Watched in Wonder?

There's a song that I love, by Julie de Azevedo, called "What If?" Part of the lyrics read,
What if I let my children be
Who they are, not what I need?
What if I watched in wonder as their tender wings unfold.

Sometimes people ask me how I got started as a writer. I've mentioned this on the About Me page of my website, but I wanted to do a more in-depth thank you to my children in today's post. I have watched my children's tender wings unfold over the years, and I became a writer because they returned the favor.

When my oldest daughter was fourteen, she discovered my fiction ramblings on my computer. Between her and her sixteen-year-old brother, they forced me to admit that I loved writing. My son loaded "Writing Excuses" onto my mp3 and the rest is fiction. What isn't in the blog is that I wrote my daughter her own story to thank her for opening up this world for me. I hadn't believed in myself, and it wasn't until I started seriously writing that I felt completely free and, as corny as it sounds, like I'd found myself. So I wrote her a story about a woman living in a gilded cage of her own making, her daughter finding a key, her son finding the lock, and the woman discovering she has wings to fly.

But that's only the beginning of the story. Two of my published horror stories have come through the morbid horror scenarios my middle daughter and I like to throw back and forth. The twist ending to my recently accepted story, "Menagerie Violette," came through a conversation we had after she read the original story. It was good to begin with, but she helped me make it worthy of publication in what is going to be an amazing anthology.

My youngest boy used to take up guard duty at my office door. During my writing time he would tell his sisters that they couldn't bother me, which also meant I didn't have him coming in every five minutes to ask me a question. Win-win. Recently, he reached a reading level so he could read Noble Ark. He's now one of my biggest fans and keeps asking when the next book will come out. He's adorable.

And, of course, there's my husband. He's shouldered not only the financial strain of conventions and workshops and publishing ventures, but he's also bolstered me through my times of discouragement and self-doubt. I couldn't have made it this far without him.

So, this is a little long-winded, and probably of little interest to those who don't know me personally, but how I became a writer is the same as how I manage to continue as a writer. As Buddy says in a program my youngest daughter and I have recently become addicted to, Cake Boss: "It's all about family."


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