Tuesday, March 14, 2017

When Did You Know You Wanted to Be a Writer?


Greetings, Speedbo-ers! Myra here. How’s it going? Better than you hoped? Not so great? Either way, if you’re writing, you’re progressing. Even if you write only 100 words today, that’s 100 more than you had yesterday, and they all add up!

If you’ve made it this far, congratulations—you’re almost halfway through Speedbo ’17!

If you’ve made it this far, it’s because you have something to say and you’re determined to get it written.

If you’ve made it this far, you already know you want to be a writer, and you’re committed to making it happen.

But when did you first acknowledge the dream of writing? How did it happen for you? Was it a gradual process? A lightning-bolt epiphany? Or did you just always know?

Taking time to ponder these questions isn’t a waste of Speedbo brain power. In fact, recalling the how and why that made you decide to be a writer can be extremely motivating. Can you remember the thrill of getting those first words on paper, the anticipation as your very own story took shape? 

Right now, when some of us may find ourselves languishing in the “sagging middle” doldrums of Speedbo ’17, we need all the encouragement we can get to keep plugging away until we can type “the end.”

So with that in mind, let’s hear from a few Seekers about when they first knew they were meant to be writers. Read and be inspired!


Ruth Logan Herne: I knew I wanted to be a writer from the time I read my first notable chapter book, "Understood Betsy,” by Dorothy Canfield Fisher. I was probably about eight or nine years old, and I knew I wanted to tell stories like that, just like that! To see Betsy come out of her shell, to watch her grow in so many ways, and to see how well the happy ending turned out... I was totally on board from that day forward. I used to make up stories before that... but once I read a big girl book, I realized I wanted to write them, not just tell them!


Missy Tippens: I discovered I wanted to be a writer after I wrote my first novel. I started the story just for fun, because I enjoyed reading so much. Once I plowed through, writing that book in two and a half months (while nursing a baby!), I was hooked. But, still, it took several years before I found the nerve to say out loud that I was a writer.


Pam Hillman: I knew I wanted to be a writer as soon as I figured out that somebody somewhere got to put those stories on paper so that I could read them. Two distinct memories come to mind. My first grade teacher would put us in a circle and read to us every day. I guess that was quiet time right after lunch. I loved that part of the day. And on another occasion, we had a swap day. I took a small stuffed brown bear that I’d gotten on vacation, but another girl brought a book. The title was The Kitten Twins. I wanted that book SO bad and I got it. Was it a good trade? To me, it was the most wonderful trade in the world. I even named my cats Twinkle and Boo after the kittens in the book. This is the book. It makes me smile just to look at it. :) 


Janet Dean: At the age of twelve, I was writing what I now realize was romance. I would illustrate my love stories, drawing my heroines’ faces in profile and giving them long wavy hair that fell to their shoulders. They all looked alike and beautiful, at least to me. I let some of my girlfriends read my stories. Their interest probably fueled mine. At some point, I must have been embarrassed by my childish efforts and threw them away as none of these stories survive. But from that point on I believed that one day I’d write a book.


Debby Giusti: I thought I was a writer in third grade when I penned a neighborhood newspaper and wrote my first book—a very short manuscript—about seven girls, aptly titled, “We are Seven.” Fast forward to when my children were little. I published a few articles in nationally circulated magazines, then put my writing on hold until years later when I freelanced for a number of magazines. At that point, I considered myself a writer, but when my debut novel, Nowhere To Hide, released in May 2007, I moved from writer to author, which was always the desire of my heart. 


I remember writing my very first story when I was around seven years old. The title was “The Enchanted Prince,” and I can still picture my school desk, the lined notebook paper I wrote on, and the title neatly penciled across the top of the page. I went on to write many stories and poems throughout my school years. The most fun were those never-ending sagas I shared with my closest friends a chapter at a time. One was a takeoff on those Gidget beach movies so popular in the . . . well, let’s not get date-specific. Another was my extremely imaginative version of “The Girl from U.N.C.L.E.” Writing was definitely fun in those days because I was just making stuff up! I suppose I’ve known for most of my life that I wanted to be a writer, but the real validation came in 1985, when I received my very first acceptance letter and check for a children’s short story.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? Or, if you’re a reader, can you recall the first book that got you hooked on reading? Share with us in the comments!

Today’s giveaway: I’m excited to announce the upcoming release of A Rose So Fair (Flowers of Eden, book 3)! If you’ve been waiting for the story of spunky farm girl Rose Linwood’s romance with handsome Caleb Wieland, you could win one of the very first copies off the press! To be entered in the drawing, just let me know in the comments. In honor of book 3 in the series, I’m giving away 3 copies!

About Myra: Award-winning author Myra Johnson writes emotionally gripping stories about love, life, and faith. Myra is a two-time finalist for the prestigious ACFW Carol Awards and winner of Christian Retailing’s Best for historical fiction. Originally from Texas but now residing in the beautiful Carolinas, Myra and her husband love the climate and scenery, but they may never get used to the pulled pork Carolinians call “barbecue”! The Johnsons share their home with two very pampered doggies who don’t always understand the meaning of “Mom’s trying to write.” They’re also currently harboring their younger daughter and family (six in all plus a kitty!) as they transition toward their next missionary calling. With grandkids underfoot ranging in age from 14 down to 3, there’s never a dull moment! 

Twitter: @MyraJohnson and @TheGrammarQueen 

Sign up to receive Myra’s quarterly e-news updates here!




193 comments :

  1. I am a writer...I think. And I am definitely a reader.

    I recently have been searching online for a copy of one of my favorite books as a child, Mog the Forgetful Cat. I am not sure if this book is the one that turned me into a reader or if it was Trumpet of the Swan by EB White. But I remember always loving books and reading.

    I also really enjoyed writing stories when I was a child. I don't know that I ever considered myself as an author until adulthood though. My mother was a writer. My nephew is a prolific writer (although nothing has been published). But it has taken me a long time to consider myself a writer. And some days I don't feel very much like a writer. Maybe when I see that first book in print or on my Kindle I will feel more like a writer. But I know that I have a long way to go.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Emily, you sound like a born writer... and that means you're stuck, darling! :) I've got a few grandkids who are born writers. I can see it!

      And I have a couple of kids who are born writers... but it's a tough biz and we've had to learn to be thick-skinned... and to shrug some things off.

      So whether you feel like a writer or not, I think you're doomed, darling. Join the club!!!

      Delete
    2. Hi, Emily! I agree with Ruthy--you're a writer! And it sounds like it runs in the family! I remember how thrilled I was to discover a cousin who wrote, and now I have a granddaughter who LOVES writing stories!

      And isn't it fun to recall some of our favorite childhood books? One of mine was Little Women, and now my daughter and granddaughter are reading it together.

      Delete
    3. I looked up Mog! What a cool book, Emily!

      Delete
  2. Hi Emily:

    You can get, "Mog the Forgetful Cat" on ABE for $1.25 here:

    https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?sts=t&an=&tn=Mog+the+Forgetful+Cat&kn=&isbn=

    I wish I could remember the name of the first book I read all on my own. I'd buy it for sure. :)

    BTW: Pam's first book is over $20 now. You can get a nostalgia bargain!

    Vince

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't it cool that so many of those books can still be found?

      Delete
    2. I know, Vince! I looked at that the other day, thinking I'd buy a copy. I'm hoping one of these days to magically discover MY copy at my mom's house. :)

      Delete
    3. Pam: That copy is priceless! Say a prayer to St. Anthony.

      Delete
  3. Hi Myra:

    When you wrote, "The most fun were those never-ending sagas I shared with my closest friends a chapter at a time," it made me wish for a scene in a romance:

    The child asks her father to read her a story before bed but he says, "Okay, sweetheart, but why don't you write a story for me tomorrow so you can read it to me before you go to bed?"

    Maybe he is just a boyfriend the mother wonders if he'd make a good father.

    Adorable kids are always nice to read in a romance but how rare is it for a father or step-father to be an adorable parent?

    Please put me in the drawing for that beautiful book cover you have!

    Vince

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like this idea, Vince! Are you going to write it? :) I did have a great time writing the overprotective single dad in my upcoming Love Inspired romance, Her Hill Country Cowboy.

      Delete
  4. I believe my dream of being a writer was when I read a book named Junket. The story of a Junkyard Dog". When I was i fourth grade, I checked the book out over five times before the librarian told me I couldn't check it out anymore.

    Blessings,
    Cindy W.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Have you noticed how many of us began to realize this at about 8-10 years old??? And I remember making up stories in my head before that, everything had a story! A little cray-cray but now they pay me to be cray!!! :)

      Fist-bump!!!

      Delete
    2. How sweet, Cindy! Yes, I think 4th grade is when we really start reading well and books begin to grab us. Another of my early book memories was a Phyllis Whitney mystery, Secret of the Samauri Sword.

      Delete
  5. "If you're writing, you're progressing." Loved this line, Myra. I enjoyed reading everyone's moment they knew they were writers. Recently, I was asked this question, so I pulled out an old journal. On June 22, 2008 I wrote "I want to be a writer; not just a writer who keeps a journal or writes short stories here and there. I want to be a published writer." Great post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ruthy is jumping up and down and clapping because you did it!!! You did it! You did it! Hooray!!! (Dora the Explorer)...

      Delete
    2. Thanks, Jill! And thank you for sharing this lovely memory with us! Congratulations on your success!!!

      Delete
    3. YES YES, we readers are so glad you did it! Your debut LI is fantastic.

      Delete
    4. That's the nice thing about journals...we have a record of our thoughts and actions. So glad you can pinpoint that turning point in your life. :)

      And your dream came true!

      Delete
  6. Just as Ruth says, I realized I am a writer at age ten. I published a mimeographed edition of Greek myths in 4th grade with the help of my teacher. So satisfying. I started writing stories & producing plays. Thank you, Miss Harloff!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Laura, that's wonderful! I remember being fascinated with Greek myths when I was in junior high. I wish I remembered more about them now.

      Delete
    2. Myra, those myths can be deep. Forgot to say: include me in drawing for Rose, please.

      Delete
  7. Good morning, Seekerville! Nice to pop in and see some early-morning conversation going on. Just having breakfast and my pot of Earl Grey. Back soon to catch up!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I remember getting to play around with my parent's typewriter when I was in grade school. I wrote the most horrible stories and neighborhood plays! In high school I started comparing myself to others and began to think I wasn't ever going to be a "real" writer. Then in college I didn't have time. I became an engineer, so for many years I didn't do any creative writing, until I lost my job and ended up at home for most of a summer. I started reading again and thinking "I could do this!" I call myself a writer now, although I've not had anything published and only written one full manuscript. But God works mysteriously and I've co-written a few screenplays -- something I never dreamed I'd do. Writing comes in many forms and I feel confident calling myself a writer now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So true, Glynis. I didn't get serious about learning to write for publication until I was married with kids. My girls were about 10 and 11 by then, and of course gave me lots of inspiration for the children's magazine stories that were my publishing breakthrough.

      Delete
    2. Myra, I broke through, at least in inspirational writing, with the Sunday School papers. Anybody remember those?
      KB

      Delete
    3. Oh yes, that's how I got my start! Wonderful publishing opportunities and learning experiences!

      Delete
  9. What a fun post. I love reading about when you ladies discovered you wanted to be a writer. :)

    I was in eighth grade (so maybe 14?) when I realized I wanted to be a writer. I'd read a forbidden book (as in, it delved into topics I shouldn't have been reading about!), and I loved the story. But, I told myself I could never come up with characters out of thin air, or with a plot. So, I let the dream lie dormant.

    Fast forward to almost seven years ago. When Hubs and I were at a couple's retreat, a couple was sharing their story. And God planted the seed for a story to write. He gave me the vehicle and the heroine's name. After talking with a writing friend about this crazy dream, I began studying how to write and eventually got connected with writing communities like this one. I am working on my fourth story and I LOVE writing! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Jeanne! Isn't it amazing how God plants His dream in us and then puts people and ideas in our path to help us along the way? He always knows the timing that is best for us individually and what we most need for the journey. Not always what WE would choose, but always the best.

      Delete
    2. I truly believe God's timing is best. Waiting can be hard but looking back, my craft wasn't as ready for publication as I thought it was.

      Janet

      Delete
    3. Same here, Janet. God knew best for me.

      Delete
    4. MYRA and JANET—agreed! One of the most important lessons God's been teaching me is that His timing is always, always perfect. :)

      Delete
    5. Loved reading how you were inspired to write your first story, Jeanne! Thanks for sharing.

      Delete
  10. Thank you, Myra, for giving (and forgiving) me absolution for getting down just a 100 words a day. No excuses, but I'm thinking my hero isn't very compelling, and I'm trying to spice him up a bit. How do you spice up a taciturn rancher?

    My paternal grandmother was a one-room schoolhouse teacher in the early 1900's, and when my brothers and I came along she was well into her 60's. She taught the three of us how to read before we entered kindergarten, and I haven't stopped. My dad read Louis L'Amour, Ellery Queen and Rex Stout, and so that is what I read. That led to Agatha Christie, Charlotte Armstrong, Mary Stewart, and anything I could get my eyes on. My favorite was a paperback, Ripley's Believe It Or Not. I think this spurred on my love of people watching...just to see if I could find the oddities about them, and then make up their story. I never wrote anything down, I was a daydreamer instead. It wasn't until I was in my forties that I took up pen and paper. I took the Writer's Digest course, and did well enough to think I could be a writer. Of course, life happened. Love, marriage, a child, and so on.

    Now, at the backdoor of my life, I'm trying to get serious about it. I don't want it to "become my job", but I want to write for enjoyment, then publication. I could go on, but I'll stop. I think I'm a writer every time I sit down at my laptop and put a few words in WORD. And, like Emily, I'm definitely a reader. The best of both worlds.

    Myra, I'm sipping on Bigelow's Vanilla Chai, with a bit of milk.

    Marcia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Marcia! You definitely grew up loving books! And people watching is a very handy asset for creating believable characters.

      I also got my start via a writing course, The Institute of Children's Literature. My first sale was a short story I wrote as a course assignment!

      As for your taciturn rancher . . . maybe try a Mary Connealy technique and have somebody shooting at him?

      Delete
    2. Myra, I have two of Mary's books in my Kindle...Out of Control, and Tried and True. I'm going to read them to see how she does it. I'm pretty much gun-shy, so shooting would have to be the last option!

      Delete
    3. MARCIA, one way to flesh out a hero is to give him a "Save the Cat" moment in the story. A time when he does something that impacts the heroine. Not truly saving a cat, but doing something that touches her, that shows under that crust he's got a heart.

      Janet

      Delete
    4. Thanks, Janet. I need to figure out why he has that crust in the first place. He keeps changing his story! I guess I need to rope and hogtie him so I can make him a real hero. I have Blake Snyder's Beat Sheet right next to me, and I've been reading lots of craft books trying to get it right. Your posts on Inciting Incidents and Outlining are right beneath it.

      I press on...

      Marcia

      Delete
    5. You asked what you should do to spice up your taciturn rancher.

      Well, I've got two words for you: Mr. Darcy

      Not enough? How about these five words: Make him like Mr. Darcy

      He was the ultimate taciturn gentleman.

      Delete
    6. Thanks, Nicki. I'm almost ashamed to say I've never read Jane Austen, but have watched the Pride and Prejudice movies. I took Classics in high school, but we only read the dreaded Chaucer, and that stupid book about a guy who drowns his girlfriend in the lake. I think that did me in for the classics.

      Delete
    7. Marcia, you'd never catch me holding a real gun either, but I had no trouble putting a Winchester rifle in the hands of Rose Linwood in A Rose So Fair!

      Delete
    8. Myra, my story's heroine is a veterinarian, so my hero on one such trip to her clinic experiences "death by puppies"...that's as "violent" as I can get. lol

      I forgot to ask you to put my name in for a copy of A Rose So Fair. Thanks.

      Marcia

      Delete
    9. Sounds adorable, Marcia! I love puppies!!!

      You're in!

      Delete
  11. I was always an avid reader, but didn't consider writing until I was 36. I'm a late bloomer!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Many of us are, Sherri. I was in my mid-30s when I started getting serious about learning to write for publication.

      Delete
  12. Oh Myra, your words encourage me so. I'm nowhere near my goal and the month is almost half over.

    I'd forgotten writing neighborhood newspapers when we were kids. I also wrote stories for my younger brother. I think the desire was always in me, but I buried it until a few years ago.

    Congratulations on A Rose So Fair. It sounds like a great story, and the cover is captivating.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Jackie! I was the same way--loved writing as a kid and "graduated" to writing creative Christmas letters and other very limited attempts as an adult. It was in the 1980s during a period of self-evaluation as I was recovering from surgery that I knew I wanted to be a real writer.

      Delete
  13. "We don't become writers. We discover we are writers. However, unlike grace -- which is also a gift from God -- being published does require good works."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL, VINCE ... you crack me up!! Priceless!!

      Hugs,
      Julie

      Delete
    2. VINCE, you nailed it! And very cleverly.

      Janet

      Delete
  14. My Speedbo performance is underwhelming, but I do have to say, it's more than it would have been without Speedbo. And I've picked up some new ideas to bolster my motivation and encourage myself.

    I loved all your stories of your writing paths. Like all of you, I loved books from an early age and somewhere I have a self-illustrated early effort about a puppy named something long and unpronounceable. I first realized I WASN'T a writer, when an admired high-school teacher told me so, in a grumpy way. But I gathered up courage and asked him how I could improve and watched while he slashed red marks all over my page, explaining why as he went. I was humiliated, but I also learned a lot that day. Two years later, the reverse happened, as another High School teacher praised my homework essays. He asked me to write captions for the Yearbook. And he recommended me to be "Teen Correspondent" to our local newspaper, the weekend edition magazine. Another great learning experience.

    I'm not the only writer who has had those types of negative and positive influences. Rejection and praise, criticism and acceptance follow our attempts, highs and lows. I try to learn from both, reset my sights, and keep on.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. DANA, may I say just HOW impressed I am by your maturity and wisdom in asking your high-school teacher how you could improve?? WOW!! I had trouble doing that in my early 50s when I started writing again. And a teen correspondent?? DOUBLE WOW!! Anytime someone taps you on the shoulder to work on a magazine or newspaper speaks VOLUMES, so I would definitely say, YES, you ARE a writer, my friend!!

      Hugs,
      Julie

      Delete
    2. Oh, yes, Dana, I can relate to the negative/positive back-and-forth of critiques and even reviews! Julie's right--it shows a LOT of maturity to listen and accept and then learn from constructive criticism.

      Delete
    3. Thank you. You gals are encouragers extraordinaire. 😃

      Delete
  15. Sixth grade for me. I had a nurturing English teacher and was in a special English class. We all got to write and publish our own book. One taste was all it took. Fantastic post, Myra.

    Oh, my gosh, we did neighborhood newspapers in my area too. Kenmore, New York!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was born at Kenmore Mercy. :)

      Delete
    2. Tina, I had a nurturing FIFTH-Grade teacher who encouraged me to write two to three stories a week and read them out loud and put them on a bulletin board. I will never forget her.

      Delete
    3. Yay for encouraging teachers! Mine was my 9th-grade English teacher, Miss Dale. Last I heard, she was still alive and in her 90s. I sent her one of my books but have never heard back.

      Delete
  16. So fun to hear everyone's stories about becoming a writer. Thanks, Myra. I seem to have fallen into the same age range as the others. When I was young I made up stories all the time. My parents got pretty tired of hearing the stories but my grandmother, who was a school teacher, loved listening to my stories. I had my first publication of a short story three years after she died. I couldn't help thinking how proud and excited she would have been. When I was in third grade, I wrote a story at school that was displayed at the county fair. It was so silly. I do still have that in a box of keepsakes. I laugh a lot when I read it now.

    I don't remember exactly the first chapter book I read, but I got a Trixie Belden book for my 9th birthday and was hooked on those.

    Please enter me in the drawing. The cover is beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's not silly, Sandy, but I get how you feel. But the fact that it was so IMPORTANT to you, that you kept the story. Doesn't that just sort of prove how important it was???

      Ah, Trixi, how I loved her.

      Delete
    2. What a sweet memory, Sandy! I wish I still had some of the stories and poems I wrote in high school. No idea what happened to them. I do still have my "Girl from UNCLE" manuscript. The pages are yellowed and falling apart now, but it's still in the top of my writing closet.

      Delete
  17. 2nd grade when I wrote my first story. I still want to be a writer when I grow up. I hope I do someday :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 2nd grade, Cindy!? Perfect time for the imagination to take hold and fly! I've got a 2nd grade granddaughter who's already written a book. :)

      Delete
    2. Exactly! I'm pretty sure my first story was during 2nd grade. By then we have learned to read and learned to print, so let's make stuff up!!!

      Delete
  18. Replies
    1. LOL, KAYBEE ... you are a hoot!!

      HUGS,
      Julie

      Delete
    2. LOL! How was that for your mom, KB?

      Delete
  19. I don't remember the book that triggered my desire to write, but I remember being in seventh grade and attempting to write a novel. I wish I still had that handwritten story!! Sadly, I thought getting published would be an impossible, foolish dream, and it was thirty-six years later before I wrote a full length novel and submitted it to an editor. It was rejected, but four years later I'm still pursuing the dream of publication. Too bad it took me so long to realize a dream is only impossible and foolish if you choose not to chase it. A dream will only become reality with hard work!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Boy, RHONDA, we could be twins separated at birth with that story (give or take 30 years)!

      You said: "I'm still pursuing the dream of publication. Too bad it took me so long to realize a dream is only impossible and foolish if you choose not to chase it."

      EXCELLENT point, my friend! Reminds me of the original title of my first book -- A Chasing After the Wind, which is a Scripture from Ecclesiastes. Solomon's meaning is chasing after futility, but I always chose to see it as chasing after the wind of God -- the Holy Spirit -- which is, in essence, pursuing God through our gifts and running along the path He has for us.But ... one does have to pursue and run, which as we all know, can be very hard work.

      Thirty-six years? It took me forty to realize my dream of actually writing a book and approximately four more years after that to get published, so I'm praying it comes for you WAY before that!

      Hugs,
      Julie

      Delete
    2. RHONDA, I wish I had my early stories too. You nailed it when you said: A dream will only become reality with hard work! Writing is fun but to see our stories in print, we have to learn craft, be teachable. Publishers set a high bar.

      Janet

      Delete
    3. Julie, you're so funny! I promise you we are not separated by thirty years. LOL. The thirty-six years it took me to finally sit down and write a full length novel were all after I wrote that first story at age twelve. So, I was forty-eight when I wrote that first book four years ago. Thank you for the prayers and hugs, sweet friend.

      Janet, I feel so blessed to have all you wonderful Seekers to help me stay encouraged and motivated as I navigate this path!

      Delete
    4. "A dream will only become reality with hard work!"

      So, so true, Rhonda! I had written at least a dozen book manuscripts while selling magazine pieces for 25 years before I got my first book contract.

      Delete
  20. MYRA, LOVE to hear the germination of how other writers began, and interestingly enough, many of us started back in the age group of 8-12. Obviously a time when the wonder of reading evolves into the wonder of storytelling!

    Janet, I had no idea that you wrote and illustrated your own stories at the age of eight -- VERY cool!! I'd say that's a definite sign of a born writer. And I'm sad for you that you don't have any of those early efforts.

    I actually have the 150 single-spaced pages of the very first novel I wrote, When Tomorrow Comes, which eventually became A Passion Most Pure some 40 years later. It's on very tattered typing paper in a equally tattered manila envelope, and someday, I'm going to read it again. :)

    And I did the same thing at the age of eight -- wrote and illustrated little romance stories. Unfortunately, I was good at art, which meant my heroines were pretty shapely, and don't even get me started on the heroes. But that romance-writing career came to a screeching halt for a time when my mom found one of the stories hidden under my mattress. Sigh.

    Great post, Myra!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Julie, it's neat to hear how each of us got hooked on writing stories. It's exciting for me now to observe my 11-year-old granddaughter's interest in writing stories. She writes them in longhand, then types them on the computer, then illustrates them with her own drawings. She has such a great imagination!

      Delete
  21. MYRA, loved your fun, uplifting post and all the interesting comments it produced.

    Your new book cover is gorgeous! Can't wait to read A Rose so Fair.

    I was a reporter for my high school newspaper and would interview faculty for an article. That pass allowed me to roam the halls during classes without fear. LOL. A special privilege back in the day. :-)

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Janet! I had fun working on our high school newspaper, too. I was (and still am!!!) shy about interviewing people, though. The fun part for me was actually writing the articles.

      Delete
  22. It was great to hear all the stories about becoming a writer.

    I've been making up stories from the time I could talk. I also loved to write poems. No training for either one except that my mother loved to write. I had a clear calling when I was 12 to be a missionary, I served as a missionary for 25 years, but kept writing even during those years I would write stories but never a novel. Sometimes the stories would be something the kids needed at church, I will never forget the day one of the kids asked me, "Did you write that?" When I said yes, He said it sounded like something I would write. In 2000 the Lord prompted me to write a children's devotional book. I began writing but did not know what I was doing. I'm still working on this book. I'm still working on learning to be a good writer. This is why I continue to write and check Seekerville every day even if somedays I don't get a chance to comment. I am also reading craft books, Someday I hope to be a published writer.

    By the way I am close to meeting that conservative goal so hopefully I will go well above my goal,

    However the Lord may have other plans for me. I woke up with what I am sure is bronchitis. I can't take anything for it until tomorrow after I have a test for the vertigo. In the mean time I still plan to write.

    Myra you are right,writing even a small word count a day does build up, I have written every day this month with as low as 72 words that day and yet because I had some good days for writing, I am at 16,675.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wilani, I'm so sorry you're sick. We all get that sometimes LIFE happens. Take good care of yourself.

      I'm frowning as I type.

      Delete
    2. Hope you feel better quickly, Wilani! Bronchitis is not fun.

      Exciting to hear how well you're doing on your Speedbo goals! I didn't realize you had been a missionary. Both my daughters are deeply invested in missions work. Our older daughter and her husband are serving at an outreach church in Montana, a severely unchurched state, if you can believe it! Our younger daughter and her husband have served overseas twice now and are going back next summer. Their kids are getting quite a cosmopolitan education and life experiences.

      Delete
  23. Almost half-way through Speedbo? Thud!

    I have no idea when I realized I was a writer. I loved any writing assignment in school. I also participated in fiction and 'ready-writing' competitions in 7th grade. I even won ribbons :-) But I had been writing before 7th grade.

    I read as soon as the grown-ups let me ;-)

    Nancy C

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Nancy, it's quite an eye opener to realize March is half over already! Sounds like you have been writing for as long as you knew how to use pencil and paper!

      And let's just not grow up, okay? ;-D

      Delete
  24. Hi Myra! What a great post and I loved reading other's stories too. I have always been an avid reader, bookworm, etc. I was that nerdy kid that had a book at recess. I'm still a nerd. :) Anyway, I saw writers as the elite in a superhuman world and never thought I could be one too. I published poems in high school. Sylvia Plath was a favorite of mine. I first sat to write several years ago and was astounded when I finished a 90K novel. It's currently collecting dust, but I'm still plunging forward on the road to publication. My current SpeedBo word count is 17,091.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sharee, now every time a new calf is born, I think, "I wish Andi could see this one."

      :)

      You too, of course.

      Delete
    2. Great Speedbo progress, Sharee! And you FINISHED a novel--that is a HUGE achievement. So many wannabes start and never finish.

      Um, yes, we writers are superhuman. Or else just crazy!

      Delete
    3. Myra, your comment made me laugh. Now my husband is looking at me funny.

      Thanks a lot!

      Delete
    4. You mean he doesn't always? ;-D

      Delete
    5. Maybe seekerville could give out capes with a giant S on the back? Or baby cows, Mary?

      Delete
  25. MYRA, thank you for this great post! As a reader, I love learning more about authors that I admire.

    I'm continuing to cheer on those who have taken on the Speedbo Challenge! WRITE ON!

    Please enter me in the drawing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Caryl. Thanks for the support!

      Delete
    2. Thanks, Caryl! I always enjoy getting a peek inside the lives of authors I admire. We find so many points of commonality, plus there's usually a germ of inspiration or motivation for our own writing journey.

      Delete
  26. Okay, that was facetious, but I can't remember not wanting it. I read early, and there was always something in me that thought, "I should do this!" I was inspired by Betsy Ray in the Betsy-Tacy books (THAT dates me), and I guess I wanted to write as soon as I knew people COULD write. I always wanted to write book-length fiction and made a few early attempts, but didn't get serious about craft and studying the market until my 40s. Christian fiction is my calling. This is what I want to do for the rest of my life.
    My Speedbo project is going all right, but I'm already beginning to see flaws and drawbacks. My work is cut out for me. I have three more chapters to write and a fair amount of March left, so it's do-able.
    Today I am snowed in. Again. The powers that be even canceled town elections, I guess New Englanders aren't as hardy as they used to be. I need to do my First Impressions entry, work on my Speedbo piece, and cut 30,000 words from a manuscript that has received a revise-and-resubmit. I hope the power doesn't go out.
    Kathy Bailey
    Snowbound in NH

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. KATHY! the 'revise and submit' request AHHHHH!!!!! YAYAYAYAYAY!
      30,000 words, huh? Well, that'll make it tighter. You might want to take out a whole subplot to cut that length, but if you do, SAVE IT! That subplot could be bk #2 in a series!

      Delete
    2. Yes to the revise-and-resubmit request!!! That is HUGE!!!

      See? Snow is good for something. You have NO CHOICE but to WRITE WRITE WRITE!!!

      Delete
    3. Oh, I just loved the Betsy-Tacy books Kaybee. That series was definitely an influence for me.

      Delete
  27. Myra, please enter me in drawing. I love the Linwoods!
    KB

    ReplyDelete
  28. Loved this interesting post with all the different paths. God chooses us for individual growth and the results belong to Him. It begins with a hunger for the written word.
    Myra, the cover of A Rose so Fair is gorgeous!
    A reader since age four, I've devoured books since. In the mid-eighties I slammed a magazine in my lap and said, "I could write better than this." My husband challenged, "Why don't you?"
    I'm sure I wrote as most children do, but with five younger brothers anything I brought home from school was in Saturday's trash. Several of my grandchildren have outstanding imaginations and I love it when they share what they've written.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LoRee, I love that. The slammed magazine. LOL God for you. Good for your husband for challenging you, too.

      Delete
    2. Way to go, LoRee! Show 'em you can do better!

      Oh my, FIVE younger brothers??? Were you the bossy big sister? My Project Guy was one of three younger brothers, and their big sister ruled the roost.

      Delete
    3. Oh, yeah. I was called "little mommy" at age ten. As a young wife, I taught my baby brother how to tie his shoes. A couple of 'em may still call me bossy...but I think they love me.

      Delete
    4. Of course they do, LoRee! I know Project Guy and his brothers are still crazy about their big sister!

      Delete
  29. My sister was always making up stories since as far back as I could remember. She was two years older than me and I looked up to her (I still do because somehow she got the tall genes and I got the short ones). She would make up stories to tell to me at night starting out with zoo animals and their adventures before, after some years, moving on to far more sophisticated stories of a girl on a quest in an Arthurian world. I was amazed by her and her creativity and wanted to be a writer too because in my eyes writers were the coolest, most ingenious people in the world to be able to make up these stories.

    When we were first learning to write my sister started writing some small books, Julian and Juliette, The Swan Princesses and the (I don't remember the animal) Queen, and it's sequel the Duck Prince and the Flamingo King. And I like any dutiful younger sibling did what she did. As she wrote those books I began trying to come up with a story to write (I wanted to be able to proudly show my stories to my mom and dad too). I finally settled on writing a story about a princess that lived in the sewers (aptly titled The Princess in the Sewer). Unfortunately it was while trying to write this story, or at least coming up with a basis for the story that I realized I couldn't write.

    Eventually I gave up resigned to the fact that I couldn't write (something that I still really wanted to do). I didn't think that I had the capability of making up stories. During this time I began playing games where I would make up imaginary worlds and play in them. I didn't realize at the time, but as I made up adventures for my imaginary friends and myself to go on I was actually creating stories.

    I didn't realize this until I was eleven years old and decided to write a story for my sister for her birthday based off of a game we used to play when we were younger. It was writing that book (and realizing that I hardly remembered anything about it and so would have to make up some plots in order to have a story) that I realized I could write. Or as I tend to call it, finally broke free of my lifelong writer's block.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. PS, I apologize for the ridiculously long post. In case you haven't noticed the journey I took to become a writer is something I am very passionate about.

      My Speedbo is doing well, but I am beginning to slow down some. Finding it harder to plunk down with my laptop and type my heart out. Thus far I have written around 30,638 words this month.

      Delete
    2. Nicki, ridiculously long blog posts...are almost REQUIRED on a blog written by and for aspiring writers. Right? Occupational hazard.

      Delete
    3. Oh, Nicki, I LOVE those story titles! The Flamingo King sounds like quite the interesting character, too! And I'd love to know more about "The Princess in the Sewer."

      Yes, I remember playing lots and lots of make-believe games as a kid. I still make up strangely weird stories in my head to help me fall asleep at night. BTW, these are stories that will NEVER, EVER, EVER get written.

      Delete
  30. I'd done some writing in my life, like my first book about age 12....long lost.
    And I did some writing in college, mostly journalism stuff.
    But when I really wanted it, for myself, as an adult, was the day I started typing, urged on in a couple of ways...and found out I just loved it. So when I really knew I wanted to write, and wanted to be PUBLISHED. I'd say I was 38 yrs old. The year my baby went to kindergarten and I had a whole morning free for the first time in my life.
    Ten years later... :) I finally managed to get it done, but all through those ten years...I was a writer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly, Mary! Writers write. Period.

      Delete
  31. I do think I remember the first time I REALIZED writing books was a 'thing'. You know, like a real PERSON somewhere had to WRITE this?

    Black Stallion books. The first time I ever finished a book and closed it and looked at the authors name and thought, "How did he do that? How did he make me HEAR those thundering hoofbeats? How did he put me on the back of that racing horse?"

    As an adult, Mary Higgins Clark had a similar affect on me. "How did she do that?"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I always enjoy a good Mary Higgins Clark mystery. And now you and Tina have got me started reading Jack Reacher novels. I'm in the middle of one right now. Hard to put down when it's time for lights-out!

      Delete
  32. Sorry I had to be AWOL for a bit. Had an appointment this morning. Going back now to catch up on the conversations!

    ReplyDelete
  33. love reading people's stories...
    I have always been creative, mostly with drawing that really blossomed under my second grade teacher, Miss Barry. Adding words to pictures occurred in sixth grade with an English project our teacher had us do. We wrote and made books that we then read to the kindergarten class down the hall. Over-achiever I used to be, I made two books. I still have them somewhere in the abyss of the catch all office space at home. Same teacher had us write a story with only dialogue when we were learning how to use quotation marks. She adored the story I created of two cars talking in a parking lot. (An older car advising a younger car whose owner was a bit neglectful.) She asked to borrow it to show someone and somehow lost it. She felt so bad because she thought it was so wonderful. That always stuck with me.
    I guess I've always thought of myself as a writer - it's the published author thing that's the dream.

    Name in draw please. Again, loving people's histories.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Deb, I'm glad you still have some of those childhood stories. I wish I hadn't lost most of mine.

      Hey, you wrote the first "Cars"!!

      Delete
  34. In high school, I thought I wanted to be a writer. I wrote some short stories and bad poetry. Then I took a major detour. In college, I majored in science. Nine years of school and three teaching years later, I just felt like I'd reached the end of the road. With no clear job path and little desire to continue, I started writing again, this time with the patience and maturity to see a big project through to the end: the draft of my first novel. I've been writing ever since.

    Thanks for the blog post, Myra. Please enter my name in the drawing. Congratulations on the upcoming release! Love the cover!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Lara! I do think for many of us it takes a certain level of life experience and maturity to figure all this stuff out. Completing a novel-length manuscript does take perseverance and dedication.

      Delete
  35. I am a reader and I can't remember not reading, or at least being read to. I can't remember the books that my Daddy read to me but the first books that I remember reading were the Dick and Jane books at school. Then it was The Bobbsey Twins, Trixie Belden and of course Nancy Drew. So thankful that my Daddy loved reading and that he taught me to love it also! I am also thankful to all of you Seekers who continue to feed my addiction :-)
    Connie
    cps1950(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Familiar old favorites to many readers, Connie! Wonderful that your dad read to you. I love that most of my grandchildren are avid readers. Warms my writerly/grandmotherly heart!

      Delete
  36. Inspiring stories! I always refer to my third grade students as "Writers!" (Using my excited big girl teacher voice) because whenever you begin to think of yourself as a writer, that's when the adventure begins!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love it, Dana! And third grade is the perfect time to begin instilling the excitement of writing!

      Delete
    2. Fantastic, Dana. I always encourage my granddaughter who enjoys writing. When she was quite young, we "published" one of her stories in book format and then gushed over what she had created.

      Delete
    3. How fun, Debby! I'd love to do that for our granddaughter. One of these days . . .

      Delete
  37. I think I've always known! What I'm not 100% sure about is my specific genre. Right now I'm trying true heart warming short stories for Chicken Soup for the Soul. I'm enjoying it but we'll see if they accept any. I'd like to try for Guideposts and other places too someday.

    May God bless all of Seekerville!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Phyllis! Chicken Soup and similar anthologies can be a great way to test the waters with your writing. Good luck!

      Delete
    2. Phyllis, I published three Chicken Soup stories. The selection process was quite involved when I submitted and could take up to three years depending. Is it still that way?

      Delete
  38. PS my Speedbo goal was to write, edit and submit 5 stories this month. So far, by God's grace, I have submitted 1, drafted 2 others and outlined 2 more. So long as I finish them all, I'm on track. But I did hope to have already submitted 2 or 3 by now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's great, Phyllis! You're making real progress!

      Delete
  39. How interesting that so many of us started writing stories in our early years. Does that mean we were born to write? I'm claiming that's so! Especially now as I struggle with a book that does not want to be written! :)

    Great blog, Myra! Love the memes you created...and the treasured memories you shared from all our first steps as writers.

    Hugs!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Debby! Yes, it does seem that most of us started writing early in life. Or at least had very active imaginations as kids--and still do!

      Makes me think of the movie Project Guy and I saw a couple of weeks ago--Hidden Figures. Those brilliant women had math minds like you wouldn't believe! That's so far beyond my comprehension that I can't even imagine!!! But it was central to who they were, like writing is to us.

      Delete
    2. I want to see the movie! I am so NOT a math person.

      Delete
    3. Me neither, Debby. And the movie was outstanding!!!

      Delete
  40. I can remember winning two city-wide writing contests for the Humane Society in grades 5 and 8, and getting an A+ on a "novel" I wrote in grade 13 english which was for an assignment - we were to write a fantasy/fairy tale of our own and it could be as long as we wanted it to be, so I handed in two full composition books about an under-the-sea mermaid kingdom. My mom kept them and I've never seen them again. It's also the only fantasy/fairy tale I've ever written, but it did fuel me to write short stories in college. I detoured as well, because life and marriage and kids came along but I'm so happy to be back at it again. It's so inspiring to read all of your collective stories! Please put me in your drawing Myra - I think your cover is gorgeous.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How fun, Laurie! I hope you can track down those composition books someday--what a wonderful memory!

      Yes, I totally relate to the "marriage and kids" detour. But isn't it great to know the thrill of creativity is always right there waiting to be rediscovered?

      Delete
  41. I love this!

    I can't remember a specific "aha" moment, but I've known I wanted to be a writer since elementary school. I made up stories and was thrilled when our teacher handed us little blanket booklets to write them in. I was so proud that I made a real book!

    And then when I was around 8 or 9 years old, I got my hands on The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings and DEVOURED those stories. They were SO REAL to me back then, and I remember being amazed by the characters and history and adventure and wanting to create that for someone else someday.

    So here I am ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, Megan, another Lord of the Rings fan!!!!! I read them first in high school (late '60s), then again at least three more times since then. We have all the Peter Jackson movie versions on DVD. I never get tired of them!

      Delete
    2. I never get tired of them either! My husband and I are both fanatics... haha.

      I'd love to create such inspiring immersive worlds for my stories. Maybe someday after lots of practice ;) Tolkein was a master!

      Delete
    3. I feel the same way, Megan. What a brilliantly creative mind that man had!

      Delete
  42. I wrote for fun for most of my childhood, but I'm also a musician, and it was the latter in which I decided to pursue a career. Fast forward a couple of decades, and I'd earned two cello performance degrees and secured an orchestra position and a handful of private students. One night, I dreamed a story, and it bugged me so much the next morning that I sat down and wrote it out. It kept going, and going, and going, and though it is definitely not of publishable quality, it was how I started writing as an adult. Since then, I've written a handful of novels, the most recent of which I finally feel good enough about to start shopping around. But, like Debby Giusti above, it is still an extremely nerve-wracking experience to identify as a writer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. With a handle like "cellogal" (which autocorrect wants to turn into collegial), I knew you must be a cello player! I'm so impressed to know you have TWO performance degrees! We have a cello player who often accompanies our choir anthems, and it is such a beautiful sound.

      Well, I have news for you. Even with nearly 20 books in print, I still have times when it's hard to call myself a writer. The imposter syndrome is alive and rampant in the writing world!

      Delete
  43. Must take a moment to celebrate!

    I JUST WROTE THE LAST LINE OF MY WIP!!!!!

    (In ALL CAPS in honor of Julie!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Congrats, Myra! I'm rejoicing with you!!!

      And trying to stay warm. The wind is howling outside my office windows!!!

      Delete
    2. Thanks, Deb! Yes, stay warm! It's going to be a nippy few days!

      Delete
  44. Do Late Bloomers Have Greater Untapped Hidden Treasures?

    The beloved Betty Neels wrote her first book when she retired as a nurse at 60 years old. She wrote 134 single title books and many multi-author collections. Her books are 'Classics' on eHarlequin today. Go look at all the gorgeous watercolor paintings of her covers!

    NEVER GIVE UP!

    Single Novels Only

    • Sister Peters in Amsterdam (1969)
    • Amazon in an Apron (1969) aka A Match for Sister Maggy / Nurse in Holland
    • Blow Hot, Blow Cold (1970) aka Surgeon from Holland / Visiting Surgeon / Visiting Consultant
    • Tempestuous April (1970) aka Nurse Harriet Goes to Holland
    • Damsel in Green (1970)
    • Fate is Remarkable (1970)
    • Tulips for Augusta (1971)
    • Tangled Autumn (1971)
    • The Fifth Day of Christmas (1971)
    • Tabitha in Moonlight (1975)
    • Wish with the Candles (1972)
    • Saturday's Child (1972)
    • Uncertain Summer (1972)
    • Victory for Victoria (1972)
    • Winter of Change (1973)
    • Cassandra by Chance (1973)
    • Three for a Wedding (1973)
    • Stars Through the Mist (1973)
    • Enchanting Samantha (1973)
    • The Gemel Ring (1974)
    • The Magic of Living (1974)
    • Cruise to a Wedding (1974)
    • The End of the Rainbow (1974)
    • A Small Slice of Summer (1975)
    • Henrietta's Own Castle (1975)
    • A Star Looks Down (1975)
    • The Moon for Lavinia (1975)
    • Cobweb Morning (1975)
    • Heaven is Gentle (1975)
    • Roses for Christmas (1975)
    • The Edge of Winter (1976)
    • Esmeralda (1976)
    • A Gem of a Girl (1976)
    • Grasp a Nettle (1977)
    • A Matter of Chance (1977)
    • Pineapple Girl (1977)
    • The Little Dragon (1977)
    • The Hasty Marriage (1977)
    • Britannia All at Sea (1978)
    • Philomena's Miracle (1978)
    • Never While the Grass Grows (1978)
    • Ring in a Teacup (1978)
    • Sun and Candlelight (1979)
    • The Promise of Happiness (1979)
    • Midnight Sun's Magic (1979)
    • Winter Wedding (1979)
    • Last April Fair (1980)
    • The Silver Thaw (1980)
    • Caroline's Waterloo (1980)
    • Hannah (1980)
    • When May Follows (1980)aka Surgeon in Charge
    • Not Once But Twice (1981)
    • An Apple from Eve (1981)
    • Heaven Round the Corner (1981)
    • Judith (1982)
    • A Girl to Love (1982)
    • All Else Confusion (1982)
    • A Dream Came True (1982)
    • Midsummer Star (1983)
    • Roses and Champagne (1983)
    • Never Say Goodbye (1983)
    • Never Too Late (1983)
    • Once for All Time (1984)
    • Year's Happy Ending (1984)
    • Polly (1984)
    • Heidelberg Wedding (1984)
    • At the End of the Day (1985)
    • A Summer Idyll (1985)
    • Magic in Vienna (1985)
    • Never the Time and the Place (1985)
    • A Girl Named Rose (1986)
    • Two Weeks to Remember (1986)
    • The Secret Pool (1986)
    • Stormy Springtime (1987)
    • Off with the Old Love (1987)
    • The Doubtful Marriage (1987)
    • A Gentle Awakening (1987)
    • The Course of True Love (1988)
    • When Two Paths Meet (1988)
    • Paradise for Two (1988)
    • The Fateful Bargain (1989)
    • No Need to Say Good-Bye (1989)
    • The Chain of Destiny (1989)
    • Hilltop Tryst (1989)
    • The Convenient Wife (1990)
    • The Girl with Green Eyes (1990)
    • A Suitable Match (1990)
    • Roses Have Thorns
    • The Most Marvellous Summer (1991)
    • The Final Touch (1991)
    • A Little Moonlight (1991)
    • A Kind of Magic (1991)
    • An Unlikely Romance (1992)
    • Romantic Encounter (1992)
    • The Quiet Professor (1992)
    • An Old-Fashioned Girl (1992)
    • The Awakened Heart (1993)
    • At Odds with Love (1993)
    • A Girl in a Million (1993)
    • Dearest Love
    • A Secret Infatuation (1994)
    • Wedding Bells for Beatrice (1994)
    • A Christmas Wish
    • Waiting for Deborah (1994)
    • The Bachelor's Wedding
    • Dearest Mary Jane (1994)
    • Fate Takes a Hand (1995)
    • The Right Kind of Girl
    • The Mistletoe Kiss (1997)
    • Marrying Mary (1996)
    • A Kiss for Julie (1996)
    • The Vicar's Daughter (1996)
    • Only by Chance'(1996)
    • The Daughter of the Manor (1997)
    • Love Can Wait (1997)
    • The Fortunes of Francesca (1997)
    • Nanny by Chance (1998)
    • An Ideal Wife (1998)
    • A Winter Love Story (1998)
    • Discovering Daisy (1999)
    • A Good Wife (1999)
    • Making Sure of Sarah (1999)
    • An Independent Woman (2001)

    You Can Do It!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, Vince, what an impressive career! Just browsing the list, I can see she usually wrote several books a year. I'm blown away!

      So . . . if I'm doing the math correctly, she was still writing books in her 90s! Double wow!!!

      Delete
    2. I love this, Vince! Thanks for sharing!!

      Delete
  45. Beautiful cover, Myra.....please put me in the drawing. I loved the other books in this series!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Jackie! I hope you'll enjoy this one just as much!

      Delete
  46. Love this post, Myra, and love reading all the little snippets about how everyone learned they wanted to be an author.

    Warm fuzzies on this cold, cold day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, lots of warm fuzzies! Debby was just commenting about the wind. I see it's picking up outside my window now, too!

      Delete
  47. Hi Myra,
    When my second grade teacher asked everyone what they wanted to be when they grew upn everyone chimed they hoped to pursue the same careers as their parents. However, I said 'writer' instead of nurse or accountant. Mrs. O called my parents to alert them! But at seven, I was already plotting story lines as I rode my bike to and from school. Then, in rather unwieldy penmanship, I created my first lines of a girl who rides her bike into mysteries she's bound to solve. Particularity interesting to me today, since mysteries are probably my least favorite genre. LOL. Thanks for the post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a great memory, Lyndee! How did your parents respond to Mrs. O's revelation?

      I love the idea of a girl riding her bike into mysteries, but so funny that now mysteries aren't your cup of tea!

      Delete
    2. Let's just say that one of my mother's biggest disappointments is that I didn't become a nurse. ;)

      Delete
    3. Congrats on THE END! Whoohoo!

      Delete
    4. Oh, no, Lyndee. Sorry!

      Yes, great to reach the end. Now I can let it "rest" a week or two and begin working on a new proposal.

      Delete
  48. LOVED this post today, Myra! How fun to see different Seeker's comments about when they knew they were a writer/wanted to write. The kittens book Pam H showed was so sweet - - reminds me of a childhood book I had (many many years ago, LOL).
    I remember writing my "own version" (haha) of Nancy Drew books as a child. I also loved looking at the Sears catalogs that my Mama had, so I'd even write and illustrate my own catalogs! Trying to remember what I had "for sale" - - most likely I'd draw something cat-related...even back then. ;)
    My Speedbo word count is not where I'd like it to be, but it's moving up, so that's good, right? :)
    Please enter me in your drawing - - I loved Rose and can't wait to read her story now.
    Hugs from WINDY Georgia, Patti Jo :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, yes, progress is progress, Patti Jo!

      So you have always been a cat lover? How sweet! And wow, what memories of the Sears catalog! Those were the days, huh?

      Delete
  49. P.S. Oh my stars!! Just now saw the list that Vince shared of Betty Neels's titles - - WOW!! What an inspiration for those of us who "aren't kids" LOL! :)

    ReplyDelete
  50. Another P.S. - YAY MYRA - - just saw you've finished your WIP!! CELEBRATE!! (Setting out a warm Georgia Pecan pie just for you - - Enjoy!) :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, yum!!! And today is Pi(e) Day!!! Daughter brought a pie home from the grocery store, and I just heard she's making shepherd's pie for supper.

      One nice thing about having the kids living with us is that our daughter has been doing most of the cooking! We figure it's a lot easier for someone used to cooking for 6 to add to more than it is for people like us who have been cooking for 2 to try to feed 6 more!

      Delete
    2. That should have been "add 2 more."

      Delete
  51. I always enjoyed books from the time I was able to understand my mother's voice as she read stories to my older siblings and I each night. I made up oral stories in the car or on recordings into my dad's tape machine. As a young adult I successfully tried my hand at writing articles for our denominational magazine. When I had my own children I made a few picture books for them. I've written a few articles for my professional magazines and now I'm trying novels! I'm turtling along the Speedbo highway and making progress.
    Please throw my name in the hat for your latest book, Myra.Thanks for sharing with us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Writing has definitely been a big part of your life, Bettie! Those picture books you made for your children will be keepsakes, I'm sure! Glad to hear you're make steady Speedbo progress!

      Delete
  52. Myra, My husband told me last week that he and my family all knew I was a writer, it took me longer to start putting the stories on paper, though. I started writing in high school and have notebooks full of stories but it took me a while to start writing after I left college.

    As far as books, I'm very fortunate my parents emphasized reading, and even when they didn't have a lot of money, they made sure we had lots of children's books around the house when I was a toddler on up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's so cool, Tanya--that your husband and family all recognized you had the gift of writing before you acknowledged it! Your parents' emphasis on reading played a part, I'm sure. Books make such a difference in kids' lives, from early on.

      Delete
  53. Stopping by to say hi! You all inspire me! I can't remember when I first knew I wanted to write, but it wasn't until 2006 that I realized it was possible.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Christina! Glad you discovered the possibilities!

      Delete
  54. I cannot remember a time when I wasn't a writer. I have fond memories of entering several books in the Young Authors contests in elementary school which was so much fun.

    I loved the encouragement about the 100 words. I'm a little behind on my Speedbo goals, but I am getting some words written so it's more than I had before. :)

    I love the cover of your new book Myra.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Loraine! Some days the words just don't flow, or we have too many interruptions, or for whatever reason the writing isn't happening--or isn't happening as fast as we'd like it to. We have to cut ourselves some slack and try again tomorrow.


      Nice you have those memories of entering the Young Authors contests! Sounds very special!

      Delete
  55. When did I want to be a writer. Honestly I have always made up stories and as a kid I remember acting out the parts of my characters. I think that imagination is what has always drawn me to the world of books. I decided I wanted to write stories almost 30 years ago, but didn't really get serious about it until about 10 years ago. I don't tell people I'm a writer. I guess I still don't think I am because I've never published anything. I have won some contests, but that's not the same thing. To me it just isn't validated unless it's in print for others to read it. I journey on...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I understand, Linda. Completely. As hard as it is, though, do try to start claiming the "writer" identity, because if you are writing, you ARE a writer. And people who are not writers don't EVER get published! Keep doing what you're doing, and see Debby's post today (Wednesday) for some inspiration on dreaming big!

      Delete
  56. I loved, loved this, Myra! So cool to read about those early dreams and goals. Thank you so much. I've wanted to write for as long as I remember, and I often made my own newspapers, assigning different columns, stories and "beats" to different siblings. Although I kept most of the cool assignments, LOL. I also started lots of really, really bad books (never finished them of course) inspired by Nancy Drew, and all the other girl heroines at the time. Wonderful memories.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love reading about you gals who made your own newspapers as kids--what fun! Yes, wonderful memories!

      Delete
  57. There have been glimpses for a while, but my deciding to be a writer came after I started essentially writing a newsletter for an alumni group. I actually earned money as a writer, before deciding to be a writer. My first was middle school, when I won $100 for a 100 words or less essay. It's my most profitable writing venture to date, given that I was paid just over a dollar a word. :-) After that, when I lived in Japan, I sometimes wrote stories for Radio Japan, an overseas shortwave broadcast.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A dollar a word is definitely good pay! Great that you had that early validation, plus those opportunities later in life!

      Delete
  58. I'm late to the party! I've been gone all day (and crashed after a late dinner). What fun to read these stories! Thank you all for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's been great to read everyone's early writing and reading memories! Get some rest, Missy!

      Delete
  59. I enjoyed reading about everyone's dreams of being a writer. I knew I wanted to be a teacher from about age 8. I use to make my brothers play school,and I taught them to read.
    What a great post.
    Becky B.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good for you, Becky--keep those brothers in line! ;-D

      Delete
  60. I knew I wanted to be a writer when my 8th grade teacher submitted my short story to a contest. She loved it. It didn't win or even get honorable mention. I was hooked. I'd found an outlet for my imagination.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's wonderful! I love it when teachers encourage creativity.

      Delete
  61. I have dreamed to be a writer for a long time, but besides a few short stories that I wrote when I wad quite young, I haven't written anything much. But I still dream of being a published writer one day. As far as reading I think it may have been the Mandie mystery series! Loved them!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Abigail! Sounds like you're getting mentally ready to dive back into the writing world. Go for it!

      Delete
  62. Myra, this piece was such fun. I've been writing one thing or another ever since I can remember. Stories, poems, and (I know it's weird) researching for school projects. For a junior high music history paper, I decided to examine all musical instruments. I turned in a mammoth report...50 or 60 pages...thought my teacher was going to have a heart attack! haha! Luckily, he didn't and I still love to write. Even more than then! I especially love the "idea moment" and sharing my work. Blessings and hugs to you and yes, "Speedbo rocks"! I've got over 12K so far. Thank you all!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great going on Speedbo, Rebecca! Oh, wow, I can see why your teacher would be overwhelmed by your "mammoth report"! Yes, those "idea moments" are very, very special.

      Delete
  63. I remember before I could even print, I would collect handfuls of paper (stacks, more like) and hide in our play house and make squiggly lines across the page. I remember thinking I was trying to "write" a book. Thankfully, I didn't have to worry about editing back then! ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How fun, Angela! Reminds me of all the squiggly "art" our 3-year-old granddaughter loves creating!

      Delete
  64. I'm loving this post, Myra! It's not just fun but also uplifting to hear the stories of the Seekerville writers and their beginnings. My mother kept some of my childhood poems and sketches, and in later years I had devotionals and magazine articles published. But I didn't see myself as a writer until long after I'd finished writing my second novel. That's when someone in the writing community pointed out I was doing some serious writing, therefore I was a writer. However, I still have a long way to go before I'll be able to feel like a successful one. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Carol! Congratulations on the devotionals and magazine articles. Those are how I earned my first publishing credits! You are definitely a writer!

      Delete