The first time I wrote a word of fiction, it was with a number two pencil on wide-ruled loose leaf paper while sitting cross legged on my twin bed. I was sixteen years old and the story was about teenagers surviving in a dystopian world. I can’t remember where the idea came from, but I still have those pages tucked in a box with all my other youthful flights of fancy I committed to paper.
Life interrupted my writing until I was twenty-four and a severe mental breakdown changed everything. All that beautiful creative energy was turned inward where I used it to come up with horrible ways I could die. At my therapist’s suggestion, I turned that energy outward to writing. With my mother’s encouragement, my father’s story idea, and an old Gateway laptop that still used flopping disks (I’m dating myself here), I embarked on a writing adventure that took me to the 1930s and an alternate universe of magic and mystery. it opened the gates to my imagination and the words poured out. I have yet to finish that story, but it paved the way for my future.
In my early thirties, I took a job that required a train commute of one and a half hours one way. It was during this time, sitting on a hard plastic seat of a swaying train, that I wrote the first draft of a mystery novel that to this day is still in progress. It’s a trunk novel that may never see the light of day, but over the years it has been rewritten many times and given my craft a boost. I’ve learned a lot while writing that novel; mostly about what not to do. I still have plenty of room for improvement.
Now in my forties, I have graduated from the TV tray I used to write Blind Date, Only You, and Wounded Heart, to a glass desk tucked into a corner of the lower-level family room. I have two picture windows that let in the light, a sofa if I choose to write with my feet up, a small television that I turn on for background noise, and an aging laptop that gives me fits. Between the computer and the iPad, I get the words written.
One edge of my desk is lined with reference books and sticky notes. A couple of white boards and dry erase pens sit ready and waiting for me to chart out a timeline. In front of me sit knick-knacks, skulls, and unicorn stuffies that make me smile, as well as print copies of my own books that serve as reminders of past success. On the walls are pictures of encouragement from my parents and my name tag from the first romance writer’s conference I attended. On the TV stand are incense and candles in scents that promote focus and creativity.
In this corner, I have created my own little world where I can leave reality behind and create love stories for others to enjoy. My writing space has changed and evolved over the decades, as has my writing. One thing I know will not change anytime soon, is the fact that I will always be writing. no matter where I am, or the medium I use, I will continue to put words on paper, spin tales of mystery and romance, and entertain my readers for as long as I am able.