Friday, March 30, 2018

Storyteller's Journey

My Quirky Confession

Since embarking on my storyteller's journey ten years ago, my path to publication has taken me from coast to coast as I've attempted to learn from numerous accomplished authors. Some of those trips coincided with visits to my sons. (Two of them - Kevin & Brian - reside in Brooklyn, NY, and my eldest, David, lived in Los Angeles, CA, with his wife, Jessica from 2014-2017. David & Jessica recently moved back to the Pacific Northwest.) Photo credit: Public Domain.

Invariably, while attending workshops and conferences, I'm asked (like many writers) the question: "How long have you been writing?" My response has usually included an explanation about being a former dental hygienist who sustained a wrist injury and turned to writing. Fellow writers are always polite, but a few have looked at me like I'm an alien who has landed on their exclusive planet where only talented writers, authors, illustrators, and industry professionals can survive.

I don't blame them.

I entered the world of children's literature late; my college degree is unrelated to writing; and I approach my craft as a mission, not a business. Why, then, do I spend my time writing stories for children?

Here's my quirky confession:

After my wrist injury, that left me unable to continue in my dental hygiene career, I plummeted into a multi-month depression. Since I've always been a believer that "everything happens for a reason," I did a lot of soul searching. I did a lot of whining. I did a lot of praying. I realized the only other talent I remotely possessed - that might become a second career - was writing. (I'd been told by a high school English teacher that I should consider being a writer. I had also had two poems published in a poetry anthology in my twenties.) However, I had no idea how to become a serious writer, and I had no idea what to write.

Then, while spending time at a cabin in the Olympic National Forest, a story dropped into my mind. A complete outline for a children's book! A novel about anthropomorphic animals. I returned home and enrolled in two creative writing college courses. Years later, my outline became an adventure fantasy called: The Tale of Willaby Creek. (See sidebar.)

So, while I have every reason NOT to write, I CHOOSE to write.
Writing stories for children has saved my life. Yes, I hope to become a successful author, but no matter what the future holds, I will write. My deep love of reading and writing has found an outlet to blossom at last. I hope to inspire young readers with my stories, the way books inspired me as a youngster. Since my husband is a professional oil painter, and my illustrator, we thoroughly love  pursuing our passion for the arts together. We each hope to make the world just a little bit better by the creations we leave behind. What better way to spend one's life?

This quote by J.K. Rowling has become one of my favorites:

Happy Easter!  Happy Passover!


  1. Beautiful story, beautifully written.

  2. God works in mysterious ways...the world is BLESSED with your gift of writing! Barbara