I have always envied writers who make statements
like I wrote my first story at the age
of five. Or, When I was ten, I began
my first novel.
Those experiences were not a part of my writing
journey. In fact, the opposite was true. I had no idea I wanted to write, or
even if I could write, until I had approached fifty years of age. Perhaps I was
having a mid-life crisis and didn’t know it. As I look back at that time in my
life, I didn’t know myself at all.
At the age of thirty I had left teaching second
graders behind and became a stay-at-home mom. Years flew by until our two
children had gone. One graduated from college as one enrolled. With too much
time on my hands, what would I do with all this freedom? For one thing I could
travel, and be gone for days, or even weeks, without worrying about teenagers
congregating in our empty, and inviting, home.
I accompanied my husband to one of his many
conferences and looking for a good book to read, visited a nearby
bookstore. Normally, I read
Historical or literary fiction, but I came back to our hotel room with a book on
writing exercises. I began ten-minute segments of free
writing. I was astounded at the words that fell across the page, and I was
hooked. From there I began writing stories of growing up in Appalachia where
daddy was a coal miner and mother managed the company store.
My first tiny article, accepted by Blue Ridge
Country magazine, was entitled Appalachian Humor. Since that time my articles
and stories have found homes in various newspapers and magazines.
Now my first novel, At The Bridge, Adventures of
Agnes Series, will be released this fall by Lighthouse Publishing of the
Carolinas. My mother’s spunky spirit lives on in the character of Agnes Hopper.
If you are a writer, how did you begin?