As I settled down into my chair to write this blog, I was trying to think of something to write about and a memory snuck up on me.
Back when dirt was new, I dreamed of being a writer. I don’t remember exactly how old I was when this dream took hold, but I remember commandeering the family’s card table, a folding chair, and my parent’s portable manual typewriter. Yep, old school. Not even electric. Just push keys and a return bar you grabbed and hauled back to advance to the next line.
My first opus was a Christmas play. My father was an actor for the local children’s theater and I wanted to write a children’s play about the true meaning of Christmas as told by Santa Claus. I remember assembling my tools – paper and typing eraser – and I had my reference material – our family Bible. Then, focused on my goal, I pounded away on that typewriter until my play was complete. I remember thumbing back and forth through that Bible to find the various aspects of the story, determined to keep the story accurate and factual, but entertaining. I’ve no idea how long it took, but I remember I did finish it and read it to my parents who praised me for my effort. I don’t think they believed I’d finish it; I was young enough to believe that I’d always finish my writing. Ah, the optimism of youth.
Fast forward to today where I’m in the midst of a triple move. Yeah, we sold our house in December and had to move in with my Mom temporarily while we looked for a new house to purchase–Move One. Last month, we bought our dream home and moved everything into it except me–Move Two. Now we’re working to pack Mom’s things so we can move her and me into the house this month–Move Three. Yeah, life has been a little crazy.
Anywho, staying at Mom’s means I don’t have an office, so once more I’m writing on a card table and today it hit me. I’d come full circle to that girl with a dream. Thanks to technology, I don’t need paper OR erasers and any reference material I need is as close as a Google search, but I did it.
I AM A WRITER!
I’m looking forward to the release of my third book, ACES DOWN, courtesy of The Wild Rose Press and I’m old enough to realize that finishing the book isn’t all that easy. But it’s still just as exciting as it was that day I pulled the last sheet of paper from the platen, tapped it into alignment with the other sheets, and carried it in to show to my parents.
Yeah, that moment when I type “The End” is a thrill that will never get old. And every time, I celebrate with as much joy and pride as that little girl seated at the rickety card table in front of that old portable typewriter.
Do you have a full circle type story to share? I’d love to hear it.
Writing is a solitary pursuit. The enduring cliche of a writer crouched over their papers or keyboard exists because it is a truth. That’s why it’s so wonderful when a writer, such as yours truly, can find a person or group who not only understands their experience, but shares their obsession. Such a group is the James River Writers.
This organization, established in 2002, offers writers of all genres and levels of experience a place to gather with like-minded souls to learn, share, and enjoy the craft of writing. The monthly Writing Shows and annual JRW Annual Conference are truly watershed events for the RVA writing community. I count my membership in this organization as one of the keys to my progress as a writer, and cannot say enough in praise of everyone who has worked to make James River Writers a valuable resource for writers. My involvement with the group evolved from member attendee to volunteer to hostess for the monthly soiree known as Capital Ale House Writers Wednesday, where writers gather to imbibe and converse. JRW has been a part of my writing experience for years now.
And this year, I have the thrill and honor of being named the James River Writers’ 2014 Emyl Jenkins Award recipient.
The Emyl Jenkins Award is to honor “an organization or person who, as Emyl did, inspires a love of writing and writing education in Virginia.” Emyl Jenkins was a lovely woman with a ready smile and a tremendous gift for encouraging others to reach their writing goals. You can learn more about this delightful lady through one remembrance from the Times Dispatch.
To my regret, I only knew Emyl briefly. She passed not long after I joined the James River Writers community, an event that was both sudden and devastating to those who knew and loved her, as well as to the writing community as a whole. She always had a smile and a friendly welcome, even to a newbie like myself.
The Emyl Jenkins Award was begun in 2011 and past recipients are:
- 2011 – Jean Anderson/Richmond NaNoWriMo Liaison and WriterHouse/Charlottesville
- 2012 – Ed Lull/Richmond Poet and Virginia Screenwriters Forum
- 2013 – Sophia Volpi & Louise Ball/Charlottesville NaNoWriMo Liaisons and Hampton Roads Writers
Thank you, James River Writers, for this amazing honor! It’s shameful for a writer to admit, but I don’t have enough words to express my deep feelings about this award. Suffice it to say, I am certain I will still be pinching myself on Sunday, October 19th, when I’m called to accept the Award at this year’s Conference. A conference where I will once more be surrounded by the fantastic community of RVA writers.