When I was 11 years old, my family lived in a house that had an office area in a closet in my parents’ bedroom. I add the word “area” to “office” because there were not really any office-like goings-on in there. It was more of a cluttered storage space that happened to contain a desk. A desk and a cream-yellow typewriter that sometimes spent time tapping away on the desk when it was not being carted around the house by me, the 11 year old who loved it. I loved it because it was a typewriter. It had buttons to push and it actually printed letters! On paper! With a ribbon that was both black AND RED! Red! Amazing!
This office area had blue carpet. Somewhere between navy and electric blue. It had a brown accordion door that seemed to exist only to hide the junk that one might pile in such a space. The junk that we piled in that space.
I was an avid reader as a kid. I loved to check out piles of books from the library. I loved fiction that let me imagine myself in magical places with hidden gardens and secret rooms. I read so much that the dialog in my head sometimes took on a narrative tone as though I were living in a book that was being read by someone else.
For a sixth grade assignment, I wrote a story about William and Airabella who met by chance when William happened to save Airabella from a fire-breathing dragon. They, of course, fell in love and, of course, were forbidden to marry. At the last moment before giving up, they stumbled upon a letter that William’s great grandfather had written and, inexplicably, foresaw that William would someday marry a woman named Airabella. I got huge praise from my teacher on this story. I felt like a writer.
With an 11 year-old head full of fiction and a successful story under my belt, I sat down with that cute little cream-yellow typewriter intent on writing a book. A romance novel. As I tapped out all of the dreamy fine points of my story, I imagined myself being interviewed many years in the future. I would explain to my interviewer that I had, incredibly, written my first best-seller at the age of 11. People would be amazed at this feat.
My book only filled a few pages and, with that, I had already exhausted my plot. I really did not want anyone to read my attempt at greatness, so I tore up the paper and threw it in the garbage. Wow, how I wish I still had that piece of writing now. I can’t remember a thing about it but I am so curious!
After my romance novel failure, I started writing in journals. They started out as “summer journals” that I ordered from a book club through my school. I filled in each and every day of the summer journals with such thrilling prose as, “we went to the lake and swam today. It was cold.”
As I grew up, my journaling evolved from a summer tradition into a year-round gathering of my rambling. In college I became enamored with poetry. I, being the deep and amazingly unique thinker that I believed I was, started to write poems. I wrote most of them for class assignments but a few for myself. I loved the mysterious nature of poems but couldn’t make a connection with where I believed they belonged in the practical world. They, like abstract art, mystified me. I enjoyed the process of writing them and loved some of my early writings, but poetry was a crush for me rather than a lasting connection.
During my poetry-writing phase, though, I experienced my first, “I have to write right now!” moment. Feeling that way, like I have to sit down with my laptop immediately, is a feeling that I adore. It is as though the words stack themselves in just the right order in my brain. I have a lucid and direct channel to my creative mind and writing pours itself onto my pages with little effort from me. Times when I experience that flow are the times when I write my best pieces. I love, love, love when I am interrupted by the insistence of words. Even when I’m supposed to be sleeping. Even when I’m on the treadmill. Whenever.
In 2005, I started this blog. I have written about everything from road rage to vegetarian food. I ramble creatively. I share practicality. For four and a half years, I have poured many of my “I have to write NOW!” moments into my blog.
This year a new project was born in my right brain. It is a culmination of my passions.: writing, health, fitness, green living, counseling, simplifying, and more. It is all of the things that I love to talk about and all of the things that I have researched for years just because I have been interested. It answers many of the questions that I am frequently asked by others. I hope that my experience and information will help others find answers to questions that I too have chased. I will share my pursuit of a life that is nourished by health, creativity, community, and simplicity. URL coming soon!