Thursday, March 26, 2015

Ordinary Woman Wants to Write Amazing Things

Over that last few years I’ve dabbled in revealing my hidden secrets, too afraid to really open up and let the world see who I am.
I want to be a writer, people won’t read my books if they know the real me, I told myself.
But I’ve learned something recently (we’re never too old to learn), I’m not writing books to hide my past, I’m writing books to reveal it. My past is the whole reason I’m writing at all. Let me begin at the beginning…

I was born in Rockledge Florida in 1967. Influenced from birth by my father, the rocket scientist, I toddled the halls of NASA mesmerized by the rooms of giant, chugging and blinking computers and fell in love with all things science and science fiction. It was the height of the space-race and watching rockets blast off for the moon was a regular event in my family. 

Growing up on Merritt Island with a deeply religious mother and an agnostic father who’d been raised with a witch doctor as a nanny in the Bahamas, my world was full of unimaginable intrigue. Like a sponge I listened, though I didn’t speak until I was almost three, I understood all that was happening around me. 
 Star Trek and Star Wars were my first big concepts in the world of make-believe, not the usual fairytale, but I wanted to climb aboard a spaceship more than any princess wanted a glass slipper or a house full of dwarfs. It wasn’t until Harry Potter came along and shook this magical fantasy in my face that I began to imagine a world where all things belonged, magic, science, science fiction and religion. The possibilities were boundless to me. I truly believed that science and time would lend themselves nicely to the world of make-believe and verify that magic might truly be possible one day. 
 That magic seemed out of reach when I struggled in school. Learning disabilities were many times undiagnosed or untreated in those days and no one realized that I was dyslexic for years. At which time I had already been held back a grade and called lazy, stupid, and even slapped by a teacher for misspelling my last name on a spelling test.
 My childhood dreams had become a nightmare until the day I overheard my mother telling my father that she’d read about some research on, “something called dyslexia.” It was then that light found its way to me again, my mother bought me “read along” records (big black discs made of vinyl which spun around a turntable and played music) of Winnie the Pooh. After, that I laid on our red-shag carpet for hours listening (I was good at that) and memorizing the shape of each individual word. Once my mother proved to the school that the “treatment” was working, they set me up with a program called SR8 and four years later, high school now, I could read at a sixth grade reading level.

It was a long road with many bumps and bruises along the path. I dropped out of high school in the ninth grade because I was swallowed up and forgotten. By sixteen I was emancipated because my parents were in the middle of a nasty divorce and just before my seventeenth birthday I found myself alone and pregnant. 

Too broke for cable television I turned to books and their authors quickly became my best friends. Although it was slow, and sometimes painful, I learned to read and read well. By the time my son entered school I’d married and added a couple more children to my brood, but we were still too broke for things like books (which my then husband deemed a non-necessity – two guesses as to why he’s my ex), so I wrote stories for my children, lovingly illustrated with markers, colored pencils and crayons (I still have a couple).  

Today, at 47 years young, I’m a happily remarried military wife, mother and grandmother. I have seven children in all, five of whom are grown, and two toddlers (my sweet husband I adopted my eldest son’s babies two and a half years ago when he was unable to care for them).

Currently I reside in Florida after living much of my life in the Pacific Northwest (through no fault of my own – no offense Seattle but you’re just so gray). Thanks to the military we found ourselves in Georgia five years ago, where we both fell in love with the south. Now I’m finally home, back in the warmth of the sunshine state and once again dreaming of a universe overflowing with possibilities. 
I began writing for a small newspaper in Oregon in 2009 and since then I’ve completed seven novels and a small horde of outlines for future projects. I am in the process of completing my BA in Creative Writing and I hope to one day soon be able to share my work with those who share my love of all things strange and to empower women of all ages to find their superpower.  

So, that’s my story. Now what’s yours? Feel free to share with me in the comments, send me a friend request on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter. I’m here for you.
Want to do more? Check these amazing women out and get inspired…

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