I’ve always wanted to write. When I was little, before I knew the alphabet, I scribbled many a “letter” to to my Uncle Buddy and I’m quite sure that between these letters I must have created a great American baby novel. Mom decided to teach me to write before I was in school so Buddy would be able to read some actual words in my little messages to him. I’ve gone through periods of writing quite a bit. In high school I could be seen sitting in the hallway madly scribbling away in a notebook, hoping I wouldn’t be late for my next class but I just had to write and was in a space where I allowed myself to do it. There have been periods where I would get caught up in oh what is often called “The Rat Race” but I’m pretty sure that is a misnomer–I like rats and have faith that their races are fun rather than stressful. Anyway, I’ve also been pretty shy and secretive about my love of writing so it wasn’t until 1986 that I attempted to send something in to a magazine. My essay, “Secret Dreams”, was accepted and appeared in the March issue of “Rider”. Three years later, another essay, “Wetlands’ Role in Water Quality Enhancement” appeared in the City of Bellevue’s Stream Team magazine.
It has been a long road between 1989 and now with some brief detours of jotting things down on the nearest scrap of paper or partially used, abandoned notebooks, typing stuff on the computer that I failed to back up and subsequently lost… Oh well…I finally decided to let myself write again. I came across a wonderful online literary journal, Toasted Cheese. This journal run by people who love writing and reading, publishes short pieces and poetry, hosts contests and is also a writer’s friend. They have some great exercises and prompts to help fellow writers through those days when one is feeling stuck. After a year and a half of writing almost daily, I decided to give one of their writing contests a try.
I loved the challenge of a genre I have not written in (mystery), a time limit, a word count limit and a theme. I can’t express how thrilled I was to receive the news that I had actually won this contest and that my story would be published in the quarterly journal! My story: “Fixies Adrift”.
What do you think?