I’ve never been a good sleeper. Okay, make that a good ‘fall-a-sleeper’. So, for as long as I can remember, I’ve been telling myself stories to help me sleep. The result is that I have a mind chocked full of storylines, just waiting to be nurtured to their full potential.
Throughout my lifetime, I’ve attempted to add flesh to some of these story skeletons, but I always got in my own way. At first, I blamed my failure on my OCDC. Now, I’m no ‘Monk’ – but typos, strikeouts and eraser smudges always did make me cringe. And let’s face it; even the most proficient typist (which I’m not) is going to make a mistake now and again.
Then the world changed and computers became as common as coffeepots. I have to admit, this freed me of my housekeeping worries. It was time to put up or shut up.
So I made my first foray into cyberspace and searched for writing classes. I found, what I thought was perfect – a novel writing course.
The instructor—a certified published author—was using the book “Get That Novel Started” as a text. There were about seven of us—from all over the country (and at least one from England), from all different walks of life, working in different genres and at different points in their writings.
This is how the class went: She’d tell us to read the first two chapters. Then we were to ‘continue working on our chapter’.
Now, my mom tells a story of when she was first married. She had somehow remained blissfully unaware of anything to do with cooking before she wed—my dad even had to teach her how to make coffee. As her first Thanksgiving as a wife approached, she planned on cooking her first holiday feast. (Why, I’ve never figured out, since even after I was in college, my great-grandmother cooked Thanksgiving dinner—but I digress.) She pulled out the cookbook she’d received as a wedding present and turned to the pages on ‘Turkey’. And there, in what she had expected to be her bible of information, she found the words: “Prepare turkey for roasting as usual.”
So there it was: Instructions technically correct—and absolutely useless. I learned a very valuable and expensive lesson then – there are some things you just have to ‘do’. Just take a leap of faith and go for it.
And there begins my journey.