A Brief History of April in Photos
Dreams Do Come True
I have had a life-long love affair with books. My parents were both great readers and they introduced me to the joy of books at an early age. I can't remember a time when I didn't jot down notes for potential stories.
In high school, I was fortunate to be placed in a creative writing class. That might be the first time anyone ever read what I wrote. It didn't occur to me to try to get my work published until many years later.
Along the way, I collected many rejection leters. Some were form letters, no bigger than a postcard; I guess they didn't want to waste the paper on me. Eventually, I received some encouraging letters, and I often referred back to those letters when I was having a BWD. That's shorthand for Bad Writing Day.
After my children were born, I began to attend a Park and Recreation class in Redding, Connecticut with Sarah Nye. I met some incredible writers in those classes, and together we formed a group called "Chapter Seven." Someone suggested we call ourselves "Chapter Eleven" since we weren't selling too much of our work.
Many years went by and I continued to write everything, including short stories, newspaper articles, picture books, middle grade books, young adult novels and even a couple of mysteries. Some essays, newspaper articles and a short story were published, but I continued to collect rejections for my novels. Very nice rejections. One was so good, I wanted to print it on a T-shirt and wear it to my next writing class.
I attended classes in the graduate creative writing program at Ohio State as well as a few in the Iowa Writers Fesival at the University of Iowa.
Then one day I decided to live by the quote, "Leap and the net will appear." I sent the first few chapters of WAITING TO DISAPPEAR to an agent I found in an agent directory. He read my work, called to say he loved it and a few weeks later he sold my novel at auction. Life is good.
That's me in the picture standing in front of a really neat convertible. My mother probably picked out the outfit, but I think the sunglasses were my idea. Notice my hair style. I liked to wear my hair in braids or dog-ears, which consisted of a ponytail sprouting from above each ear. Little did I know as I posed in the Florida sun, that my days of easy hair styles were numbered. Soon after that picture was taken, my mom began to give me Tonette home permanents, three hours of torture that involved stinky lotion that made my eyes tear and plastic torture rods wound tight against my scalp. I'm amazed I have any hair left.
If you read my novel WAITING TO DISAPPEAR, notice that I gave Buddy my "straight, fly-a-way, brown hair," and she also protested after one too many Tonette home permanents.
My Uncle Matty and I were born 4 months apart. We always lived close to each other and according to my grandmother and mother, we fought like brother and sister. Sometimes they locked us outside and made us play in the yard so we couldn't drive them crazy. I am the oldest, but when we played, we took turns being boss. As you can see from the photo, we liked to pretend to be cowboys.