For twenty years.
Then in 1993 I was teaching seventh grade reading as a full-time sub while the regular teacher was on sabbatical leave. One day the junior high librarian knocked at my door and asked me if I wanted a stack of newspapers. I'd have enough copies of the daily local newspaper for the entire class for at least a week. I'd wanted to teach a unit on reading the newspaper. I pored through sixteen filing cabinet drawers, but couldn't find any teaching material. I checked the curriculum catalogs to no avail.
So I decided to write one myself. Teaching the Newspaper, written on a Brother word processor, was my first venture into self-publishing. A local newspaper bought it to use with their Newspaper in Education program. Homeschooling parents found it easy to use and practical.
On the heels of writing the newspaper curriculum came a flood of story ideas, which I'd scribble on scraps of paper and stuff into a file folder. Then I read about the Guideposts Writers Workshop Contest. I didn't make the cut, but the story I entered was published in the September 1995 issue as "Wisdom from an Old Refrigerator."
When I told my Aunt Betty, my godmother who knew me better than I knew myself and understood me better than my own mother, that I was getting back into writing, she said, "It's about time."
And so the journey began. Or should I say, re-began.
I'm a writer.
Writers learn the craft and hone their skills.
My summer reading stack (if you can call e-books on your Kindle or in your cloud a stack) includes Debbie Macomber's Once Upon a Time.
Everyone has a story. Even me. Even you. And we can write it--for inspiration, for material for our own fiction, for posterity.
Here's an excerpt from her webpage that describes the book:
"With chapters that cover the importance of characters, setting, backstory, and conflict, Macomber uses the elements of a story to show how to understand our own lives better. Each chapter has a storytelling prompt—a searching question that will help frame your story—and a sidebar that pulls an idea out of the chapter and expands it with practical tips. Once Upon a Time shares Debbie’s love of story and helps showcase the big picture of the story God is writing through us."
I'm loving the storytelling prompts. The prompt for chapter one:
What is your “in the beginning story” as told to you by family? What is your own earliest memory?
I opened a file on my desktop,labeled it OUAT journal prompts, opened a new WORD document, and began writing about my maternal grandmother, who immigrated from Europe in 1910.
Writing is rarely easy. Even when writing my own story. But I find the more I write, the better the words flow, and the easier it becomes. NOTE: It doesn't become easy, but easier.
If you're looking for a good read and a practical book on the craft of writing, one with do-able exercises, get Debbie's book, Once Upon a Time. It's available in hard copy and as an ebook.
Now, on to write the chapter two prompt . . .