Today I took a short walk with my dogs. One of those mornings when I went out with expectations. Kali our golden wanted to play with a few dogs we met on our way. It was a short walk only a mile. But it was long enough for my long lost muse to resurface. By the time we got back home, I was ready to write. Bill helped me with some technical details. by the time I left for church I had added several pages to what I thought was a completed chapter in my work in progress middle grade chapter book. I hope my muse hangs around for a while. Sweet Kali loves her walks and tennis balls.
May is such a difficult for me to work through. Mother’s Day always makes me think of the loss of my mom. She left us August 2011, one month shy of her 86th birthday. To this day, I cannot look at Mother’s Day cards without getting a bit teary eyed. My dad left us November 2002, quietly in his sleep. His birthday, May 12th, will always be remembered by me. I miss them but know they will always be close to me in my heart. This is something the mother in my soon to be published book shares with her young son. This is also something I told my own children when they were young and questioned the loss of Papa, Aunt Goldie, and even Lassie.
No matter how old they are, I am learning everyday that kids really do say interesting things. At the high school the other day someone turned and said “Let me knock on wood.” He did, on the trunk of a tree. His friend asked him why he was knocking on the tree. His response “Duh, it’s wood isn’t it?” I sure hope this wasn’t one of my kindergarten students back in the day.
And this is how my journey begins. I retired from a thirty year teaching career in June 2010. If you talk to my son or daughter, they’ll tell you I never retired. If you talk to my husband, he’ll tell you, I just changed jobs. If you talk to me, I’ll say, I did retire for a few months. Now when I meet people, I tend to say that I failed retirement. I was hired last year for what I call my dream job. I work part time as a reading intervention teacher at Sierra View Elementary School, in the Golden Valley School District.
Unofficially, my journey into writing began when I was a waitress while attending college. I remember writing stories on my orders to amuse the cooks. Laughing made the time go by just a little faster. My official journey into writing started in August of 2010. I saw an article in the Fresno Bee advertising membership in a writing for publication class. I jumped at the opportunity to see what it was all about. It was all about writing, critiquing, sharing and learning. This group has become a family of caring, intelligent, and supportive individuals. Each person brings their own special twist to stories and memoirs.
I have several irons in the fire. Some are hot and others have cooled. One project started out as a picture book and may some day turn into a potential series of stories based on the adventures of our dog, Kiwi. Another one soon to be published, is loosely based on a variety of conversations I remember having with my parents when I was young and again with kids growing up when faced with answers to questions about death.
Along with writing picture books, I write memoirs that have been published on our local newspaper. And, I signed my first writing contract with my writing partner, Anne Biggs. We created a curriculum guide for teachers in fourth grade to use with the literature book “Remembering the California Missions” by Janice Stevens and illustrated by Pat Hunter.
I recently joined a group of writers. We are all interested in writing picture books for children and chapter books for middle grade readers. We meet once a month, sharing, bonding and critiquing each others works.
And the journey continues.