My first published work came at the early age of seven. It was a short piece titled, "I Am Water" and it was published in the town newspaper. I'm sure my mother still has a laminated copy of it somewhere in the archives.
My next memorable work, from either third or fourth grade, was a tidy little poem titled "Little Fairy on the Prairie."
Little fairy on the prairie
Waiting to be found
She comes by day, She comes by night
but never makes a sound
Go ahead. Analyze it. Pick it to pieces. I'll wait.
My source of inspiration was my father. It was written during the heyday of the show "Little House on the Prairie" which dad used to call "Little Fairy on the Prairie" when he was feeling goofy. Funny how inspiration hits. It hit me and I ran with it.
OK, in all seriousness, I really did like to write as a kid. I preferred poetry over making up stories. Short pithy phrases and evocative imagery came to me easily. (I still like to pepper my fictional prose with such writing.) I had notebooks full of poems, song lyrics, snippets of writing ideas, things that had come into my head over the years, from elementary school through college.
And then, one day, sometime after marriage and children, around the time of my first miscarriage, I stopped. I stopped for a really long time. I was busy with little kids, with no time to sit, ponder, and write down those thoughts. This was the mid-nineties, folks. The internet was in its toddler stages; blogging was still a thing to be discovered.
Then, sometime after our third child was born, when I was immersed in the world of childbith education and birth assisting, I was approached by a fellow birthie to work on a project--a video childbirth class with student manual--to reach folks for whom it was difficult to get to a traditional childbirth class. This was pre-YouTube, kids. We thought it was revolutionary! We collaborated on the manual, she did the voice recording of a relaxation exercises, and I was the "brave" soul who presented herself on VHS. <sigh>
Anyway, the point of that little digression is to point out that was probably my first real publication; you know, one that people paid for, one that people wanted. I'll admit, it was kind of cool. And for a while, I got interested in writing again. I dabbled with a few ideas, mostly non-fiction stuff. I even managed to get a couple of chapters written on a book about childbearing losses from a Catholic perspective.
I stopped doing the childbirth stuff, had more kids, started homeschooling, and the writing once again got put on hold.
Then, when I was pregnant with our fifth child, I was chosen to be a featured blogger on a pregnancy website. I blogged a good portion of the pregnancy, and if you go back to the really ancient part of the archives here, you can see some of my earliest blogging attempts.
The great thing about blogging is it gives the wannabe writer a place to write and possibly be seen. Now, mind you, 95% of my blogging has been really superficial "day in the life" kind of stuff, kind of a public diary, which is fine. I've been "writing"--getting my thoughts out there--more regularly, which is great.
What I need, though, is to return to my roots,to be that ponderer with the notebook ever within reach, ready to snatch an image or a fleeting thought or a phrase before it drifts away like smoke on the wind.
Because, you never know when inspiration is going to hit, waiting to be found. When it hits, when I find it, I want to run like hell with it and never look back.
Image courtesy of Simon Howden at FreeDigitalPhotos.net