Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Sometimes Life Does Not Turn Out The Way You Plan, That Does Not Mean You Need To Forget Your Dreams!

I know I have mentioned before, so please excuse me if I sound like a broken record. ;-)  I love what social media has done with bringing artists and writers together with their fans.  So much more interaction can happen between people you might not have ever had a chance to interact with.  I would have to say outside of reading books my second thing I love it getting to know the author outside of the books.  As I mentioned earlier today Two Children and a Migraine will have the review up for the latest book by Michele Lynn Seigfried, but before you check out the review read below and get to know the author a bit!

First of all, thank you so much for hosting me on your blog today and letting me give you a little insight into my life!

I’m not exactly sure where or when my writing journey started. It could have been when I wrote that poem in grammar school about a girl I didn’t like. It went something like:

            Her nose is set at ninety degrees
            She’d blow out the sky with just one sneeze
Or maybe it was in high school, in my creative writing class, when I wrote Ode to Washing Machine:

            This is how it goes…
            I think of those days when we washed clothes
            Until it blew up under our nose
            It makes me sad from my head to my toes
            I remember sudsy water that flows
            And the back end, with the sexy hose
            The way it shook on its highs and lows
            That washing machine we chose

I’m not so sure my teacher found my work as amusing as I did. Many poems and essays later, I found myself not knowing what I wanted to be when I grew up and at a loss for what to declare as a major in college. I loved art, but didn’t want to become the art teacher that my mother wanted me to be. I went into college “undeclared” and took an array of classes—art, television, acting, math, science, history, public speaking, stage building, world religions, women’s studies—and nothing seemed to “fit.”

I then took a creative writing class, where my teacher singled me out to read my assignment about siblings out loud. It told the tale of how I would threaten my little brother with flushing his chameleons down the toilet or sucking him up in the vacuum when he had gotten on my nerves. After all, what’s a big sister for? My classmates chuckled at my sense of humor.

It was probably then I discovered that I’m funnier on paper than in real life. I don’t have the “delivery” skills required to be a comedian. So, I settled on being a communication major, mainly because it didn’t require me to take any more math, science or history classes. I also chose to minor in art.

Being a communication major required a lot of writing. Term papers, though less creative, scored me A’s in my classes. It was one of my favorite professors, Dr. Byrne, in May 1990 that used three little words that had a big impact on me. “You can write!” On another paper I had written, that same professor wrote, “Get out of here and go do something! Nothing will hold you back unless you let it.”

Unfortunately, I did let it. I had bills to pay and the first job I landed out of college at a local newspaper didn’t pay much more than minimum wage. I got some experience under my belt and moved on—to an advertising department in a pharmaceutical company, where I could write some copy and use my skills as an artist, designing ads.

A few job moves later, with my sole focus being to get myself out of debt, I found myself far away from writing and art, working in government. I can assure you that being a government employee was certainly not what I thought I’d be doing with my life. Yet, that’s where I ended up because it paid the bills. I did, however, find that I liked being a municipal clerk, even if it wasn’t what I had initially set out to do. It’s been my career for the past 16 years.

I had often thought about writing a book oven the past ten years, but lacked the know-how and motivation to find a publisher. Then I discovered self-publishing and went for it. In combining my love of art with writing, I’ve published four children’s picture books in addition to my two mystery novels so far.

I think what I love the most about writing is the sense of accomplishment I feel when I hear that other people are enjoying my work. If I can give someone a small escape from reality, make them laugh, and have them walk away with a smile, then I feel I’ve done something good and my talents aren’t going to waste.

If I have any advice to give to anyone out there, then I’d have to refer back to that line from my former professor, “Nothing will hold you back unless you let it.” Do yourself a favor and don’t let it. You won’t ever regret trying to do something you’ve always wanted to do.

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