The History of Me
This is the History of Me. It seems so prideful to write this, but maybe you, Dear Reader, will make a connection with part of my crazy life.
I’ve written stories my whole life, along with letters to my grandmother and lots of notes to boy friends. In 8th grade I wrote a 40 page essay about who I wanted to be when I grew up. In high school friends exchanged odd stories and the big brother of my best friend used to give me writing assignments. My favorite to this day was a blank sheet of paper with one word on it: “Explain.” I wrote four or more pages on that one prompt alone and didn’t realize until later it was a precursor to College Essay Exams (insert screams).
In college I rewrote a story I had started in high school and got a B-. I was stunned. Talk about rejection! Apparently it wasn’t believable enough for the professor. But that’s okay. My friends loved it.
After marriage and many kids, our family moved to our present location, out in the country, off the highway and up the hill, where it’s quiet – perfect for writing, right? I started my first novel which took nine months. I got up early before the family and wrote for an hour or so. In the evening I wrote when they were watching TV. My dear hubby built me a desk by the bedroom window. Success wasn’t far away, right?
I handed my novel to my husband who was shocked. He admitted he wasn’t really sure WHAT I was doing at that desk he built me. Now, he doesn’t like reading, but he read that novel for me … and liked it. Then a friend gave me a 1984 copy of Writer’s Digest and I took off in a different direction. I went to a few conferences and started sending things out. In 1997 my first article was published, complete with art and heavy editing. I was hooked!
I started free writing workshops at our local library, which were popular. They morphed into a writing group. We called ourselves The MadHatters. Most of us were pretty nuts and it fit. Then in 2004, I began writing for the newspaper. They had just lost a reporter and I was apparently the only one willing to get in the office at 5 am to read pages.
I wrote news for 11 years: Galion Inquirer, Crestline Advocate, Galion Inquirer, Morrow County Sentinel, Galion Inquirer, and finally Richland Source.
News and the media wore me out eventually. I swore it off for good.
Now, I’m completely freelance and branching out.
I write a novel every November for National Novel Writing Month. I have several novels sitting on my shelves waiting for me to polish them.
After one year teaching in LaCrosse, Wisconsin (band music program) I moved to Columbus, Ohio, and taught 3rd and 4th grades. During that time I experimented with writing methods that encouraged children to enjoy writing. Years later these methods would become my book, Love To Write Every Day.
I got married to my dear hubby and we started a family. I did some substituting in various grades and different schools.
In 1989 I began “officially” home schooling my children. Then I discovered I could legally do assessments for other home educators, which launched me into another business/ministry. I stopped going to home school conferences because each assessment I did taught me about all sorts of new curriculum and teaching methods in all sorts of subjects. In fact, I published a few newsletters with all the info I gathered from those first years (circulation 200). I even taught home school groups in music, art and Shakespeare.
I got married to Dave in 1983. We raised gerbils. In 1985 our first child was born, followed by one in 1987, 1988, 1990, 1992 and 1994. Then we moved to the country and we had one more in 2001. After that we collected cats, chickens and rabbits. I think goats and cattle might be in our future.
You may be wondering how a home school mom can write for the paper. Here’s my schedule:
4 am – up and out
5 am – 10 am – read pages, write stories, take pictures
10 am – 4 pm – home, cleaning, teaching, checking work, cooking, hugging, laughing
4 pm – 10 pm – writing stories, covering meetings, taking more pictures (sometimes until midnight)
Crazy schedule, but it worked AND it paid some of the bills. You do what you have to do, right?
I learned so much by momming. In fact, momming is the best experience for any other job. It teaches you responsibility, assertiveness, determination, resilience, resourcefulness and discipline.
I was 17 when I got my first job (not counting the dreaded babysitting – remind me to tell you about the night that 3-year-old drew all over himself with pen). Here’s a list of random jobs I’ve done over the years:
Yates Sporting Goods Store, clerk
Day Care Center
Church Choir Director
Franks Nursery and Crafts, clerk, cashier
Cub Foods, cashier
Sylvan Learning Center, tutor
Gave private music lessons in piano, flute, guitar, clarinet, saxophone, history of music classes
Off Center Cafe’, barista
Workshops for Writers at local libraries
Portrait Innovations, photographer
Home Education consulting
Selling Young Living Essential Oils
Check back here from time to time is you like. I’ll be adding to the list as I remember things.
Thanks for reading!
Hope to hear from you soon!