When I was in junior high, my parents enrolled me in a summer typing
course. I think they pictured me with a career in office work. I
didn't want to learn typing. I wanted to be with my friends in the
school district's summer band. My class let out earlier than band.
While I waited for my friends to come home, I sat out on our front
porch and read library books.
Then I found an old blank steno book of my dad's lying around the
house, so I started writing during those lonely hours each day. At
first, my jottings were diary like—filled with teen angst and how
life wasn't fair. I even tried my hand at a little poetry. After
reading an especially good young adult suspense novel, I began
scribbling a mystery of my own. I started looking forward to those
hours by myself. Other stories followed, including a two-act musical
written in study hall in 10th grade. I finished my first novel
(really only a novelette) in college. It was awful, but finished, at
taught music for a few years, then ended up doing office work as my
parents predicted. Still, I kept writing, though I never told anyone
until I was in my 30s, when I began sending out stories to
publishers. Through the support and encouragement from my best
friend, my two brothers and my
Sisters in Crime,
especially those in the
Valley Chapter, I finally beat the odds and sold my works.
So I guess that typing class was a good deal after all.
those of you looking for writing advice, or just a writer's
observations of the process and industry, along with whimpers,
whining and general nonsense, you might enjoy
my writing blog.
As a community activist, I also write an
almost daily blog for my hometown called
you like history, I've put the content of the 1945 WWII journal of
my uncle, Joseph Chicco, online.
Read it here.
you like history AND music, check out the Web
Historical Harmonies, the living
history ensemble I perform in and arrange music for.