Newbie Post #2 – Dreams Awakening . . .

So where were we? Ah, yes, I’d dedicated myself to being a mother, wife, and engineering technician at a company creating museum exhibits. If you check out my previous post Five-Not-So-Easy Steps, you can get an overview of what happened between Newbie Post #1 and Newbie Post #2.

In 2006 I moved my two kids, (Minions #1 & 2) 160 miles to be with my boyfriend (now husband). He’d taken a job almost two years earlier and we’d muddled through a long distance relationship all that time. It was a big step: quitting my job, moving from a house that had come to represent a haven and accomplishment for us, changing schools, friends, leaving family, and finding a new gym for my daughter’s gymnastics training. The upheaval was huge, but we met it head-on, excited for the changes and welcoming a new chapter in our lives.

But what was I going to do with my time? I’d always worked. Even when I was going to school and raising Minion #1, I worked. Not working or having a career had never even been a goal—or thought— of mine. I new my boyfriend liked the idea of someone staying home with the kids, and I was open to it because I felt that when it was an option it was best for the kids to have a parent to raise them. It had just never been an option for me, and realistically, it would have been better for my boyfriend to be the stay-at-home parent. I love my kids, but he was far better suited mentally to the task. Unfortunately, we were moving for his job in the first place, and he made far more money than I did. So I decided to give this stay-at-home mom thing a try.

At first, it was pretty easy. Both kids were in school, and having the option to volunteer in their classrooms and on field trips was fantastic. I baked cupcakes and read stories, planned birthday parties and supervised class parties. For my daughter’s new gymnastics team I was the go-to mom that made posters of the gymnasts and encouraging little presents before meets. Why not? I had the time and I wasn’t going to sit around doing nothing all day. Besides, it gave me an excuse to do less cleaning!

Being the perfect Martha Stewart mom wasn’t the only thing I did, though. Having all this extra time on my hands, and being able to dictate my own schedule for the first time in, well ever, made me think, “Hey, I could try writing a book now!” I’d read a book about J.K. Rowling’s life, and I thought, “If she can do it, I can to.” Besides, it was just a hobby, right? It was something to fill my spare time. Everybody has hobbies, and I had just as much right as the next fisherman, knitter, quilter, or baseball card collector to spend time on my hobby. I would write one book, and if nothing came of it I would set it aside having lost nothing but my time. In the next Newbie Post: Yeah, about that hobby thing . . .

Newbie Post #1

Newbie Post #1 – My humble beginnings . . .

Chapter one
I think I’ve always been a writer, I just didn’t know it. As a child, after the Little House on the Prairie books were read to me for the first time, I’d walk around narrating my day in my head. You know, just in case I was ever called upon to write my life story, I’d have a jump start! 🙂 Later I developed elaborate story lines for my Barbies. Those ladies (and Ken) lived some amazing lives. They survived WWII, the Civil War, explored deep space galaxies, defeated evil sorceress queens and had some steamy PG romances! To keep things straight, I’d write down timelines, stories, who loved who, etc. The beginnings of my novel writing.

My little sister and I shared a room, so we would lie awake for hours (especially during those light-filled summer nights when we still had to go to bed at 8pm! 😦 ) and I would tell her stories. I vividly remember the telling, but not the story, of a sorceress dressed in purple and green. She was based on a coloring page I had completed that day. My sister would be entertained with my ramblings until our dad would pound on the floor (our ceiling-their room was above us) to tell us to go to sleep. We’d stop talking, but it didn’t stop us from dreaming up more stories to play the next day!

About 4th grade I discovered actual story writing. I was encouraged by my teacher, Mrs. Kelley and I owe her a big thank you for helping me to see that writing was a potential career. Many ideas were started and cast aside and my favorite Christmas present that year was a word processor. Wish I still had it, for nostalgia’s sake. 5th grade introduced the career of an architect to me and I admit I was distracted for many years, but I never gave up on the idea of someday writing. All through high school and college, I entertained the notion, but did very little with it. If I came up with an idea, I’d jot it down, filing it away for future use. I earned an Associates degree in Architectural Technology, went to work, and put a lot of my dreams and aspirations aside for children and husband. But dreams never die, they just slumber. On the next Newbie Post? Dreams Awakening . . .

When did you know you had to be a writer? Was it a eureka moment or a slow burn until you knew writing was in your soul? Were you young or did it hit you later in life?