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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

My writer's journey


First, let me ditto Mahala's praise of Tracy. She is never hesitant to share her writerly skills and talent. I, too, will miss her. She greatly enriched my writer's journey--a lifetime of learning.

Today, I started a search through my files for a thread to use in a new short story I want to write and stumbled across a personal essay I wrote circa 2007. I want to share those memories over the next two or three weeks.

Here is My Writer's Journey: Part I

I'm prone to study. Because I have a short, little attention span, I'm prone to study a variety of things in a haphazard way. I gather how-to books of one craft or another, be it PowerPoint presentation, stained glass art, Photoshop techniques, or the craft of writing novels and how to get an agent. I've taken classes in journalism, painting, acrylics and oil, and immersed myself in creative writing workshops. I once flew cross-country to San Francisco to attend Robert McKee's three-day session on screenwriting. Of all these forays into arts and crafts, the thing I've been the least successful at is the thing I've stuck with the longest: writing.

The writing seed was planted in my unconscious when a younger, more naive me lived in a colder clime and gentler time. I can remember when I was about ten or eleven walking home on a winter night from the now-closed Mark Twain Library in Detroit, Michigan. I had spent a few hours re-reading chapters of my favorite book, James Fenimore Cooper's "Last of the Mohicans." I remember the crispness of the zero-temperature air that pricked my nostrils and turned my breath frosty white, the crunch of hard-packed snow under my boots, and the opalescent colors of the aurora borealis streaking across the blue velvet sky--yes, the northern lights were once visible in Detroit. Everything conspired to create an evening I would never forget.

Even so, as I grew older, I didn't often read for pleasure. Life overtook me.

cj

Note: The Jeff Johnston award-winning picture is called "Best Buds" -- which the ladies of Lyrical Pens are to me.

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