Monday, November 14, 2011

A Little About Me...and My Spark

Courtesy of
As I mentioned in my profile, I love writing.  There are times when I get the writing itch so badly, I just need to grab a pen or my computer and jot down my ideas.  Before you know it, if you're anything like me, you have written several picture books and finished a Middle Grade novel.

And then there are books. When it comes to reading, there's  something about escaping to new worlds, meeting unique characters, all the while traveling along those unexpected twists and turns that lead you to the end.  Or is it the end?  Sometimes it's not and you're forced to wait for the sequel...and then third third....and the fourth....before you know it, a movie is in production. 

So where did I get my *spark*?

When did I find my passion to write children's books?  (Wrote my first one called "Baby Carrie" when I was only six! I still have it, however, it's very difficult to read since I wrote it pencil...hmmm).  After I graduated college with a Journalism degree, I was dead-set on moving to New York City and pursuing a job in magazines.  I had already visited the exquisite Conde Nast building in 2006 and was pretty sure my first job would be there.

However, that didn't go as planned.  Landing a job in the publishing industry while not actually living in NYC, proved to be more difficult than I had previously expected.  So difficult, that I considered myself lucky if I even got the formal "another candidate has been chosen" email.  But if you're anything like me, you didn't give up. I knew I'd find my calling, I just had to be patient.

I didn't expect it to be when I was cleaning out my old room in my Mom's house.  As we were going through a myriad of high school creative writing stories, stacks of newspaper clippings I wrote at my college newspaper, and a plethora of other school-related items, my Mom pulled out a children's story I wrote when I was a senior in high school.  I hardly even remembered writing it but there it was.  The concept was fresh, unique and had a nice storyline.  My Mom's exact words were "This is adorable!"

Looking back with the knowledge I have now, the story definitely needed work, but it was at that precise moment that I realized my calling wasn't in magazines, it was in writing children's stories.  It all made sense.  At that point, even in my early 20s, I still enjoyed reading children's books no matter what age it was geared toward or genre it fell into.  Heck, I was the only one in my family who still had a library card and actually used it!   (And for those that are wondering, yes, I moved to a new apartment last month, and already got myself my new library card). 

That moment will forever stand out for me, and it should.  It's these types of moments that people tend to treasure, because to some people our memory is all we have.  Others tend to scrapbook about it, take pictures or create song lyrics.  And others...we realize we have stories to tell.  So we grab the closest pen or computer...and write the night away.

What was your *spark* moment?

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