Friday, June 19, 2009

In the beginning.........

This is going to be another new experience for me. I'm accustomed to writing for a magazine audience, for both consumer magazines and trade publications. But this kind of "talking to your friends" writing is utterly different and just a big disconcerting!

I've always wanted to be a writer. I remember when I was about six--and barely tall enough to see over the typewriter--standing and picking out words on the old Royal manual typewriter that sat in one corner of my parents' bedroom. My first project was a dictionary--I think that lasted about a day.

Then I tried to write a cookbook. That came to an end when I realized I needed to know how to cook first!

A couple years later, my parents took my sister and me to the farm in north Florida where my mother grew up. I was entranced by the idea of being out in the woods and away from the city. That crystallized my goals.

"I'm going to live in the country and travel around the world and write about it!" I declared to my mother.

I must have been all of ten at the time, and my mother said, as mothers do, "That's nice, dear."

But I have had the good fortune to do exactly that. I lived on a farm in north Florida--not the one my mother grew up on, but one my former husband and I built--for 16 years. I've traveled this country and been to Africa four times, and I've written stories about all of it.

But just when I think I've seen it all, something surprises me. I don't see how I could cover a wider range of topics than I already have, and then an assignment takes me down a path that leaves me shaking my head.

Writing is a hard life. You wake up every day unemployed and have to hustle for all the work you get.

But it's also a good life. I wouldn't do anything else. I've had more adventures than I ever expected.

I'm looking forward to sharing some of them--past, present and future--with you.

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