When I started college, I thought I would be chemist. It seemed sensible, steady work. I'm not one of those people who dreamed of being a writer since they were five years old. I was a terrible with the conventions of writing. Grammar and me have never been on the best of terms and back then we didn't even have a dialogue going. I loved stories but I didn't think I could ever put one on the page that would, you know, make sense.
I started journaling in high school, not stories, but just thoughts and feelings. I loved to write but to be honest, when I took writing classes, there was only sort of this "meh" coming my way. It was really discouraging. As a young person, I needed cheerleaders but all I got were critics. My tender creative heart couldn't take that. I liked journaling because no one could tell me that the writing was just awful. It was for me, and I always gave myself an A+.
In college, there was a tree house out in the wooded area of a park I liked. It was a place where I dreamed a lot. I took my journal up there, and I would write and write. I would pour my heart and soul onto the page. I didn't think of myself as a writer, how could someone with my skills presume such a thing? But there was magic in those hours sitting up in that swaying tree and pulling the essence of who I am out of me and placing it on the page. I thought of this place as my secret place that had been put in the world for me. I had found shelter from the storms that life could throw at me in that freedom of words.
A few years later, I was finishing up college and choking at the future. I was getting that chemistry degree, but I had learned one thing in college, chemistry wasn't really my thing. Right at the end of my college days, I met this boy (yes, the love of my life) and he saw me scribbling in my little journal time and again, and he took me by the hand and pleaded with me to become a writer. He'd never seen anyone put so much effort into writing. Then one day we went for a walk, and he took me to that tree house. It turns out that he built the special place I had spent so many hours scribbling. There I knew, even though I was a hoplessly flawed writer, I was one.
All the threads of serendipity, lucky me. I married the boy and from that day on always called myself a writer. That was 27 years ago. My first novel is coming out in a few months: PLUMB CRAZY (Swoon Romance). I hope it is the first of many.
I hope that lucky serendipity comes your way this month. I will be back with more of the series next week.
Here is the doodle. Of course I doodled that spot all those years ago. "Tree house."
Psalm 91:6 -- He that dwells in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.