Somewhere around the age of 5, I discovered that words are powerful. They can transport readers to whole new worlds, they can deliver lasting cruel remarks, they can change the future. I’ve loved reading since I can remember, and I recall a time when I was reading a book I didn’t understand but I liked seeing the words anyway.
Then I learned that I could write words, too. I could memorialize a day in a diary entry, or I could ride my bike to the top of a hill and watch the sun set as I tried to describe it in fluffy poems. At a young age, I vowed to someday write a book. Letters got results, too: A complaint about moldy applesauce netted me two huge replacement jars along with a dish towel, another resulted in a significant class change in junior high, and another junior-high-era letter brought a chastened police officer to my door with an apology for his attitude.
It probably came as no surprise to most who knew me that I wound up in a career as a newspaper reporter. I was paid to ask questions, talk to people, dig up more information, then write it all down for everyone to read. I experienced and wrote about some of the craziest things most people don’t even imagine. It was a fun decade-long roller coaster ride that taught me much about life and myself.
Now I’m setting out to rediscover that original love of words. I’m once again losing myself in books, and I’m looking for that feeling of desperately needing to write my way out of a mood, a jam or simply to capture an inspiration. Somewhere beneath the surface still lurks that never-fading dream of seeing my name on the spine of a book. I want to look forward to the writing process, rather than feel drained and dead. Words have always shaped my life, and I intend to shape them, too.