When I was still in high school, someone from the church we were attending found an old typewriter and had it cleaned up and repaired and I found it under my Christmas tree. We were barely making ends meet, and with little money left over for gifts, my mother had reached out to the church for help.
I had a head full of stories, it seems that has always been true. And suddenly I had a way, beyond my terrible handwriting, to tell them. It was an amazing gift, one that likely changed my life.
I wrote my first “novel” by hand when I was thirteen or fourteen. It was truly awful, and a rip off of every science fiction movie or book I had read. But, it started something in me. My friends read the hand written words and clamored for more. The sequel to that first awful book was the first thing I wrote on that typewriter.
I’ll admit, it was a heady feeling to be met at the school doors before homeroom by four or five people wanting to get the next ten pages.
I learned a lot through that experience. I learned to translate my thought processes differently. I learned about plot development and foreshadowing. I learned the joy of having readers who loved my work, even when I broke their hearts.
None of the novel length stories I banged out on that typewriter were any good, but that didn’t matter. I was a writer, and that, as it turns out, wouldn’t change even as I aged. I am quite a few years past that Christmas and those stories. My head is still filled with plots and characters and words. I still work at putting them down on the page, though my paper is now digital.
Best Christmas present ever? Maybe so. It gave me so much more than just a tool. It gave me confidence, joy…it sparked a passion that still burns inside of me today.
The rain is really coming down outside my window, and the wind is howling on this cold Wednesday afternoon. I think a cup of coffee is in order, and a start to the work day. I hope you are all safe and warm, Readers. Fill your day with kindness, and reap the joy it brings.