HOW IT BEGAN
I’m a writer. At least, I now consider myself as such. For some time, I knew deep down that I wasn’t. My very first book was basically my life story told mostly in rhyme. I didn’t intend it that way when I started writing my poems. After my wife died, I tried hard to make it look like I was OK and that I wasn’t struggling. But I got lonely. I missed her so much, but I knew she was never coming back, and I had to go on.
I’d known her death was eminent and I’d attempted to prepare my mind for it. I didn’t cry, instead, I started writing to her. Even after I began dating again, I wrote to her. Terrible stuff in the beginning, just talking to her memory, but eventually, I began to speak to her in rhymes. And not only to her, but more and more I spoke about her.
Then I began to write about my childhood in rhyme. After a while, any little thing that came into my mind, I’d make a note of and eventually all of those little independent notes and thoughts began to come together and merge into poems. It was long before I had a computer to store my stuff on and most of what I had to say at that time is long lost. That’s probably a blessing to us all, I wrote some terrible stuff, that seemed to me to be just a way of expressing myself to myself. I had absolutely no thoughts of ever sharing my writing with anybody else. I was just passing the time, and jotting down thoughts. Sometimes a jotted down thought would sit there for several years, then show up and make its way into a poem.
Eventually I began to write some of those poor poetic attempts to a lady friend. Over the years, I had several lady friends until I met my sweetheart. Whichever one I happened to be in love with at the time would be the beneficiary of my poetry. Not that I would send it to them, but I would write it to them or about them. For the most part, I was still keeping the things I wrote private. Most of that stuff is also long gone, I didn’t save that sort of stuff after moving on. Who needs the reminders?
One day, something that I wrote to Judy, my wife’s best friend since 8th grade, caught her fancy and she told me that she liked it. So, I told her I had more. She asked to see some of it so I sent her some of it, (probably way too much) but still she said she liked it. Oh, I know now that she was just being kind to a good friend, but I didn’t figure that out until much later. By then, I had lost some of my reluctance for someone else to see my writings. The writings weren’t a whole lot better; I’d just became more comfortable sharing it with others. Eventually I put a lot of that stuff into my first book.
I got my first computer in 2000 when my son moved his family to Florida and went into business with me. He felt I needed one in the business, even though I didn’t know the first thing about a computer. So, I began playing on the computer, learning new things about it, and finding writing to be so much more enjoyable and way, way easier. I spent more and more time on my computer, listening to music and writing a lot of bad poetry. Wow! This is so terrific; I can copy and paste. I can delete and move; I can save and store. Then I can go back to it weeks later, months and sometime years later and make little improvements to it. It’s just so much easier to write this way. So, I wrote more. Sometimes I’d be up listening to music and typing into my computer until 3 or 4 in the morning. I began sorting through all the junk I had written and selected those that I considered to be worthy of someone else reading. I started typing the better one’s into my new computer.
When you’ve just ended a relationship with someone you really cared about, country music can be very soothing, but it also seems to lend itself to bad poetry. I continued to write more of it. However, every once in a while, I’d write one that seemed to me, to have a little promise. Eventually, I had enough poems to consider putting out a book.
Our mothers taught us all that if you don’t have something good to say, don’t say anything at all. Well, just like you never tell your lady she’s heavy, you never tell your friend, who thinks he’s a poet, that his poems suck. Eventually, though I tired of writing bad poems and wrote my first story book. It was a children’s book, about my cat, Gizzy.
Long after Gizzy had died, I decided to see if I could write a children’s book. Donna, and I were now living together. So, as I began writing this new book, I began to rely more and more on her help with phrasing. In addition to the actual publishing of all of our books, she was also doing all of my proof reading and helping out with story line suggestions as well as suggesting photo’s to be considered. I decided she was as responsible for the story as I was and we shared authorship of this book, and quite a few others since then.
After the children’s book, we decided to write a murder mystery novel. Well, it was a mild murder mystery, probably more love story, titled; THE CROW’S NEST. We followed it with a second story in what we now refer to as the crow’s lake series, titled; CROW’S LAKE. Together, we’ve since added six more books in that series.
We have also jointly published two books in what we refer to as our STONY JOHNSON series, titled CLOSED CASES, (Stony Johnson, P.I.) Somewhere along the way, we’ve also managed to put together two books containing over 2700 helpful hints. Those books are titled THE HINTS BOOK ALMANAC, books one and two.
Although we haven’t put any effort into marketing our books, and it’s likely we never will, we’ve found the writing of them to be a rewarding experience. Additionally, when you hold one of your new books in your hands for the very first time there is quite a feeling of accomplishment. Each of them is very precious to you. We are both very proud of the progress we have made as authors of novels.
Gramps use’ta say
“It ain’t what ya collect
that makes for a memorable lifetime,
….it’s what ya scatter.”
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