How I got here: Part 1

I wasn’t a big reader as a little kid. I simultaneously fell in love with both mysteries (Thank you Henry Shlesher and Agatha Christie) and romances (Thank you Kathleen Woodwiss and Sandra Brown) while in high school.

To be honest, the act of writing has never been difficult for me. I’ve started lots of fictional stories in my life. It’s the act of finishing that has always been the problem. As mentioned in other posts, I am a HUGE procrastinator. I can stall like nobody’s business. I can rationalize myself out of just about anything that resembles work, and wrapping up the loose ends of a story is work.

Then there’s the fear of success/failure. Exposing myself to others with this whole writing business is extremely uncomfortable for me. If no one knows you’re a writer, it’s so much safer. I had lots of other things in my life that seemed more acceptable than being a writer of all things. It didn’t become a necessary compulsion until a few years ago. I blame it on the voices in my head refusing to stay hidden any longer… and a hard winter.

My husband and I had just bought an old drafty building out of which to run our business. It was a bitch to heat. Combine that with my wonderful husband catching a succession of colds that lasted from November to March, and you’ve got the makings for a difficult home life. Also that winter, my sister gave birth to my beautiful niece. On the one hand, I was thrilled. On the other hand, I was internally devastated. My sister and I had both been trying to get pregnant at the same time. It was the beginning of my realization that I would probably never conceive a child by conventional means. My reality was starting to suck.

Enter the voices. They started out as many fantasies do, from a regular outlet in my life. At that time it was a TV show. So I started building an alternate universe for the show in my head. It wasn’t the first time I had done that. I remember in elementary school creating a new cousin for the Dukes of Hazzard. I hope those of you who are as nuts as I am can relate. If not, too bad.

Anyway, so I began this alternate universe for this show in my head and would let my mind go there whenever I needed a break from reality. The more things would suck, the more I went there. When I had done this before in my life, I would create one episode of the TV show, and that would be it, but not this time. One episode turned into four. I could rewind and fix everything in my head, all the characters’ dialogue, scenery, props, plot twists, everything. It became distracting. I would mentally vacate from conversations with real people. I would go off alone and fixate on this illusion for sometimes twenty minutes, maybe an hour at a time if I could get away with it. I began to think I was crazy. Go to Part 2

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