A WRITER? ME?

Regina here with the story of my writing journey, which started in first grade.  My mom still has evidence—tons of crayon and pencil drawings with the same set of words scrawled on the bottom: “I love my mommy.”  “I love my daddy.” “I love Jesus.”

I did get better.  I remember in 4th grade, I wrote a scintillating tale of a rooster, using my list of spelling words for the week. 

Hmmmm . . . OK, then there was the sequel to the Margaret Mitchell classic, “Gone With the Wind” when I was all of sixteen, I believe.  I didn’t get far, but I still remember where I was going with that.  I had Rhett and Scarlett back together, in their old age, reminiscing about how they had inevitably come back together after those fateful words, “Frankly, my dear . . .” You get the drift.  This is a family blog, after all.

After that, there was dating; moving from Kentucky to Indiana; engagement; graduating from high school; marriage; moving BACK to Kentucky; working at a bank; college; children; moving away from our ancestral (for me, anyway) “home town” to another Kentucky town; graduating from college – finally; serving as a middle-school and then elementary-school librarian; and then becoming a public library director, which I am today.  That’s the short version. The blanks will be filled in as time goes by. I have left out a few things, but as you can see, writing wasn’t really a part of my life except for writing papers, newsletter articles, correspondence, etc. —until January 2008.

 Someday I’ll tell you the story of how Bob Yehling, a television show, Romancefanfiction.net, and a group of ladies have inspired me to embark on one of the most nerve-wracking and satisfying journeys of my life – the journey to become a published author.

 I’ve completed my first novel, and continue with rewriting, learning, tweaking, cutting, adding, etc. Entitled Carolina Dream, it’s a Contemporary Christian Romance – my favorite genre to read, as well. It started out as a particularly vivid dream I had. I started writing, and 60,000 words and eight months later, surprisingly enough, I had a very rough draft of a complete novel. I now have outlines for books two and three.

 As for me, at forty-five, I am by vocation a public library director and by avocation a churchSoccer1.09 musician; I have a husband of twenty-six years who is a school administrator and deacon in our church; a daughter who has moved away to her university and is ecstatic to be back after a year at home; and another daughter who has entered high school and is ecstatic about her new haircut, makeup, and being on the Varsity soccer team. 

 I’ve been thinking about my aborted sequel to “Gone With the Wind.”  I went to Charleston, SC recently where I had thought to set my sequel—it’s where Rhett Butler was from, after all—and where part of my current WIP is set.

 As the fringed carriage of our guided tour eased past the opulent mansions on the Battery, I smiled when I felt tears come to my eyes. I couldn’t help but think of elderly Rhett and Scarlett as they could have sat on the veranda of one of those very homes. I could see them, in my mind’s eye,  sipping iced sweet tea as they sit, overlooking the Charleston Harbor, Rhett recalling his glory days as a gun-runner during the Civil War – or as they refer to it in Charleston, the “recent unpleasantness” – and Scarlett smiling at him indulgently . . . 

Spring.summer2009 147 

I just may have to write that book after all.

13 thoughts on “A WRITER? ME?”

  1. Good morning, Regina!

    I’ve always loved Rhett! Yes, you should definitely get those two together. And you hit the nail on the head with your perfect description of the writing journey — nerve-wracking & satisfying. That’s my life in a nutshell. (Does that make me a nut?)

    Thanks for sharing your story!
    Linda

  2. I thought I knew you pretty well, Regina, but clearly there are some things I didn’t know! You might want to check out “Scarlett: The Sequel to Margaret Mitchell’s ‘Gone With the Wind'” since it is an authorized sequel and will give you some drirection as to plot, etc. Good luck on your venture.

  3. Regina,
    I’m amazed at how many of us so far have had actual dreams become influences in our writing career. God never fails to amaze me.

    Nerve wracking and satisfying. That definitely describes it. And it is so great to get to know you. I have always secretely wanted Rhett and Scarlett back together also. I’ll buy it when you publish it. So now you have to write it.

    Dawn

  4. Regina,
    You should write that book, if only just for the fun of it. It would have to be better than that authorized sequel. I’ll read it.

    I look forward to hearing more about your writing journey … both past & present.

    Brenda

  5. Hi Regina,

    GWTW is my favorite all time book and movie, but the book is better. So many husbands and kids were not in the movie. I’ve never read the sequel and don’t want to. I like the way it ended, which gives me the opportunity to finish the story in my head. Of course, they get together.

    The first time I saw the movie, I was probably fifteen and when Rhett left, I said, “I’d jump on his back.” And I think I would’ve. Anyway, you can write your story, but sorry I won’t read it. I’ll look forward the reading Carolina Dream when it gets published.

  6. Hey Regina,

    Look, I actually managed to log on! Aren’t you proud of me? And your intro is the first one I’m replying to…only I fear I might stir up a controversy because…gasp…I never did like Scarlett O’Hara! I found her tiresome (and yes, I know that if I’d lost everything and had to make clothing from curtains — which Maria Von Trapp did much more cheefully I might point out — now there’s a heroine for you…oops, I digress. Back to Scarlett — and I had to watch my town burn to the ground and I’d lost a baby and…well, I realize that I might not be my usual cheery self either, but fiddledeedee there’s just something about Scarlett that makes me cringe like nails on a blackboard. And now that I’ve trampled over your delicate Southern heart I’ll just say that I’m thrilled your life’s journey and mine have crossed paths and we can share nerve-wrackedness and satisfaction together.

    Kav

  7. Kav, Welcome! I AM proud of you! And as for Scarlett? Honestly, I always liked Rhett MUCH more than Scarlett . . . Shannon, I’ll forgive you for not reading my sequel, LOL And I agree, WAY too much was left out of the movie . . .

    And Bill, I’ve read “Scarlett,” and was not impressed. It just didn’t seem in the spirit of Margaret Mitchell’s original story. I was even LESS impressed with the mini-series. And yes, there is more to me than a love of chocolate and beating YOU at Trivial Pursuit! LOL

    I’ve thought at different times about pulling it out again, but who knows WHERE it is after nearly thirty years! LOL I think I’ll just have to concentrate on the manuscript in process for now.

    Thanks for all your comments! I love how everyone seems to have honed in on “nerve-wracking and satisfying!” That’s life, isn’t it?

  8. I may be shot for saying this, but I never saw GWTW and I never read the book. On the other hand, I know The Sound Of Music, and it’s one of my favourite musicals, after Mamma Mia… like Kav, I’m digressing here… Ooops!

    Regina, I can so relate with the nerve-wracking and satisfying part LOL. It’s good to have you here with us.

    Hugs!
    Marlene

  9. Don’t worry, Marlene, a friend of mine that grew up in Pennsylvania told me that she’d never read GWTW, either, and that since living in Kentucky had decided that it must be a “Southern thing!” LOL

    Like Kim said in her post – I’m just so happy to be here!

  10. Regina,

    Just remember this…if you write a sequal to GWTW and kill Mammy off in the first five chapters of the book like the authorized sequel did…I will hunt you down and do you a bodily harm. There was no reason to kill off the sweet wisdom that was the backbone of the…Ooops! Veered a little off course there.

    And the answer to the Writer? Me? question is…Yes you are!

    I’m so glad we are on this nerve-wrackingly satisfying journey together with the rest of this bunch.

    Kim

  11. Veer all you want, Kim. I didn’t even remember that part, but it was probably what set my teeth on edge from the beginning. She was the smartest person in the whole book!

    I feel better being on this journey just knowing all of you are on it with me!

  12. Regina, wonderful post! And frankly, my dear, you are a writer. It’s in your blood. I loved GWTW, but not necessarily for Scarlett, and I’ll happily read any sequel you write.

    Kav, thrilled you’re here, and you made a great point. I never thought about Maria’s attitude vs. Scarlet’s in last minute curtain costuming. Good point.

  13. Hi Regina

    I’m a little late to the celebration. Sorry I didn’t make it out here yesterday. I’m thrilled to see you are a part of this group and have all these wonderful gals to help you through your nerve-wracking and satisfying writing journey. Isn’t that an oxymoron? LOL LOL

    You know I love your stories on RFF and I can’t wait until your book, Carolina Dream, is published. I know you were so disappointed when your book was not picked up awhile back; but, God is going to open the right doors for you at just the right time.

    As you have often told me, God’s timing may not always agree with our timing. Maybe He is waiting until you are a little further along with your second and third book, to sweeten the deal, of course, for one of His faithful and loving servants.

    Until then, you have all your friends out here to encourage you and hold your hand through the nerve-wracking times, including me.

    Now, I have to say I’m with Kav (welcome Kav, I’ll get to you in a minute) and Marlene. I have never read GWTW; only saw the movie during my teen years I think (many years ago) and have not particularly wanted to watch it again. On the other hand, I’ve watched Sound of Music many many many many times, almost as much as all the Disney movies put together, with my grandchildren. So, I suppose you will have to line me up on that firing line with Marlene! LOL

    Oh, and I love the soccer picture! Great shot! ****winking****

    I love you,
    Lynn

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