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 church 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 . . .
I just may have to write that book after all.