Hello From The Heart Of Dixie

Kim here to start off the new week and the next round of introductions. To steal a line from the beloved Minnie Pearl… I’m just so proud to be here.

Growing up in an ink spot of a town in Alabama, I was surrounded by a family of storytellers. And every one of those stories – no matter how funny or sad – was wrapped in a warm blanket of humor. Those stories sparked my imagination. So, for as long as I can remember, I’ve been writing similar stories in my head.

While I created storylines for music videos starring Barbie and Ken a good half dozen years before anyone had ever heard of MTV, my real passion for writing was sparked in Mrs. Shellhorse’s fifth grade Language Arts class. She had a box of story starters meant to provide entertainment to fill the minutes between spelling tests and grammar worksheets. But for me, those little index cards were the match that lit the flame of a passion that is still very much alive twenty-nine years later.

Of course, sometimes, the flame of such a passion dies down to a smoldering ember. Reality pushes aside childhood dreams. Although my high school guidance counselor would beg to differ, I knew writing wouldn’t put money in my pocket. Instead, I followed in my mother’s footsteps – a degree in Special Education.images

Oh, I veered off course slightly. My degree was in Special Education for the Hearing Impaired. Still, chalk dust was in my blood…until I did my student teaching. That was a real system flushing experience. But since that was the last thing an education major does before graduation, what was a girl to do?

Yep. You guessed it. Graduate school and a Master’s degree in audiology. Then a career as an audiologist. Still, through it all, the fire for writing still smoldered.

The ember burst into flame again when I stumbled across romancefanfiction.net. Along with a renewed passion came some of the best cheerleaders and friends an Alabama girl could wish for. Four ladies – an Iowan, two Canadians and a Kentuckian – who have held my hand, dried my tears and celebrated the smallest glimmer of inspiration for a story to the biggies – like obtaining a doctorate in audiology (AuD.) while working full time as a pediatric audiologist and writing in snippets of time in between – all through the vastness of cyberspace.

So there you have it. The story of an unpublished contemporary romance southern writer who tries to wrap her stories in a warm blanket of humor. I am humbled that the newbie I am gets to be a part of such a fantastic journey along with the rest of you. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for all of us. And, like I said at the beginning, I’m just so proud to be here.

11 thoughts on “Hello From The Heart Of Dixie”

  1. Kim,
    I’m just so proud to be here with you. I love Minnie Pearl also. What a character, huh?

    Oh, what a good idea your teacher had. You may have to send me a few ‘starters’ just for fun. And I love warm blankets of anything, so we will get along just fine.

  2. Welcome Kim!

    You have such a beautiful way with words. I just know you’ve got a long writing career ahead of you. I’m so glad God kept nudging you to write.


  3. Kim,

    This Kentucky girl and fellow romancefanfiction.net writer knows what a great writer you are, and knows that once published, you’ll never have to look back. You have a way of making me FEEL your characters and settings – not just see them, hear them, etc.; all of which you do, by the way. I have a feeling we’ll all be thankful for Mrs. Shellhorse and her story starters that started YOU on her way. She had no idea, did she?


  4. Kim, terrific introduction! It was my 5th grade teacher that got me started writing as well.

    And ladies did you catch that we have a doctor in our midst? Kim just completed her doctorate in audiology. Congrats again, Kim! I’m sure your writing career will be just as successfull.

  5. Kim,

    You remind me of a phoenix, majestic bird of fire. From smoldering ember, your writing is now burning bright and strong, and it will soon soar among the stars.

    I’m so glad you’re with us on this journey.


  6. Thanks for the warm welcome and kind words, ladies. I have to admit – now that this first post is behind me – I was a bit nervous about posting. But just a little bit…if you count butterflies the size of jumbo jets doing the Macarana in my innards a little bit.

    Dawn, Minnie Pearl was indeed a character. And proof that you don’t have to use a lot of profanity or overtly suggestive material to be absolutely hilarious.

    Lorna’s right. I did just complete my doctorate. In fact, the title is still so new I got an e-mail on Friday addressed to Dr. Payne and, for a minute, I wondered why I was getting someone else’s e-mails.

    Thanks for letting me be a part of this group, guys!


  7. Hi Kim,

    I actually had to work for a living today and am just now popping over to this site. It’s so fun to read everyone’s intos and get to know each one on the loop better.

    I’m a transplant to the south and love Southernisms and Minnie Pearl! Plus a girl who grew up in our church is an audiologist doctor in Atlanta, so we have another connection — I know another audiologist! LOL

    I loved your descriptive prose and look forward to reading more of your posts!


  8. Linda,

    What a small world we live in. Not many people know what an audiologist is…let alone know one, personally!


  9. Kim — this girl (I say girl, she’s 29) and her brother were both born with hearing defects, so working with hearing-impaired children has been a passion of hers. I’m very proud of her for dedicating her life to such a work.

  10. Hi Kim

    I am excited to hear you are a part of this writer’s group. I have long been a fan of yours on RFF. It is good to read about you and your quest to become a published writer. I wish you much success. I know it will happen. You are too good a writer for it not to happen.

    I love your stories on RFF, the few I’ve been able to read. I feel very badly that I haven’t been able to keep up with some of them. It always seems just as you start one, I’m off to hither and yon and get so far behind, I never seem to get caught up.

    As I told Kav one time regarding her stories, I don’t know why I punish myself by waiting so long to catch up. The same can be said for your stories too. So, no more. I am going to make a concerted effort to treat myself to your stores.

    Now, I just have to say, it is wonderful to read how God has worked in the lives of all of the writers here and brought you together to support each other. It is very inspiring and I’m sure will one day become a testament to God’s power in our lives if we only let Him lead.

    Congratulations, also, on receiving your doctorate degree. That is quite an accomlishment and one that does not come without many hours of hard work.

    We have an audiologist in my family too. She is my uncle’s step-daughter’s daughter (does that make her a step-granddaughter?) and is probably about your age. She works in the little town in KS where my dad lives. I’ll be going up to stay there for a few weeks soon, but will be able to keep up with this blog from there.


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