I finished college, taught 3 years, got married, decorated cakes in a bakery, and became pregnant with my first child, and then yearned for more words.
I took a Continuing Ed class at IU-PU Fort Wayne called Creative Writing. Now I was able to write for myself, not as a set assignment. I wrote about my childhood backyard, Mrs. Dremley (a friend of the family), roses, and just my stories. I loved the class. I remember I attended the class the first part of my pregnancy, but I became so sick, I didn't feel I could go on with the class. My instructor sent my stories back to me with much encouragement. I still have those stories.
After leaving teaching to raise 3 sons who were in school by now, I ventured once again into writing. I had the desire to see my name in print!! By-lines were my goal. The Ft. Wayne Journal Gazette published a Neighbors section for the 4 quadrants of the city. I became a reporter for the northeast side where I lived. I loved interviewing people and listening to their real stories. I covered things like a family opening a new business to families who had experienced home fires. I was required to bring my copy in and type it on the newspaper computers. At this time, computers weren't found anywhere I knew except for games of Pac-Man at home. I did this for a season, then decided to take on a real job. Teaching was out of the question for me right now.
I ended up getting a great job at Lincoln National Life as a secretary which lead to a position in the training department. I loved this job. I worked with sales people, taught a class in business etiquette (Believe it or not!), and helped write manuals for the insurance field offices. I wrote but did not understand anything I really wrote!! I don't know how I did that to this day.
We moved, and I finally returned to teaching 7th graders for the next 19 years. The last 10 years before I retired were the best. I started to attend AllWrite meetings with Ruth at another school. We left that first meeting not really knowing what we had just experienced, but we were hooked.
I enjoyed teaching more than I ever had when I incorporated Writing Workshop into my classroom. I stumbled a lot those first couple of years but couldn't let the concept go. I felt I was really teaching, connecting with kids, and writing for the first time with a community of young writers. I learned along with my students and am still learning today.
Why do I still write?
It's like reading a good book. I write:
- to be comforted
- to be grounded
- to escape
- to enjoy
- to sort things out
- to be part of a writing community
- to tell my story