Monday, February 13, 2012

Origins Blogfest!

What started you on the path to writing?  That's what the Origins Blogfest created by DL Hammons is all about.  It's co-hosted by Alex Cavanaugh, Katie Mills (Creepy Query Girl), and Matthew MacNish (The QQQE).  Check out their blogs for links to other great Origins stories.
Here is mine:

I don't know exactly when it started for me, maybe I was 5 maybe I was 7.  It doesn't really matter, but whenever we took long car rides (almost every weekend to go up North in Michigan), I would stare out the window and make up stories in my head that fit the landscape we were driving through.  I didn't write anything down yet.  They were stored simply in my brain.  

Later on, in fifth grade I had an inspiring teacher who made us use our spelling words to write sentences. I'm not sure if she told us to weave them all into one complete story, but that's what I did.  It was my favorite class.  I came up with some pretty weird stuff.  It's hard to fit in all twenty words ranging from "lint, wallow, comb, heiress, etc" into something that made sense. (I guess it was a great preparation for all the flash fiction in Rachael Harrie's Campaign.) ;)  My favorite yarn from that class was the lint ball that ate the school.

Then my Mom and I started writing picture books together.  We never got any published, but we had so much fun working on them together.  We sat at the kitchen table sharing our imaginations.  We probably did more laughing than actual writing. But the experience was priceless, and I was hooked.  We started going to local writer's conferences. I took a creative writing class in school and then at the local university as a Saturday class.

Everywhere I went, I took a notebook to jot down ideas or write a quick poem. Every scrap of paper, even my college calculus class notes were covered with thoughts, things I noticed, and story snippets. (Maybe that's why I failed Calculus!)

Eventually, I got married had kids and life kind of got crowded with other duties and sadly my writing went on hold.  Then a couple of years ago, I decided I had to make time for writing again.  I started up with picture books because my three kids had given me so many wonderful ideas, but I couldn't quite get them right. So instead I worked on an article for a national magazine and to my surprise it was actually published!

It's my only publishing credit to date, but at least I'm writing every day now and I'm loving it!  I'm also sharing the fun with my daughters Jess from Write Skate Dream and Alyssa from Life Is Good.  Even my 7 year old son Ryan has been inspired to start his own story.

Well that is my Origins story.  I hope you enjoyed it.  I'd love to hear what got you started on this crazy path to crafting stories. And don't forget to check out everyone else's stories too!

Kathy :)                


27 comments:

Empty Nest Insider said...

What a wonderful story, and I love that you wrote picture books with your mom! Congrats on being published in a national magazine. Glad to see you at the blogfest. Julie

Sarah said...

How wonderful that you're passing on a tradition of creativity and expression to your children, and actively sharing the experience with them!

msdiamondhill said...

well I didn't know I just had the writer in me since childhood. I wrote stories when I was almost 6 years old. but I never knew I wanted to be writer! I always wanted to be a painter. strange!

Miranda Hardy said...

I didn't know Jess was your daughter. I just started following her. I love how you have that bond with your children. That is so great.

Annalisa Crawford said...

It's lovely that your daughters are following in your footsteps. My kids seem to hate reading at the moment.

DL Hammons said...

I love how your mom was so heavily involved in your ORIGIN. That is special! Thank you for sharing it with us today. :)

J.L. Campbell said...

What amazes me is the number of writers who have a variation of the story - started early, got sidetracked and then got back to writing.

Heather Day Gilbert said...

Sounds like you've had a similar journey to mine--early writing, family, then returning to writing. Nice to find your blog!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Returning to writing later - that sounds familiar. Do you still have the story about the lint ball?
Thanks for participating in the blogfest!

nutschell said...

Hi Kathy!
I'm dropping by from the origins blogfest. I love that you and your mom actually wrote some picture books together. What a cherished memory that must be.

Your newest follower,

Nutschell
www.thewritingnut.com

Ashley Nixon said...

Oh my! That's so wonderful that you all blog and write together! I love parents who encourage their children to write. :) My parents do!

Nancy Thompson said...

How wonderful! A writing family!!

D.G. Hudson said...

That was a nice story. I used to imagine a lot when we went on long drives too. I had a little brother to tell stories to, so the time went fast.
Nice meeting you! I'm dropping by from the Origins blogfest.

LynnRush said...

Awesome story. Write on, my friend!!!

Reiko said...

I can almost picture you and your mom at the kitchen table, laughing and having a great time! I enjoyed it!!

Mary@GigglesandGuns said...

A family affair! How great is that.

Melissa Sugar said...

This is an incredible story. I love that you and your mom worked on picture books together. I love your whole story.

Jeremy Bates said...

excellent style and design and perfect content .

Donna Hosie said...

I really love this story as well.

Mina Burrows said...

Great origin story. That so cool you and your mom wrote PB together. Thx for sharing.

Jackie Jordan said...

You started so young, Kathy! It's great for you to have had support from you mom. My initial encouragement came from my dad. He let me use his manual typewriter. I miss the old days!

Traci Kenworth said...

I used to make up stories on car trips too!!

mshatch said...

Great Origins story. I remember having to make up sentences, too, for our spelling words. It was my favorite part :)

M Pax said...

I still compose stories in my head, constantly. Many of them never make it to paper in their entirety. Snippets do though. They become the cruxt of what I'm working on.

Scarlett said...

Hi, Kathy!

So, Jess is your girl! What a great job you're doing with yours! Sharing your love for storytelling with your children is an awesome accomplishment! I can see now it's been handed down in your family.

Dreaming from a car window is a fabulous memory of your journey to writing. I'm looking forward to reading so much more!

Pk Hrezo said...

That's so cool! I love how all your kids are into it. I really hope mine get into it too. I like to think, even if nothing comes of this writing thing, I still found my niche.. and that feels good. :)

Tia Bach said...

I love your story, and that your family shares in your love of writing. So touching and inspiring. I co-authored a novel with my mother.

Stopped by to say Hi from the Campaign Group #3. Should be a fun campaign.