I remember starting out 48 years ago as a young bride. Life had so much to offer and 48 years seemed like an eternity away. Funny, I look back now and it seems like only yesterday. Like the song, “Don’t Blink” a hundred years goes faster than you think.
If you would have told me 48 years ago that I’d be a mother of six, grandmother of 14 and a great grandmother and I’d be a published author, I would have laughed at you. I mean seriously laughed. Okay, mother of six, I could buy that. I always wanted a lot of children, coming from a large family, I’m the second youngest of six,. So if you would have told me I’d have six children, I would have said “good”. In fact if you would have told me I’d have fourteen grandchildren, I would have been thrilled and even expected more. My own parents had twenty-three. And if you would have said I’d have one great grandchild, I probably would have asked “Is that all?” After all I have four granddaughters old enough to have at least one a piece. Heck, my oldest granddaughter is twenty-seven, by that time I was pregnant with my sixth.
But all that aside, what would have surprised me is that I’d be a published author. Not that I’d be a writer, because even back then I loved to write. But in my wildest dreams, I don’t think I ever thought about being published. Okay, maybe a couple of times.
With raising six children, there wasn’t a lot of time to write. My husband was a truck driver and on the road a good portion of the time, so raising the kids was my full time job. If you ask any of my kids, they’ll tell you I ruled with an iron hand – oh wait, that was my brother in law who said that. But I’m sure my kids would agree. What choice did I have? With six little ones running around, someone had to keep them inline. That task was up to me. When hubby came home on the weekends, he didn’t want to be the bad guy. “After all,” he said, “I don’t want them to hate me coming home.” Great, so they could hate me instead.
Not that they do, thank God. But life wasn’t easy. I used to say I was a single parent without the perks. I didn’t get to go out and date or have any fun. Okay, I did go out – shopping or to Bingo with my sister – how’s that for fun? Actually it was. I had no desire to go out bar-hopping, and I certainly wasn’t looking for another man. One was quite enough, thank you very much. Besides, I loved the guy.
So, as I said, there certainly wasn’t much time to write, but I read a lot. In fact, I joined Double Day Book Club when we first got married and I only recently quit it. Okay, I quit several times in between, but I always ended up joining again a year or so later. Needless to say, I have quite a library of books. Actually, I had more, but somehow in the move from our home to an apartment, they disappeared. I think my kids threw them out. I mean I had boxes and boxes and boxes of books. They probably figured I wouldn’t miss a few or five or ten.
Anyway, that’s off topic. I wrote a bit back then and even took a writing course for children. Not a good fit. I didn’t think enough like a child to write for them. So I just wrote short stuff here and there. I never even tried to publish it.
Nope, that didn’t happen until about eight years ago. My sister in law and a group of friends decided to start a book club, because we all loved mysteries. I was game. What the heck, I loved reading and mysteries were one of my favorite genres. So it happens at one of the meetings, yes we really did discuss the books – at least for a few minutes, someone asked what we all regretted not doing. I freely admitted I regretted not writing.Well that’s all it took, they were on me like flies on butter. “It wasn’t too late,” they all agreed. So that got me thinking and I decided they were right. I took a writing course and they encouraged me to submit. So submit I did. Let me tell you, they could have peeled me off the ceiling when I got my first acceptance. Funny thing, it wasn’t fiction. My first acceptance was for nonfiction – which I didn’t think I’d ever write. In fact most of my forty articles that are published were nonfiction. Now I even teach nonfiction writing classes for Long Story Short School of Writing. www.lsswritingschool.com
Did I ever think I’d write a novel? Not in this lifetime, but here I am seven novels later and two of them published with Red Rose Publishing, two more due out in Sept and Oct. with Red Rose and two novels and three novellas due out from MuseIt Up Publishing starting in March 2011. I’ve submitted one other novel and a couple more novellas to MuseIt Up and I’m anxiously waiting to hear back. More info at http://redrosepublishing.com/books/ and
I guess my whole point of this article – is never doubt you can do something. Never give up on your dream. It’s never too late.
If you’d like to know more about me check out my website and bloghttp://roseannedowell.com/