Friday, February 26, 2016

Have you ever wanted to be a writer?

I wasn't always a writer. Writing came about quite by chance. It happened eight winters ago when we were visiting our daughter and her family in northern California around Christmas time. One snowy afternoon while were all sitting around the fireplace drinking our hot chocolate, our grandson, Sam, began to tell us a story. It was a story Sam had just made up on the spur of the moment. After Sam finished his story, each of our other grandchildren made up  a story of their own. The adults even gave it a try. When it came to my turn, my mind was a complete blank. Yet, that afternoon around the fire stuck with me, and on our thirteen-hour drive home, I thought about the sort of stories I'd like to make up.

By the time I got home and back into my work routine I'd forgotten all about it until I began work on a project for my granddaughter, Caitlin's ninth birthday. I was making her a decorative box from a new shoe box and some of my scrapbook materials. On the lid, I created a large yellow cat sitting in a meadow surrounded by wildflowers. The cat was talking to a young fairy girl. The fairy girl, without wings and no higher than the cat's chin, was blond and wearing a pink dress.

Now I have no inkling where this idea came from other than the fact that Cait and I both adore fairies and cats alike. All the same, I was having fun with this project, and because I happened to have some shiny gold paper laying there on my table, I decided to make the cat a crown. As I stared at the scene on the lid of the box, it came to me that I ought to write a story to go along with it. Only I didn't get around to mentioning the crown until six months later when I wrote the second story for Cait at Christmas.

At the time I began this story, I had no concrete thoughts about where it was going. I merely began to write. As it turned out, my first draft became my outline, and I've been writing stories in that manner ever since. I called the young fairy, Orange Blossom. The cat, my superhero, was named for a lake we often passed on the way up to our daughter's cabin when we traveled the back way to Dorrington. Eventually, the series became known as Tales of Topaz the Yellow Conjure Cat. As for the tales that followed and why I finally published - well, that's another story. Follow this link and find out.

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