I’ve already told you many times how much I love to write. It is a passion. I do it because I love it and it fuels me. As far back as I can remember, I would write out my thoughts or my dreams or just some really bad poetry. (I am talking really bad poetry.) In fact, when I was younger I remember writing stories to give to relatives for their birthday rather than just signing a card.
Last week when I was at my parents house, I found a drawer filled with items that the various grandchildren had sent to my grandfather as we were growing up. In a box were some of the letters and stories I wrote to him. Among the various notes and thank-you cards, there were many of my first attempts at story writing. (He was my biggest fan!) Mixed within the cards and letters, though, I found a handwritten birthday card I had made for him. Complete with a cheesy poem. Reading it as an adult, I blushed for the young girl who thought this was a sweet card. Although, as an adult, I saw the humor my grandfather must have seen in it to have kept it all those years. It went like this:
Today is your birthday and you should be glad.
Just because you are so old, you should not be sad.
You can’t run and skip like you used to be able to do.
But you are still really funny and I really love you.
So be happy today even though you are old now.
Because I will love you forever, of this I will vow.
Love Jennifer, age 7
(Cut me some slack, I was only 7 and barely 7 at that.)
You see, my grandfather had the world’s greatest sense of humor. When I read that, my first thought was “How totally rude of me to call him old….TWICE.” So, I went to show my Daddy the letter I found. He cracked up and smiled at me. Then, he told me that my grandfather kept that in his office at home where he could see it everyday. He said that he got the biggest kick out of the sheer honesty of it and loved to show it to his friends. He used to tell them, “That’s my granddaughter. She may never write for Hallmark, but she will write. Mark my words on that one!”
Well, 27 years later, I am finally stepping out and braving the real writing world. I have talked about it more than I care to recount, but now I am doing something about it. What am I talking about? Well, I finally stepped out of my comfort zone and have started sending out my work to editors. I am also working on getting an agent for my book.
I am not sure it is possible to really put into words how good, yet frightening it is. How exciting, yet nerve-wracking it is. How thrilled, yet anxious I am to have finally started down the path to becoming a “real writer.” Wish me luck! And of course, you will be the first to know when I hear anything…good or bad. Acceptance or rejection. Either way, sending it out there in the first place is what it is all about and how it all starts.
Oh, and if you’re from Hallmark and you are reading this, honestly, I have gotten much better at the whole “greeting card” type of poetry. It has been months since I told someone not to be sad because they are so old on their birthday! Really.