I’ve been a writer since I could hold a crayon. As a kid I stapled pages of very wide lined paper - wide enough for
the meticulously printed words I then considered “big words” - into my books. Sometimes there were actually more words than pictures in the laboriously composed stories. I kept a diary all through school. In those years before I left home for college I wrote poetry, tales of romance, mystery stories, and lots of memoir. In high school I submitted my work to the “Avant Guard,” our literary magazine, and was thrilled (in a low-key, cool kind of way, of course) when one of my poems was printed there. I left Southern California for the East Coast and college in a cloud of adolescent grandiosity and drama - I was putting my past behind me. I could ‘finally’ be the real me! My wise and patient mother waited until I had settled into my dorm before she told me that she’d packed up all my journals and diaries and shipped them to me. She knew that I’d want them someday. And I certainly did want them as I groped for a foothold in the strange new world I’d entered. But the anchor from my past writing never arrived. Somewhere in the midwest the train carrying the box full of my literary history caught fire; a carton of wet ashes was delivered to me weeks later. (My mother had covered the outside label with layers of Scotch tape, rendering my college address inflammable.) The loss gave my pause, but it also gave me a source of angst that needed a voice. I’ve been writing in some form ever since.
But it wasn’t till this year, at the age of 63, that I allowed myself to indulge in the complete joy of writing fiction full-time. I have even enrolled in an MFA program in fiction (really!). So, even though I’ve earned a Ph.D. in psychology, written a dissertation, co-authored 2 non-fiction books that have been published by well-respected publishers, seeing my first published short story in an online literary journal has thrilled me to my core! The Balance was published by Contemporary World Literature and you can read it here: http://contemporaryworldliterature.com/?cat=421