Writing is something I can’t NOT do. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve wanted to write stories
Of course, I didn’t know what I was doing when I tried to write a story, always frustrated that I couldn’t get on the page what was in my head.
I spent a lot of years trying, with little success. But the urge would overcome me, a story idea would pop into my head, so I’d try again. Same old, same old — the finished product was nothing like the grandiose ideas I had.
Then life interfered — a good life, don’t get me wrong — marriage and 3 wonderful children, some of the best years in my life.
Then, all of a sudden, kids were grown up and off doing their own thing, and I was one again swallowed up in this desire to write stories. I joined writers groups, even took a college classes in “Creative Writing”, one of which turned out to be about writing poetry. That was fun, interesting, and creative, but it didn’t satisfy my urge to tell a story.
Then, life changed again. Retirement loomed, and a chance to move from my hometown of Phoenix to the cool air of Portland, Oregon. Why not? Two of those three kids of mine would be close by, and I was sick of the stifling heat of the Southwest.
After that big move,I still had the urge to write stories, and Portland seemed to be a town filled with writers. I soon found Oregon Writers Colony, a delightful group of people who all had the same urge. Then, I learned about one of the Colony’s upcoming events: a writing workshop led by a famous teacher, James N. Frey, of “How to Write a Damn Good Novel” fame. I signed up and drove to the Oregon coast to the “Colonyhouse”, a beach house owned by Oregon Writers Colony, overlooking the Pacific, to attend that the Frey workshop.
There, I met people who have became some of my closest and dearest friends—all with the same “Divine Madness”, as the great Ray Bradbury called it; an overwhelming desire to write.
Jm Frey blew us all away with what he taught us that week. And when the workshop was over and I drove back to Portland, I felt as if my car’s wheels never touched the pavement. I felt as if I flew to Portland six feet up in the air.
I still hang out with some of the people who were in that workshop – some have gone on to become famous writers like Marjorie Reynolds and Susan Clayton Goldner. Some of us are still learning and growing in our grasp of the craft. And more help came along during my journey learning the craft from writers Marjorie Reynolds and Larry Brooks
We all still love what we do and feel like some of the luckiest people in the world, getting to spend time telling stories.