While having a morning visit with my dear friend and hockey guru, Lola/Lydia, last week, an idea was brought up. Actually, it was a rather big bunch of ideas. Really interesting ones as well, but that`s not surprising coming from this particular woman. She and I were discussing something rather secretive yet, but during this plotting and planning meeting, she said that she thought women of a certain age, which she and I are, might find it interesting to hear how I found myself starting a new career at this stage of my life.
I had a doubt or two. I mean, I`m not exactly exciting. I herd chickens, chase geese, read comic books, and get far too excited over Swedish goalies and Norwegian wingers. Who would want to read about that? Lola disagreed. She tossed out a lot of other great suggestions for blog posts, so, trusting in her implicitly, I decided to follow her advice. Lola has yet to steer me wrong. So, how did I, a stay-at-home mom on a hillside farm in the boondocks of Pennsylvania decide to be an author as she approached fifty? Well, it all started with Bryan Singer.
Actually, as I look back on things, my brain has always been the brain of a story-teller, I just didn`t know it. For as long as I can remember, I would have scenarios running in my head. These scenarios would always come to the fore when I was trying to go to sleep, or that was when they were most noticeable. Some nights I would lay there for hours, scenes and dialog and other assorted things bouncing around inside my head. Being kept awake like this was not fun, but it was how things had been since I was a teenager. My mother, when I would tell her about this odd affliction, would say I had an overactive imagination, or a guilty conscious, then look at me with one eyebrow arched.
So, that was me, rolling and tossing for sixty minutes, trying to let the stories inside my head play out so I could sleep. That went on for many years. Marriage and a child didn`t stop the cinema reels in my head. It`s kind of fascinating, for what it`s worth, that since I started writing daily, I now go to bed, close my eyes, and fall asleep almost instantly. The writer`s brain is an amazing, and damn scary, place at times.
One day I heard tell that an X-Man movie was in the works. Let me tell you I was one happy comic fan! I waited breathlessly for the movie, as many a Marvel fan did. It would be the first time we would see Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, the man that is tattooed onto my left bicep. Wolverine, that is, not Hugh.
Unfortunately, I was not happy with how Mr. Singer handled my favorite mutant. Not at all. Nope. I was downright miffed to be honest. So miffed that a few weeks after seeing the film, and hearing the complaints of other comic fans, I decided to take matters into my own hands. If Hollywood wouldn`t give me a film that represented my hero, then I`d write my own darn story.
And I did.
It was terrible. Really. Terrible. The work was loaded with grammatical errors, lacked paragraph breaks, and was overflowing with things that dangle and misplaced commas, when I even used a comma. I still hate commas, but we won`t go there. It`s too dark to speak of. But this ghastly first story stirred something. It brought something to life, fanned an ember, birthed a muse. It was through that first fan fiction, written because Mr. Singer hosed up my mutants, that I found the joy of writing. Or, perhaps it finally found me.
Whatever the case, I spent two or three years writing only fan fiction. I loved it. I wrote tons of tales! I could not stop. I still pen fan fiction when I can, which is not often, sadly. I made some wonderful friends, and learned a great deal during my fan fiction years. I toyed with submitting stories to Marvel, and was encouraged to do so by the other fans who read my work. I never did. It is incredibly hard, nigh onto impossible, to get a story into the hands of an editor at Marvel or DC. Then Marvel stopped taking unsolicited submissions. That was pretty much the nail of the coffin for that idea. What now?
I was kind of lost for a time. I had all these ideas. What could I do with them? I had plenty of time. My daughter was now in school. Mister worked all day. It was me, the farm, and that overactive imagination. I wanted to do more than just fan fiction, but what? How? Fate, as it tends to do, gave me a nudge in the right direction one chilly October day. I was at a book fest in town, gathering up bags of gently used books, when I spied a flyer on the wall. It was an invitation to participate in a new writer`s group forming at the local library.
Everything changed the minute I walked into the library that first time. But that`s a story for another day, and another post. So this is how it began for me. I suppose I should thank Bryan Singer for making that movie, but yeah, I just can`t. I can thank him for being the catalyst that shoved me into writing that first story, so, here we go . . .