As did so many other authors, I began writing at an early age—pudgy fingers fumbling with red crayons, probably something like “roses are red, violets are blue, I love Mom.” And, as was the same with many others, I improved with age and graduated to better poetry, song lyrics, short stories, flash fiction, all the good stuff (which I’d left in a paper bag when Billy and I moved. The cats shredded it and everything in it. We weren’t friends for a while).
When I was at Texas A&M, my English class followed my Algebra class. Switching from numerical logic to verbal logic, from practical to artistic, always took a few minutes beyond the stroll from one building on campus to the other. My creative writing professor at the time gave us a challenging warm-up exercise. Each session, she’d hand out index cards on which we had to write entire stories—beginning, middle, end—complete with viable characterization. At the top of the card, we were to write our “inspiration” for the story.
Mine usually went something like this:
(X + Y) x Z = AB/C
The stories would involve X and Y, who were military commanders of allied nations. They joined forces with Z to infiltrate the country of AB while it was being divided by C—also an ally of X and Y.
After a semester of reading my antics for ABC and XYZ, my prof confessed to me she looked forward to my notecards and encouraged me toward a career in writing. I wish I had heeded her advice. I would’ve had roughly thirty years of writing credits under my belt. Yes, I would’ve been plodding away on my IBM Selectric III, and my transition to a computer would’ve rivaled Jessica Fletcher’s in rebellion and refusal, but I would’ve been well along in my career by now.
But I think if my old professor could see me now, she’d be pleased with how far I’ve come. I still have a long way to go to meet my goals, but God has blessed me so much. All glory goes to Him.