Writing -- I have always wanted to pursue writing. In high school, my creative writing teacher, Pat Hiland, encouraged me to write. I did -- some. I wrote for our Kansas optometric journal and powered parachuting articles for magazines. But this burning desire to write was more a smolder than a roaring fire. Then in 1995 I decided it was time. Word processing made it easier as my typing skills were so poor -- I could backspace and delete and the text still looked proper.
Writing my first novel was an enormous task for me. I wrote until I thought it was good and then I asked several English teachers in my home town to read it and give me their opinion. I have to tell you, I was appalled and embarrassed by some of their comments and their critiques. The number and types of grammatical errors that I made were, well, mortifying to me. I mixed past and past perfect tenses, I changed character voice within chapters, I made numerous flaws in punctuation, I used way too many passive verbs, I started too many sentences with gerunds, I used too many dangling modifiers, too many adjectives, too many verbs in describing character's dialog . . . . . and on and on.
Beyond being appalled by these critiques and learning that my "book" was far from complete however, I was totally thankful for their honest opinions and their help in improving it. It set me out on a journey that continues even today as I now come to the place in the time where I publish my book as an e-book -- 21 years after I started writing it. It's been way more work than I ever imagined. If I weren't passionate about it, I would have quit a long time ago. But here I go again.