So…what started it all? How and why had I begun to write?
I’d asked my mom that question a few years ago when I’d begun to write my bios. She’d told me that I’d started out drawing dinosaur and Civil War “art,” then began to write about the dinosaurs and the Civil War. That I’d started at the age of six. I’d written about this on my other site.
And I do remember doing this!
I’ve always been interested in writing. If I hadn’t gotten to writing a particular story down, then I’d write down its idea…and save it. And up until so many years ago, I’d saved all those exact little scraps of paper—whether they’d been the ripped-off corners of envelopes, the backs of business cards, or pieces of toilet paper. I’d kept each original scrap with its idea. I’d since begun inputting those ideas into a file and tossed the little pieces of papers, etc., away.
Then there was also the one time when I’d been outside on one sunny day and decided—through some form of wonderful “kid logic”—that I would write a story around on the outside of our house!
It was the Lake Clear house, in upstate New York, and had been painted yellow and green at the time. Thankfully, I’d used pencil…but my dad was still not amused (though I’m sure my mother probably was!). So, I stood there on that sunny day and just started writing…of course I then had to remove all I’d written. If I had—I don’t remember doing so—but I don’t remember saving that story. Dang it. Would be really neat to see what I’d written!
And speak about writing on things in public…there was also one teenage Hallowe’en night wherein which I’d taken some fluorescent green paint and a flashlight and hoofed it down a length of Adirondack railroad track that ran between the lake and a field across the road from our house (in my Hallowe’en costume), and painted “Denn Die Todten reiten schnell!” Translation? “For the Dead travel fast!”
I’ve always loved writing!
Whenever I’d had assignments that involved essays, I loved them! Whenever I’d see a blank page, I’d grown excited with the possibilities. About how I was going to be able to bring that blank, white page to life.
It had always been an innate drive. What I’d felt drawn to, pardon the pun. And I’d begun writing about horror and the supernatural, because that was where my interests were: the weird and the strange. The paranormal! But when my dad asked me (in my early twenties) about why I liked to write about this stuff, I’d realized I’d had no answer. And it wasn’t so much about the writing he’d been asking about…but the content. And I made no additional points when he’d caught me reading the The Exorcist, let me tell ya.
So…I thought about it…and realized years alter that I didn’t really like writing about nasty, gory things…but I did like writing about all-things weird…and I’d later discovered The Twilight Zone. As well as Night Gallery, Circle of Fear, and The Night Stalker.
While some of that stuff was still horror and the supernatural, it wasn’t all gory…it was freaky. Spooky. Atmospheric. Psychological. And I found I loved writing about that kind of stuff.
Now, mind you, I wasn’t against writing the occasionally nasty scene…but I was no longer going to focus on long, extended works that required lots of focus and concentration on such highly distasteful material.
Along the way, I’d studied many books about writing, editing, and grammar, and had even taken a Writer’s Digest correspondence course, under the direction of the now-deceased James Kisner. I’d also found critique groups, and later, writer groups and conferences.
And I wrote. And wrote. And still do.
Just not on the sides of homes…or on rocks.