Pep talk for launching – Wherever you are, that’s where you start

Airplane
This blog is dedicate to my father and all the fire-bomber pilots who risk their lives to save ours.

Your desire to create something new may come from deep inside your soul. It’s been there as long as you can remember, and if you don’t respond to this you may explode. Or, your yearning to develop your ideas and share them may stem from outside experiences, be they joyous, tedious, or even traumatic. But you have a need to share.

Why do you want to do this? When did you know you had to make this life altering endeavor? Where do you start? How do you make the journey? What gives you the courage to continue? To whom do you owe gratitude for your beginnings?

My mother used to read Little Golden Books to me. Her greatest motivator for me to behave in the grocery store was the promise of a new book. You can bet I wouldn’t do a thing to jeopardize my chance at a story book. I would beg her to read me a story over and over until I’d actually memorized it. Then I’d ‘read’ it to my dolls – usually upside down.

Later I began to make up stories of my own to tell my dolls. This wasn’t necessarily driven by some internal desire to create; I followed the examples around me. Unknown to them, I listened to the storytellers in my life.

The love of storytelling began when I was eight years old, when our family received a gift from God in the form of adoption. My little brother came to us when he was three years old – and he arrived with such an imagination one has never seen before. Early every morning, before the household was awake, Calvin would lie in his crib and talk to himself. He would playact so many funny little games. I suppose he may have used his hands as puppets, or maybe his stuffed toys – but in his imagination, so many adventures came to pass. And did I mention they were funny? I listened through the walls, and laughed along with him, living out the crazy antics of his pretend world.

Later, when I was old enough to accompany my father to the airport, where he flew huge airplanes and fought forest fires, I would hide among the oil barrels at the side of the hangar and listen while the pilots told their harrowing stories. Would they have continued these vivid re-creations of life and death, split second decisions had they known I was listening? I will never know. They have one by one passed on. But their love of storytelling stayed with me.

My father once heard me making up stories with my Barbie dolls and Breyers horses and encouraged me to write them down. At first it was a punishment, at least I thought so at the time. But eventually the stories came to me easier and easier – and he started sending my stories to magazines. Of course an eleven year old child doesn’t possess the skills to hone and finely polish a magazine article, so the results were always the same. Rejection. Daddy encouraged me to keep on trying. He was gone by the time I saw my first story in print in a Christian magazine.

I kept writing.

Finally I found the motivation and courage to strike out and go to college. With three small children and on my own, I discovered that to achieve success, one must possess the right tools. Looking back at some of my early works, I know why I always got the ‘pink slip’ in the mail.

I kept writing.

Nearly fifty years from receiving my first rejection, after decades of education, practice, workshops, conferences, reading, researching, listening – and – never – quitting – I received a request for the full manuscript of a novel I began two years ago.

It started with a pencil and a sheet of notebook paper, back then, and now. It started because I started.

If you want to do something, then do it.

Be on the lookout for my novel, Big Hearts. And if you’re interested in witnessing how the journey began – nearly fifty years ago, read my Black Pony Adventures on Amazon, published under my maiden name, Connie Peck. Find my author page on Amazon here: http://tinyurl.com/nvuujuu

Oh, yea – I finally figured out this website. It only took three days.

Testimonials of your beginnings are welcomed.

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