Those who have read my books know that I came to live with my dear grandparents when I was about a week old. My mother and father's marriage was annulled when I was no more than two years of age. My father re-married and was only a brief part of my life. My mother went off to nursing school just after I was born. She soon remarried as well and started a new family. Thankfully in the tender care of my Gramma and Grampa I never knew anything about the turmoil my birth had caused and never experienced a lack of love, kindness, compassion and support for my dreams.
I always felt in my heart that my grandparents were the parents I was meant to have--the ones who could nourish the soul of a child unwanted by its mother and father.
When I was very young, about age three or four I penned my first very, very short story "The Little Hurt Bird." I was able to write such a tale because my Grampa, an Irish immigrant with only a second grade education, found time every night to tutor me as soon as my fingers could hold a stubby pencil. He taught me my letters and numbers so that by the time I was three and four I could "do my sums" and write and copy on my own. That first short, short story about a little injured robin Grampa and I found alongside the road and nursed back to health set my feet on the path of wanting to be a writer more than anything in the world. Grampa, ever vigilant and supportive of me, told me one day while we relaxed under the shade of a giant oak tree after a day of blackberry picking that "You can be anything you want to be Johnny (his tomboy nickname for me) if you are willing to work for it."
I took those words to heart.
Today those words uttered by Grampa echo down to me from over fifty years and keep me living my dream, believing in myself, in the kindness of others and in the fact that everything happens in good time and when it is supposed to.
As i grew into my pre-teen years every experience became a story that I wrote down on my lined notepad and then shared with my grandparents at night before we went to bed. Visitors to our home (that Grampa had named Pleasant View when he and Gramma bought the property and built the place in the early 1920's) were not exempt from having to sit and listen to me reading my stories. (I found that a captive audience was a very good thing) The most valuable lesson of those readings was that other people were sincerely interested in what I had to say--even though I was only eleven and twelve. I even got applause at times which was very heartening.
For too many years my dream of being an author were put aside as life intervened. i did write articles for magazines: IDEALS, FATE and GOOD OLD DAYS as well as newspapers. I had the great joy of seeing my stories in print. Then one October day about four years ago I decided it was the right time to test my skills in the larger market. I knew that the only way to do this would be to no longer have the distraction of having to work in an office, but rather to dedicate my full self to my craft. So it was that I left my job of nearly sixteen years and at last turned my face toward the dawn of my new life and I have never looked back.
Today I am becoming that successful author/screenwriter and playwright as well as ghostwriter and public speaker. The road before me seems bright with possibilities.
Leaving my job--or my comfort zone-- took courage--yes it did. But I have never given up believing in myself and my youthful dreams. And as I look back over the tapestry of my life thus far I am so very grateful for those who encouraged me along the way: my beloved and much missed grandparents, teachers and my first true love, Butch, pictured here with me just before we left for my senior prom in June of 1969. Later would come other friends and loved ones and precious pets with their support and love--and again I offer my gratitude because none of what I have done or will do with my writing would be possible without you. I love you all so much!
My motto: "WHAT YOU DO WITH YOUR LIFE ECHOES IN ETERNITY."
DREAMS COME TRUE EVERY DAY AND MIRACLES HAPPEN AS WEL AND I KNOW THIS IS TRUE BECAUSE I AM LIVING PROOF. BELIEVE IN THE POWER OF YOU!
I wish yu all the best on your journey...