Part 1 : On Writing
Hi there Friends!!
Thank You All for making my blogs well read! I am grateful for all the support I have gotten on this website :) As we were celebrating Thanksgiving yesterday with family, I was prompted for the first time in a long time to voice some ideas I had about a book of personal essays from the lens of a Female Gen-Xer about relevant issues facing our country today like abortion, gay rights, marijuana legilization, mental health, the Pandemic, higher Education, Religion, Gun Laws, Crime and Racism. You see, I used to write really well and in fact, have been published many, many times.
Then, this morning I got a message on my website from someone who was grateful I had posted the podcast I did with Brooke Musterman. It made me think, hey, instead of writing a "book" which is such an old-fashioned idea, I'll put the essays on my website as blogs. So, here goes!! But first I wanted to talk about my life with writing, so you will understand the highs and lows of my writing voice.
I was born a middle-class white girl in the Summer of 1977 in the South. Both of my parents worked, my dad at a bank and my mother as an elementary school teacher. They were young and we didn't have a lot of money growing up to spend friviously. My sister was born on my 4th birthday, literally we were born on the same day 4 years apart. I loved to read as a young child, and would spend hours reading Noel Streatfield Ballet Shoes series, or The Grimm Brothers Fairy Tales. I also read books by Judy Blume and the series The Sweet Valley Twins, and also the series The BabySitter's Club. I also loved music and pictures and dancing.
When I was about 12, I decided I wanted to become a writer when I grew up. I began to take academics and school in general more seriously and attended the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts in 1994. I will address other aspects of my high school years in some future essays that I think the issues are still relevant today such as abortion, gay rights, and mental health.
Then after I graduated from Dreher High School in 1995, I went on to attend New York University on a partial scholarship and the plan was to study some sort of journalism. I had interned at a local NBC affiliate, WIS-TV, my senior year in high school and loved it. However, when I got to New York City my freshman year there were a lot of new experiences and I ended up getting a work-study job in the NYU Student Employment Office as part of the scholarship I had. I learned to juggle work and school and my grades improved. That summer, I went home and drove a delivery van for my father's business which he had started several years before as my summer job. My sophomore year, I met with a school advisor and we made a plan that I would study print journalism and also study abroad in Spain the spring of my junior year and be able to graduate in 3 and 1/2 years in January 1999. Well, by the grace of God I did it !
Then came my writing career! Right before I walked in May of 1999 in Madison Square Garden at the NYU graduation, I received a call from DownBeat Magazine, a national music magazine out of Chicago, that my article on a musician named Chris Potter, a well-known jazz saxophonist, was going to be published in their May 1999 issue. Even though I had technically graduated in January, I remained in NYC living on the Lower East Side and working for a non-profit AIDS awareness organization that produced music compilations for AIDS awareness, The Red Hot Organization which had their offices on Spring Street in SoHo. I walked in May and by that time had an another article in the works, this time for the NY Daily News AIDS Awareness Magazine. I published twice in that publication, and also wrote for the tech magazine, Alley Cat News, The Resident Newspaper, and The Brooklyn Papers.
After being exhausted both mentally and financially from NYC, I moved to Metuchen, New Jersey, a 30 minute train ride from Manhattan, to live with my grandmother at her house. I lived there for about 2 years and wrote for the Newark Star-Ledger daily newspaper. When I moved back home to Columbia, SC at age 25 , I wrote for The State Newspaper and eventually, ended up getting full-time employment as a staff writer at The Free Times, an alternative weekly newspaper out of Columbia. After that job, I never worked in newspapers again, but have published with my photography in magazines which I will save for another blog !!
So, in short, that is the story of my wrting history up until now. Hope you enjoyed learning a little about me here on my website and hope you will continue to comment and read future blogs that are upcoming!! Best to You and Yours.
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