I never imagined I'd write a book. Then one day, things changed. My closets were filled with paintings, turpentine was burning my skin, and the enthusiasm for lessons with still-lifes and nudes had long since subsided. Sometimes we need a break with tradition.
And so one day - about fifteen years ago - realizing a new challenge was in order, I decided to switch from painting to writing. My doctors had encouraged creative outlets for keeping my head on straight. But there were three small problems: 1) I didn't know how to write anything worth writing; 2) I didn't know what to write about that would be of interest to me much less others; and 3) I didn't know how to use a computer. I plainly needed help.
So, on a wild hare, I beat the path to the local community college and enrolled in a creative writing course. It met at night. I was the oldest in the class by far. And the creativity of my class mates astounded me.
We began with poetry. According to our teacher, poetry helps focus the writer on a subject, enables her to use word placement to create color and texture, and it all felt like painting, only without the burn and storage requirements.
And then we moved on to essays and short stories. Through them I discovered ideas would come easily if I was open to them; if I started writing before I started to think. And so it wasn't long before I found myself writing a book, one chapter at a time while sipping cups of coffee at Starbucks, the world's venue for overly stimulated but undiscovered writers. I had found my place in the world.
To be continued ...