Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Introduction to My Hunting Gems Series

In September of 1982, my parents gave me a diary for my tenth birthday. I started writing in it nightly. To this day, I can’t make out some of the words, but it was filled with the goings on of my young life. Every year after, while I was in school, someone gave me a diary for my birthday. Looking at my last diary from when I was seventeen, I am ashamed to say that I still can’t read some of the words. Of the ones I can read, many of them are spelled wrong and it takes a bit of thinking to figure out what I was trying to write about.

In August of 1985, I opened a spiral notebook, meant to be used as school supplies, and wrote my first poem. Over the years, the pile of poetry-filled notebooks would grow to number about twenty. Scattered amongst the angst-ridden poems were short stories or the beginnings of ideas for longer novels.

In the summer of 1985, my mother noticed and read the beginnings of my first novel attempt. It was handwritten on loose lined paper. As always, it was hard to read because of my poor penmanship and lack of good grammar skills, but she saw potential there and brought home a manual typewriter from work. I was so glad that I had taken typing in school.

In the fall of 1987, my parents bought me a word processor, complete with a printer. I painstakingly typed in my novel and then finished it. The freedom to cut, copy, and paste was so great that I spent much time trying to make it better. Unfortunately, the disks that I had kept the novel on got lost when I moved out of the house, but that first attempt gave me the writing bug.

In May of 2007, I sat down in front of my computer, opened a blank notepad file and started to type. As I wrote the story, I realized a few things.

1.) My grammar had not improved.
2.) My punctuation for dialogue was all wrong.
3.) My storytelling abilities were lacking.

I made the decision to stop writing and learn as much as I could about writing before I started the novel again, though I did continue to write practice stories.

I started my search by using the internet. What I found was scattered bits and pieces. It was like treasure hunting, finding gems amongst the sand and debris that litter the web.

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