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Blogging By the Sea
Saturday, 18 August 2018

Our August Round Robin Blog subject is: What got me started writing? 

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The very first writing challenge I had was my junior year high school English teacher who gave us the very first assignment of 500 words on an odor. I thought I was doomed. How could I come up with 500 words on something I could smell? Really? Was he kidding? NOT!  So I went home and got busy. While I was still pondering what I might write about my mom asked me to go out and take the sheets off the line. I know, I’m dating myself here – we didn’t have a dryer when I was a kid. Anyway, the fresh, delightfully clean smell of the sheets I buried my nose in before I folded them up inspired me. I got an A on that assignment and I’ve been writing ever since.

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That same teacher, by the way, turned me, the worst speller ever into a fairly decent speller with an above average vocabulary. That first day in his class he also announced that from here on out we would hsve 5 points deducted for every misspelled word on homework, quizzes and tests. Again, I thought I was doomed. Back in the day anything below 70 was FAILING! How was I ever going to pass this man’s class? But he went on to explain that he was also handing out dictionaries which he expected us to keep on the corner of our desks and use every time we didn’t know a word – LOOK IT UP! The dictionary could go home with us for homework and it could be used for quizzes and tests. I developed a lifelong habit and even today with spell-check I still look up words often that I’m not sure of. A side effect was that I discovered a whole world of words I’d never have known had I now been poking through the dictionary. So, thank you Mr. Keyes!

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My first attempt at a novel was in my mid-twenties. No computers back then either – I’m old as the hills as my grandmother would have said!! That first novel was written in pencil on yellow lined paper and still exists today in a file in my desk. Maybe someday I’ll drag it out and see what my 24-year-old self created. I was into Georgette Heyer at the time so this was a Regency Romance. First and last Regency I’ve ever written, but that just got me started. After that stories seemed to collect in my head like dust bunnies under my bed. Very prolific things! I see stories everywhere – on the news, in my family, in the neighborhood, at the store, in airports, walking down the street, in parks and at the beach. Just about anywhere there are people, I find ideas for stories. And being the adventurer I am, I am always looking for a new adventure in writing. There’s an adage out there to stick with one genre so you won’t disappoint readers who liked what you wrote first, but just as in my personal life, I want to experience new things, go new places, meet new people and stretch my imagination. So, I’m now published in main stream, contemporary romance, women’s fiction and historical romance and time travel. And now I’m working on a mystery.

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I better live to be a LOT Older than the hills though because I’ve got so many great story ideas I have to live a long time to write them all. I’ll probably meet my maker with another new story just coming to life in my head.

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Check out these other authors and see what got them started in a life of writing.


Connie Vines http://mizging.blogspot.com/
Victoria Chatham http://www.victoriachatham.com
Judith Copek http://lynx-sis.blogspot.com/
Dr. Bob Rich https://wp.me/p3Xihq-1ke
Beverley Bateman http://beverleybateman.blogspot.ca/
A.J. Maguire  http://ajmaguire.wordpress.com/
Fiona McGier http://www.fionamcgier.com/
Margaret Fieland http://margaretfieland.wordpress.com
Rhobin L Courtright http://www.rhobinleecourtright.com

Posted by: Skye Taylor AT 12:02 am   |  Permalink   |  5 Comments  |  Email
Comments:
Oh - I remember the smell of fresh sheets off the line, too. I didn't have a dryer until sometime in the early 1980s, I can't recall the exact year. I liked listening to them snap in the wind as well!
Posted by Victoria Chatham on 08/19/2018 - 05:43 PM
I guess I'm dating myself, too, because I also remember the smell of fresh sheets on a close line. And you were so lucky to have that special teacher.
Posted by Beverley Bateman on 08/20/2018 - 12:25 AM
It's funny how things like scent can spur the imagination; and I think once started the ideas keep coming. Interesting post, Skye.
Posted by Rhobin on 08/20/2018 - 03:50 PM
We didn't get a dryer until I was a pre-teen and Mom was working a retail job. Then I had to do the laundry, so I was very grateful I didn't have to hang sheets out to dry. I did love the way they smelled, but hanging them up was a pain! I wanted to be that kind of English teacher, but alas, the pay was so bad that I couldn't teach more than a year. I had to find other employment just to be able to afford my car payments and my student loan payments.
Posted by Fioan McGier on 08/21/2018 - 10:37 PM
I wish my teachers had done the dictionary thing. Seriously, that makes so much sense it hurts.
Posted by AJMaguire on 08/22/2018 - 08:17 AM

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    Skye Taylor
    St Augustine, Florida
    skye@skye-writer.com

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