The first time I ever wrote because I wanted to, I was in 8th grade. I entered an essay contest for a chance to win a puppy and appear on my favorite Saturday morning cartoon show, The Peter Boyle Show. I wanted a puppy badly, and begging my parents hadn’t worked, so I wrote that essay from my very being, and won the contest.
Despite such an auspicious start, I didn’t think about writing again until I finished my undergraduate degree in 1993. (You could say I’m a late bloomer) I got a job writing a cookbook review column for a small rag in South Philly. Okay— it was unpaid— and the editor was a friend, but I got to see my writing in print. My column was called, “A Cook and her Books.”
Then I moved to Japan, where I developed writing fever. I took a correspondence course from The London School of Journalism and before I got through 4 lessons, I saw my article, “10 days meditating in serene environment in Thailand” in the big English language newspaper, The Daily Yomiuri. Another travel piece, “Bali by Bicycle,” was published in The Alien, a humor magazine for expats.
When I returned to Philly, in January of 1998, I joined an online writing group called, The Internet Writing Workshop, and set out to make a living freelancing. After nine months of writing, revising, and submitting queries and articles, I knew I needed a real job. I applied for, and got, a job teaching English.
On my first day of school, my op-ed article, “A sole proudly ill-suited for the corporate world,” was published in the Philadelphia Inquirer. That piece was followed by a second, entitled, “The young carry resolve into post-boom Japan.” But my writing resolve faltered under the weight of teaching and taking graduate school courses, and my writing became confined to papers, and finally, my Masters thesis.
Now I’m retired, with time aplenty for writing. Stay tuned for my novel-in-progress, Revolution: A Political Fantasy.