My Words

Writing Challenge #1 – A Short Autobiography

Well – It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted anything on here. To kick-start things I’m tackling a writer’s challenge. First up: a short autobiography. Where does one start with an autobiography? I had a high school teacher once ask us to start with “time of conception” and go to age 12. I thought that was a little much, and came up with a great story about being conceived on the back of a purple and black Harley, instead of asking my parents for details to share with my teacher. I got an A- even though none of it was true. We’ll go the honest route on this one.
I grew up in the suburbs of Salt Lake, Utah, the oldest of two children. My little brother and I were pretty much opposites growing up. My mom called us each an only child. I was mellow; he was mile-a-minute. He was the comedian; I’ve been accused of being born without a sense of humor. Like a lot of siblings we fought like cats and dogs at times, but we did have a lot of fun together when we were getting along. One thing we didn’t realize until we were adults was the fact that we were also spoiled rotten. Our parents – high school sweethearts – gave everything they could to make sure our childhood was amazing. And it was.
I was part of a close-knit family. There was always an occasion to get together. If there wasn’t an official occasion, just the fact that it was a Saturday would be good enough. In between the normal holidays, there were birthdays and summer parties, family baseball games, pre-holiday parties, and storybook Christmas tree “hunts” at my Uncle Johnny’s family’s cabin. And in between all of that were countless sleepovers at grandma’s house. My cousins and I were all loved but being the first born always gave me confidence that I was the favorite at grandma’s. Both of my grandma’s.
I started high school in in 1991 at the same high school my mom and many other relatives on both sides of my family had attended. By the time I started I had made up my mind on what I would be doing after graduation. I was going to be a cop. And I let everyone know it. I was also pretty sure if that didn’t work out I wanted to be a writer. Or a pastry chef. I wrote poems and short stories in elementary school, wrote the advice column for the school paper in 9th grade, and fell back in love with poetry by high school. Being that I was well into my angsty teen years, most of my poetry was “deep”, which meant a lot of it had to do with social issues and death. 😉
In 1994 I graduated high school knowing that I would be heading off to college. I’d won a vocational law enforcement scholarship that covered a year’s tuition. The competition involved an essay and an interview. I’ve always been pretty sure it was my kickass essay that did it for me. College started and the next ten years were a whole lot of adventure, excitement, complication, accomplishment, and luck. I became a single mom and we both survived it with a ton of help from that crazy-close family I mentioned. I worked as a police dispatcher, an insurance claims rep, and then moved into the massive world of import/export shipping that I knew nothing about. I bought my first home for me and my son, all by myself, at 27, went through a few halfhearted relationships and then met The One (and his two) in 2004. It was a wild ten years.
Just after I met The One I started writing again. I started with my own version of a vampire tale that didn’t include anyone that glittered. I gave that story all my focus, and one day it will be finished, but my brain kept wandering to a different story. It was a little story I’d started in 1997 about a female detective named Kat that kept coming back to me. Eventually other characters wound their way into the story and I decided to run with it. That story has become my first completed novel and the first thing I’ve ever risked submitting to an agent for consideration. And while I wait (And wait. And wait) I will continue to be me. So, do you know me yet? I’m a daughter and a sister and a wife and a mom and a step-mom. A cousin, a friend, a Neil Gaiman fan, an ice cream junkie, a live music lover, and a writer. That’s me.

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