Gifts from Where You Live

Gifts from Where You Live

I’ve kept my early publications.

On any given day, writing is my escape, my amazing friend, my intellectual stimulation as I seek and often find the right word, the exact phrase–or dream about finding it. Either way I go to writing to find myself, always hoping to give back something of value to my readers. I think of writing as a special gift and yet I have often referred to it as THE JOYFUL BURDEN, because I cannot walk away from it–even if rejections and disappointments are part of the entire process. Writing is something I want to give anyone who will read it. Writing is a gift from where I live.

A Story Here an Article There — My Writing History 

There was that two page story about a tornado, written in pencil in the fourth grade. There was an awful poem, written in freshmen year of high school that won a prize. There was my creative writing teacher in senior year, who knew I would always raise my hand with an offering, but encouraged me to be more judicial in what I considered FINISHED or WELL DONE. She taught me not to LOVE everything that went down on the page.

Things were more challenging in college and I struggled through my Creative Writing course. When I thought I had a gift and could breeze through assignments–I wasn’t even close. And there were a lot of people who could write better than I could. Still I had two things accepted in the literary magazine and my writing dream stayed afloat.

I taught English grammar, writing and literature at the secondary school level, which did not afford me much time to write. But in the Illinois community where we lived a newly chartered university, Governors State University, offered me another opportunity. It was the early 1970s and a woman named Helen Hughes started a literary magazine entitled THE CREATIVE WOMAN. I was introduced to Helen, started sending her stories and articles and again, I was published.

As a young mother raising two daughters I was able to squirrel away early morning hours to  write short stories. They were big in the eighties and my goal was to publish in REDBOOK or McCALLS. (I actually was on a first name basis with the fiction editor at both publications, but never made the cut.) So I gave my work to little magazines, one called GREEN’S MAGAZINE. I also had a few columns published in THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE. Bottom line, I kept writing.

From Fiction to Medical Writing

After going back to school and becoming a registered nurse, I wrote CEU’s for Nursing Spectrum now called A totally different kind of writing, it required a lot of research and footnotes. But I enjoyed it. During that time, I also co-wrote and then published through Meredith Books, MIAMI INK–text and color photographs that complimented the television program about tattoo artists.

The internet changed everything about writing and publishing. In the late eighties and beyond, I was composing at a keyboard and loving the ability to erase large blocks of text in seconds. Spell check was a bonus too. From 1998 to 2007 I wrote three novels. By 2009, I was blogging and have been contributing to Boomer Highway weekly ever since. I am back to  writing fiction and published a collection of my stories this last May–entitled A Mother’s Time Capsule, it actually contains some of the work I had written in the 80s.

Finding Those Gifts 

Writing and publishing has moved into a new world since I began writing. Before, I used to hold my breath for the mail–waiting for that letter from a magazine editor. Now it’s an email. But the internet has allowed so many people to find and develop their own personal gifts, and from where they are living and working. Etsy has moved product from studio, backyard, shed, garden, sewing room out to the general public. Blogs do similar things, allowing artists, sculptors, screenwriters, novelists, seamstresses and people with a new idea to shout to the world–here I am, see where I live and what I have to offer. Abundant gifts.

So this is just a thank you to my readers for hanging in there with me as I find new topics and research and write about them.

Do you have a health issue I could research? Have you written some nonfiction that could benefit from a read and an analysis? Leave me a comment. I’ll let my fingers walk the keyboard and see what I can find. Now it’s back to my fiction. See you soon.

Comfort Versus Rejection--Which Do You Choose?

Thank you always, Charles M. Schulz

From the Creative Woman: Table of Contents in the late 70s.

Fertile Goddess by Tobi Casselman 24

The Goddess in Three Bodies by Tobi

Casselman 24

Waiting for Christine by Elizabeth A. Havey 25

Creative Lives: Lynn Thomas Strauss by

Margaret Brady 28

Book Review: Dreaming the Dark: Magic,

Sex and Politics
by Starhawk

Gifts from Where You Live










6 thoughts on “Gifts from Where You Live

    • Hi Laura, thanks so much for writing. Hope your life is going well. Happy keyboard hunting–finding those right words, Beth

  1. It’s amazing how the field has changed, isn’t it? I remember having to do research by going to the library or a bookstore; now everything (and more!) is at my fingertips via the Internet. To compose at a keyboard instead of in longhand…heaven! And to cut and paste in Word instead of having to literally cut and paste, or completely retype–such a time- and sanity-saver. The physical act of writing as become SO much easier. Now, if pulling stuff out my head and putting it on the page only got easier! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and prompting a look back!

  2. Hi Roxanne, you are totally welcome. Yes, the world of keyboarding is amazing as to how fast and accurate one can create a document. But sadly the competition of the net is so challenging and so many people are now writers that I sometimes want to crawl into a hole and hide. But I know I won’t. I’ll keep at it and hope that like you, someone has a positive thing to say. THANKS.

  3. Hi Beth! How great to read about some of your past writing. Those of us who have been doing this for a while have seen tremendous changes and you’ve highlighted the biggest ones here. I can still remember sitting using a cheap electric typewriter as it bounced across the desk with every click. Oh, and remember those little strips of white paper that allowed us to “erase” our typos. Thank goodness for computers and spell checkers! And I’m the same. I have a copy of just about all my early publications. I just don’t have the heart to throw them out even the ones that weren’t that great. As you say, the gift of writing is something that I never take for granted. Thank you for the great reminders.

    • Thanks for writing, Kathy. We share a lot of the same experience. Now if I can only get my first chapter in my novel right where I want it. The book is basically done, but the first chapter has to HOOK the agent and I am not sure I’m there yet. HAPPY WRITING, Beth

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