How do you know you are a writer? For me, it was an awareness—as far back as I can remember— of the ongoing narrative always present in my mind. At home, at school, at work, with friends, I internalized whatever was happening around me through the code of words. For a long time, I thought everyone had a running monologue in their head. Later, I discovered that a close friend, who is an artist, thinks in images, and another friend, highly perceptive, thinks in feelings and impressions. Who knew?
So, even though I was sure I was a writer, I rarely wrote anything. I say rarely because when I was three, I did write a book—a feat that made me so proud that I would have saved it forever, except that while showing it to my mother, who was applying her make-up at the time, it fell in the toilet. I also wrote a short story in fourth grade, titled “The Vampire’s Revenge.” If only I could have foreseen the future, I might have continued on the vampire track. As it was, I turned my pen to righteous causes: war and peace, solidarity, poverty. Then, finally, a paying job in television where I imagined myself producing world-changing documentaries. Instead, I produced a wildly popular children’s talent show (again, if only I had foreseen American Idol), and countless promos and commercials and PSA’s.
I did finally get the opportunity to write fiction (more about that in future blogs). After working for years with a 30-second TV commercial format, short stories seemed painfully long to write, but I soon mastered it well enough to win, place or show in a few journal contests. But a novel? I had written one that was unfinished (but from which I was able to harvest an award-winning story), one I had converted to a (bad, but with potential) screenplay, and an idea that I couldn’t shake loose. It just took hold and kept growing. That story—that novel—is the one that forms the core of this blog. I hope it will catch hold of your interest too, and that you will find the story within as compelling as I did.