You Can’t Get Here From There

I didn’t start out wanting to be a writer. I wanted to be an Astronaut. Being born in ’61, a girl, and not American, convinced my parents I had lost my little mind. So, to keep the peace, I set my sights slightly lower, deciding on the earthlier altitude of a pilot. (If we ever meet in person, ask me to tell you the Cosmonaut story.)

Flying was my joy. It was my air. I needed it to breathe. On the eve of the millennium, I suffered a Surgical Misfortune. I learned that phrase from reading a lesbian medical themed romance, not from anyone responsible for the situation. Emotionally, it was like falling from the sky and waking up lost in the wilderness. Like Edgar Allen Poe’s epic poem Evangeline, I was forced to make my way from my beloved home through the inhospitable Boreal Forrest. I did so, not on horseback but by words. One word at a time. I was teaching myself how to breathe again. It was slow going but word by word I began to find my way and come to terms with my new reality. In time the words I’d written for myself become ideas to build on—stories to share. Without realising it, I was learning to breathe again, not with jet fuel but using paper and ink.
In the early days of my writing, I was like a potter up to her elbows in clay, experimenting and discovering my craft. It took time before I reached a place where I understood not just my strengths and weaknesses but what I loved. Authors sculpt their works like potters turning out everything from cheap earthenware to fine Wedgewood. While I would love to boast of the skills needed to turn out a literary masterpiece, I find I’m better suited applying my skills to the craft in a more approachable way. Think of a potter at a craft fair. Someone with unique and colourful creations you can surprisingly afford to buy. That’s the author I strive to be. I live to create stories which are fresh, sometimes quirky, sometimes challenging, but always from the heart.
Enjoy; Sheryl