It's been a while, but this week was the end of the semester and so I will have my Christmas season to do the things I WANNA DO.
I'm reading the 125th volume, Issue 1 of the Writer Magazine (please search my Twitter account for how much I adore this mag!), and I came to a realization:
Writers are influenced by so many, wide, broad strokes of humanity and conditions.
I remember being told that my book reports and stories for English/Reading were entertaining. Yet, those same strengths of what made my stories shine were my Achilles' heel when it came to writing research papers.
Finally, in community college, not only did I write an essay that glowed with my professor's comments, until I was even encouraged to take a Creative Writing course (They had these?! Who knew!).
And later, in that same class, I ended up scoring the highest - with another person - out of the entire English classes in the college, that this propelled me to being able to register for an honor's class afterward. More about that in a minute..
Eventually, before all that, after completing this course and the second required course (with a grade I was NOT happy with), I took my professor's advice and enrolled in CRW2001 with a professor Austin.
She has since retired, but not before she lit my imagination on fire for her practical yet illuminating advice into the writing business. From her, I learned to specify genre, write synopses, and how and where to market my writing.
She was also one of the few teachers who didn't mock my wanting to write about talking animals and applying Scifi tropes into my story. She was more interested in how I structured a tale, how convincing my characters' dialogues, setting, exposition, etc.
I was never so proud as when my short story, "Su Ling", was published in a now out-of-print fanzine and I handed a copy to her.
She made me blush when she handed the issue back and told me to autograph it first before she accepted it!
I want to thank my Reading/English teachers in middle school, my AP English teacher, my first English professor, Professor Austin and later the honors English on Myth, Professor Tixier. More about this wonderful woman in my next post.
A writer's work is never done, true. We constantly are bombarded by ideas, advice, and our own internal dialogue, but a writer's mentors' list doesn't end either, and for that, I AM GRATEFUL.