I started as a reader.  As a child, I was a big fan of the Black Stallion novels by Walter Farley and The Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell.  When I was nine, I began raiding my mother’s stash of books…

The ambition to become a writer started with an offhand compliment from my 5th grade English teacher.  That was also the first year I saw my name in print — thanks to a student haiku competition.  I think my grandmother still has the newspaper clipping of that poem, to this day…

I tried to write my first novel when I was in high school.  And it was bad.  Really bad.  But I found writing to be obsessive.  I was a band geek at the time, and I would have my notebook on my music stand during practice.  During “rests” in the music, I would try to scribble out a few words.

That novel was my first entry in my own personal “bottom drawer.”  It was quickly joined by 3 others, as well as several partials.  Life got in the way as I dropped out of college and went to work in drudge “day” jobs.

I didn’t start seriously writing again until after I got married in 2002.   2 more partial novels ended up in the drawer.  I couldn’t decide whether to write what I wanted to write, or what I thought might have a chance to be published.

Then I did the National Novel Writing month in 2007.  I chose what I called a “throwaway” idea that I wasn’t really enthusiastic about.  It was chick-lit, something I barely liked to read.  I managed to slug out 18,000 words, nearly 10 thousand of them on the final day, and mainly because of peer pressure — I didn’t want to be the reason that my region, Hawaii, lost the word war against New Zealand.  But I never touched the story again after November.  I can’t even stand to look at it.  But I had found out what exactly I was capable of, when it came to output.

Last year, I chose a story idea that I’d been holding on to for a couple of years.  I had no idea if it could ever be published.  I didn’t even know what genre it fit into (I’m still not sure.)

Almost one year, and nearly 80,000 words later, I’m still working on the story.  I still love it.

Now I know that I have to write what I love… whether I ever end up published or not.