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I started out with poetry. I used to spend hours reading children’s poetry books when I was small just because I loved the rhythm of the words.
So, when at nine years old, I started going to Pioneer Girls –kind of a Christian form of Girl Scouts–I had to pick poetry as one of my badges.

Here is my first–or first recalled–poem.

Puppies warm fur
Bristles near cats
Soft as silk
Cuddly.

The next poem I remember writing was when I was deeply delving into the rhyming word. This can often make your poems come out sounding silly, especially if your main goal is to rhyme.

Reading is nice, The nicest I’ve known, Because it makes me feel at home.

Okay, maybe not the best work but I was ten and just learning.

So, when I was ten, I also read “The Diary of Anne Frank”.  This book made a huge impression on me.  I remember sitting on the outdoor steps with my sister announcing solemnly that I was going to be a writer.  My sister took it all in with proper awe which made me feel like my decision was even more important.  But in many ways it was one of my important decisions because that was when I really started writing.

At that time, I went to boarding school for MKs–or missionary kids for those who aren’t familiar with the abbreviation.  After lights out, I would stay up in the bathroom writing short stories and poetry.  I also started my first journal–you know, like Anne Frank.  When someone would whisper loudly, “Are you ever going to get out of there?”  I would finally go to bed but only to continue writing the story or whatever it was into my dreams.  At that age, I always accompanied my stories with illustrations.  I never thought of art in the same way as writing  but it was still another part of me.

And that was only the beginning!

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