Wednesday, November 28, 2012

My Writing Journey Part I



I’ve wanted to tell my story for a while. The story of how I fell into writing and ended up where I am today—including connecting with angels and my dear agent and everything in between. But I can’t do it justice in one post, because really, I feel like my whole journey has been SO guided and inspired. So I’ve decided to tell it in parts.

So here we go. Part I:

Growing up, I hated reading. Loathed it. Which is crazy, because my parents were pretty much the perfect parents—read to us every night, the whole thing. But I wanted to live my experiences rather than read about them. I was always in my own little world—I totally had secret passageways to other worlds and had invisible people who lived in my backyard. This worked as a ballerina—because being a dancer gave me a reason to pretend and act out these stories on stage. Long story short, I didn’t think I’d EVER be a writer.

Fast forward fall 2007. I was 26. My mother in law gave me the first Twilight book and said, “You’ve got to read this.” I’m pretty sure I patted her on the hand and said, “Sure, thanks.”

I didn’t touch it.

A few weeks went by and I gave her the book back. Told her it wasn’t my thing. She wouldn’t have it. She had me sit down on her bed and she read out loud. Read the first 14 pages. I still wasn’t interested. But she MADE me take the book home again and told me to give it another try. (Little did I know this move alone would be a life-changing act!)

It collected dust for another couple weeks. I was 9 months pregnant with our 3rd baby, and went into the hospital to be induced. Hubby brought the book because he thought it’d be funny if I were reading a vampire book in front of phlebotomists. Funny enough, each of the phlebotomists commented on the book and told me I had to read it.

So I did.

Heh, what else was I going to do stuck in a hospital bed? And funny enough, I have a picture. This was taken a few hours before I had the baby. Twilight in hand---->

I loved it. I fell in love with the magic of the story like so many millions of other people. And something happened. I liked reading. For the first time in my life, I actually liked reading. And then I couldn’t stop. I devoured every book my mother in law threw at me. Romances, paranormals, contemporaries, the works. It was fun to escape into another world for a while. Fun to feel magic and experience life through another person. I finally understood what the big hoopla was.

I read everything I could get my hands on for the next YEAR. Of course, at the time, I had no idea I was unconsciously learning the craft, analyzing plot structure, beautiful phrases, and how to put words on paper.

Fall 2008 came. Our second child was diagnosed with Leukemia. This story is a whirlwind of it’s own--and not one I’m going into--but worth mentioning because it was this experience that took away the magic of reading for me because I couldn’t ever get rid of the fear of having such a sick child. Reading wasn’t enough anymore. Which is what spirals us into the day I wrote my first sentence. And why I started writing.

Which will be told in the next segment! Which can be found here: Part II.  Part III.  Part IV. 

Red. Head. Out. ;D 

70 comments:

  1. Well I guess those damn sparkly vampire books have at least done one good thing.

    Can't wait until the next segment!

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  2. So, Twilight literally changed your life - that's kind of cool!

    Looking forward to hearing the next part of your journey soon!

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  3. One book can change everything.
    Or a couple movies.
    And now we have to wait for the rest of the story? Bummer.

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  4. One book can be the difference. For me it was a book that wouldn't be out for six months that propelled me down the path.

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  5. thanks for sharing the first part to your story...as a mother I can't imagine what it must feel like to have a child diagnosed with cancer. You're brave for sharing even a small glimpse of that part of your story. Can't wait to read the rest.

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  6. I think a lot of people can credit TWILIGHT for really getting into YA in particular. I've always been a reader, but TWILIGHT was my first real foray into reading YA, and I've been hooked on YA ever since. :)

    Thanks for sharing this with us, Morgan. I'm looking forward to reading the next segment!

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  7. I have to agree-YA came when my daughter reached that age! A book can change our world~ I want to hear more...
    I can't imagine having a child with this diagnoses (((hugs))). You are brave and keep dancing with words and twirling the magic that lures us in...

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  8. Ahhh the power of books. They do have the ability to take you away from what is, into what could be. And to be a part of creating that world. Wow.

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  9. It only takes that one book to start a journey! Look forward to Part 2. :)

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  10. Wow, Morg - you're an inspirational woman! You could be a public speaker in front of this writing community!

    Twilight kicked off your writing journey? That's insane but it shows to prove, Twilight IS a cult phenomenon. Which discussing this, I'm dying to see the last Twilight movie!

    I have no idea how I began writing. I think I just began writing and enjoyed it. Don't know where I was going. Then got into reviewing movies and writing memoirs of MY LIFE and now, I got some kind of romance story tossing up in my head! Goes to show this online wriitng community is quite EFFECTIVE. I may begin writing my first fiction piece anytime now!

    Great post! :)

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  11. I like that you were so resistant, and yet it turned out so well!

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  12. Okay, so I am totally jealous of how gorgeous you looked on the day you gave birth. Seriously, all the pictures *I* have from that day involve very not pretty things. After having contractions for a weekend, by the time I got to the hospital I was a sweaty, grumpy mess. LOL.

    I liked Twilight too, but, I have ALWAYS been a reader. I hesitated for a while before reading those books, even though so many people recommended them to me, because well, they were about vampires. And, vampires? I've never cared for them much. Still, I ate up the series :) And her other novel, The Host, I felt was amazing.

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  13. It's amazing what a book can do! I'm so glad you're sharing this story!

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  14. I have to agree with Tiana.... You look STUNNING... Really!

    Stephanie Meyers? Really? I admit the story is intriguing but her writing lacks a lot. Okay... you can hate me, but I am not the only one who feels this way, LOL.

    Well, I am at least thankful to her for setting you on your AMAZING journey, for without her I never would have met you... DIES.... at the thought. LOL.

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  15. Wow! That'a an amazing story! One book can change so much. I have to admit I wasn't ready to be dropped at the end there . . .I want to know more.
    Big Hugs!

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  16. I love that you're sharing this part of your writing journey with us. It really goes to prove just how powerful one book can be. Heartfelt hugs to you and your little one with leukemia. <3

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  17. So much to say about this post.

    First, I'm so glad to hear you didn't like reading as a child. My daughter hates it, but lives in these amazing made-up worlds too. It gives me hope she may someday come around.

    Second, you looked amazing a few hours before you gave birth. I have pre-birth pictures and none are that pretty!

    Third, my heart goes out to you and your child. It tells me you are made of very tough stuff!

    Fourth, I should probably mention Twilight, right? Glad it kicked off your reading/writing journey.

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  18. Wow. What a great story. My "book" was IT by Stephen King though it took me longer to believe I could do this. =)

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  19. i TOLD you twilight rocks morgan!! riddle me this: how are they letting you type in jail? hehehe... *hugs*

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  20. Okay, the bit about reading TWILIGHT in front of phlebotomists completely cracked me up. Thanks for sharing this inspirational post! Looking forward to the next segment :)

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  21. My sister in law was telling us all to read twilight forever and I kept putting her off. I finally read it and told the family, "Hey, yeah, this is pretty good" and everyone immediately picked it up. I felt bad that they wouldn't listen to SIL but immediately listened to me.

    I love hearing about writing journeys, thanks for sharing yours though I'm sorry it includes Leukemia. That's not fun.

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  22. A book in the hand...A book in the mind...A book in the heart. How amazing that one book changed a life. It happens all the time and now, I can't wait to read the rest of your story!

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  23. Sure, keep us in suspense!!!!

    Glad to see I wasn't the only resistant Twilight reader--at first.

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  24. ...it's truly an inspiring moment when the "nausea" hits. Inspiring, life-altering to be quite honest.

    I was young, grade school age, when upon finishing up a prominent sci-fi novel, (I've always been an avid bookworm ;) a thought hit me like an uppercut to my chin. "I could've written that."

    Thirty-some years later...I'm still at it ;)

    Loved the post.

    El

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  25. I love stories about how others fell under the spell of books. It all starts with the right kind of book that grabs us and won't let go.

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  26. What an inspirational story. Looking forward to the next part.

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  27. As the MIL referenced above, let me share my memory of this time.
    You were my driving force to read the Harry Potter series; the only set of books you had read without Cliff notes. ;)
    Twilight made it to my book shelf and I knew it would be a fast read, but more importantly, an introduction to another world for you. Books are the perfect gateway to places real and imagined and I hoped to introduce you to this mode of travel. I had no idea how YOU would become the pilot and take ME to magical places. You are my favorite reading buddy and I am thrilled to watch you live a dream of mine. You go, my dearest girl. I am so proud as you share the milestones of your journey.

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  28. You have an amazing mother-in-law! I'm so sorry about your child.I admire your courage in telling this story, and I'll be back for part II.
    Julie

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  29. A specific book also propelled me into writing my own. I'll be forever grateful to Brandon Sanderson for his Mistborn Trilogy. Isn't it amazing to look back at those specific moments in time that would change our mind?! I'm so glad these books made it possible for us to meet.

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  30. That's cool how it just hit you like that. It seems like most of us have wanted to write since we were kids.

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  31. What a lovely and engaging story! I'm riveted! I've been writing since I was 11 so I love hearing stories of people who came to writing later!

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  32. What you found with Twilight, I found with Harry Potter. They opened my eyes to a new realm of possibility. And the journey continues... :)

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  33. Hopefully, "Twilight" the book(s) were better than the movies were (I watched them all). I believe if I had to watch "Bella" stumble through another movie with her less than desirable acting skills, I'd have a coronary. lol

    But hey, it worked out for you and that's the cool thing.

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  34. I wrote a great long comment but the glitchy internet ate it. Argh! But in summary I'll say I love part one and can't wait for part two. Hope your child recovered from cancer ok and so glad you found the love of reading. The book Twilight also made me fall in love with the series. I saw the first movie before reading it but I wasn't interested until after reading the book. I fell in love with the world of Twilight and still am today. Will be seeing the last movie this weekend.

    Oh and I'm 28 today. *Jumps up and down in my head* Can't do that for real after two in the morning. I'll scare all the sleeping people awake.

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  35. Hi Morgan - how fascinating to read .. and what a wonderful mother-in-law - sounds like she has her head screwed on. In fact interesting everyone contrived that you ended up reading it ... I haven't seen the series or read the book - perhaps I should!!

    Looking forward to part 2 - though I guess there will be many sad overtones .. which cannot have been at all easy at the time ...

    Great post - and good for us to read .. cheers Hilary

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  36. Hey *Morg*

    OK, so I knew a little of this, but wow, thanks for spreading the peanut butter to the edge of the bread

    (Huh?)

    This is, by the way, a very cool series and I am waiting here until part two....................................eats sandwich...................unrolls sleeping bag.............yawns...........eats frozen breakfast meal using armpits as warming device...looks around...

    Is part two out yet?

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  37. what a beginning!
    i started out not wanting to read too. i think its the book choices and being forced in school
    piers anthony sparked me

    but your writing inspiration! amazing! looking forward to next installment! what a hanger!

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  38. I'm always glad to hear from someone else who liked Twilight but isn't an insane Twihard (I'd like to think I fit that description as well). I'm also delighted that you gave reading a chance, and discovered you liked it. Welcome to the Dark Side. I think there's cookies around somewhere...

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  39. I would have been the one throwing books at you until I found something you would actually read!

    Everyone has their niche, even grumpy 12 year old sisters. For her it was the Wheel of Time, and she never stopped!

    :)

    Lauren

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  41. This is an intense story! I cannot wait until the next post. Love hearing about your experiences :)

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  42. So looking forward to the rest of the story. :)

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  43. Thanks for the follow on my blog. I've not read Twilight myself, but anything that makes people want to read is great in my... erm, book :-) Looking forward to Part 2!

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  44. NO!! The cliffhanger - you HAD to go and leave it hanging in the air...
    But it's such an interesting journey... looking forward to the next part...

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  45. I was all smiles, till the end. You poor mom!! Hurry back and tell me all is well.

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  46. You've made a great beginning here. Like a serial story. Hard knocks do make us stronger, but we don't appreciate them until we see that time in retrospect.

    I'll be back to read more.

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  47. Well you certainly have a knack for cliffhangers.

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  48. Morgan, it's so cool getting to know you better. I think parents who experience the emotional roller coaster of a truly sick child always carry a mark from that experience with them.. I think it's part of the reason why we've become such friends/allies in this writing journey. I look forward to reading your next.

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  49. <3 I haven't been to your blog in far too long! The layout is lovely!

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  50. Leukemia? That's terrible! If no one has anything good to say about Twilight, I would counter their negativity with your story here. Anything book that gets people reading is a good book. For me Twilight was the reason I started writing. If Stephenie Meyer could be a stay-at-home mom with three kids and write, so could I :)

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  51. Morgan....jeez. I'm sorry sweetie. I hope everything is okay. I'll will keep your family in my prayers always.

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  52. Wow, very cool. I'm looking forward to the next installment!

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  53. It's always nice to read the perspective of someone who didn't get into reading or writing till later in life. As someone who had hyperlexia at 3 and started writing just a year later at 4, sometimes it's hard for me to understand people who didn't love reading growing up or who only got into reading or writing because of a popular book.

    I hope your son is doing okay now!

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  54. I'm so sorry to hear that about your little one. I hope he's doing better now and you're doing well now. I love reading people's "why" stories. Looking forward to the next part!

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  55. Oh, and btw, you totally don't even LOOK pregnant in that picture.

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  56. It's awesome to hear the beginning of your story. *hugs* for your little one.

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  57. Morgan!!!! I love that you're doing this and especially that you have a picture of reading Twilight in the hospital--how fab is that?? You're such a stellar person, I can't wait to read the rest of your *my story* posts!!!!

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  58. This is an amazing story and I am ready for part two. I am very sorry to hear about your son. I am touched that you took up writing during such a difficult time. Your story is truly inspirational. I love reading success stories from writers who did not start out with a life long desire to become an author. I am looking forward to the sequel.

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  59. I hate to admit it, but reading the Twilight series, then learning Meyers wasn't going to write any more, made me start writing, too. I wasn't much of a reader either until a friend at work told me about the series. Now I can't get enough. LOL

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  60. I'm so glad you could see the value in the Twilight books. I'm not a fan myself but I've read them and I know that though there's a lot to be critical about, there's also a lot to admire. Stephenie Meyers created a worldwide phenomenon, so she must have done SOMETHING right. And she got you to love reading, and eventually, writing.

    That's definitely priceless.

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  61. I can't tell you how many people got into the world of writing because of either Harry Potter or the Twilight books. It boggles my mind!

    Sorry to hear about your son. You are one tough mama.

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  62. This is an amazing story. I read all the Twilight books, but I have been an avid reader my whole life. I love that those books are what did it for you just because poor Stephanie Meyer gets so much crap. It's great to hear how you were inspired and I love the phlebotomist part. LOL. So sorry about your son, though. I can't wait to hear what comes next. Keep on rockin'!

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  63. I love that writing found you at a time when you needed it the most-I can really relate to that. I'll be looking forward to Writing Journey Part II.
    Cute picture, too. :)

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  64. I've heard a number of people started writing after reading Twilight. That is just so cool. Someday soon, someone will read your book Morgan and decide to be a writer and you shall pass on the torch :)

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  65. Twilight and Harry Potter seem to be popular for starting people reading who never did before! Thanks for sharing your story :)

    Allison (Geek Banter)

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  66. Hi Morgan!

    Wow! What an interesting journey ... looking forward to reading more!

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  67. Oh my goodness, you leave me almost in tears. I had to comment quick before I jump over and read part two.

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  68. I love that one book changed your outlook on reading. I loved reading as a kid, but the one that always sticks with me are the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S.Lewis. I just loved those books and stll do. Along with Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird.

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  69. I love reading about every writer's journey, and yours sounds particularly unique. I was actually the complete opposite to you as a child and growing up. I ALWAYS had a book in hand.

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