Daddy's Christmas Angel

Monday, February 13, 2012

Origins - My Story

I was a third-grader when I decided I wanted to become a writer. We lived in Fredericksburg, VA at the time. The community was very connected to George Washington whose mother's home was located there next to Kenmore. I was fascinated by all the stories about Washington's childhood, especially the one about him cutting down a cherry tree. He later told his father, "I cannot tell a lie, I cut down the tree." When our class got an assignment to create a poem, I decided to write about Washington and the cherry tree story. I was selected to read my poem at an assembly for the entire school which made quite an impression on me. I liked the attention and decided then and there that I would become a writer.

When I got to eighth grade, I wrote in my journal that I planned to become a journalist and go to Washington University in St. Louis. Of course, that didn't fit my parents plans and I had to attend a state college instead. I never got to take even one course in journalism, but I fell into a journalism job quite by accident. An editor saw a letter I wrote to our school board, contacted me, and I landed a freelance writing job. More freelance followed, and I never looked back.

Eventually, I got the urge to try my hand at fiction. Seven published novels resulted, and I'm working on my eighth right now. But it all began in third grade...

Thanks to the hosts of the Origins blogfest - DL Hammons, Alex J. Cavanaugh, and Creepy Query Girl Katie Mills.  I'll head out to read as many posts as I can. Interesting topic!!!

28 comments:

Jeremy Bates said...

I enjoy you taking the time to publish this post. It has long been very valuable to me certainly. Enjoy it.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

George and the tree! Now that's a unique beginning.
Thanks for participating in the blogfest!

nutschell said...

Hi Mary! I'm dropping by from the Origins blogfest.Loved reading your Origins story. Crazy how it all started with George Washington :)

Nutschell
www.thewritingnut.com

Scarlett said...

I suppose we all have a different path to writing, whether we choose it or it chooses us.

The story of George and That tree was most certainly good fiction. It's served many a parent well!

Nice to *meet* you here in the Fest!

Margo Berendsen said...

So neat that even though you didn't get to go to the school you wanted or take the classes you wanted, you got into journalism anyway - by way of an unsolicited phone call! Very cool. I'm a new follower.

Monti said...

Thank you, Jeremy, for your comment. I went to your blog and never got my comment to take. I don't know why.

Monti said...

I love the George and the tree story, Alex. Actually, I guess it's a legend. At least, in my home town! Thanks for hosting the blogfest!

Heather Day Gilbert said...

Nice to meet you via the bloghop. Going to go find you on twitter now, too. George Washington--an admirable subject for that first writing coup!

DL Hammons said...

What a wonderful ORIGIN! Thank you for sharing it today!! :)

Tara Tyler said...

a story of destiny! how great for you!

Monti said...

Thanks, Heather, DL, and Tara for your comments! Writing is a long and adventuresome journey.

Nancy Thompson said...

Wow, what a cool Origin story. You were destined to become a journalist! And seven novels later? Man, what an interesting journey you have had. It's nice to meet you. I'm a new follower via the Origins bloghop.

Monti said...

Thanks, Nancy! I appreciate the follow!!!

Dianne K. Salerni said...

How awesome to get into freelance writing and make your living at it! I wish I'd had the guts to take that chance!

Ashley Nixon said...

What a wonderful story! My Daddy always says he "crossed the Delaware with George" LOL.

Creepy Query Girl said...

I love hearing about those of you who kind of 'fell' into freelance. Means it really was destiny! Thanks so much for sharing your origins!

Amy said...

Great Origins story, it's truly inspiring - thank you for sharing! :)

Monti said...

Dianne, I wish I could say I made a living at freelance. I've always had a nice supplement to go with other income, but, no, freelance never has brought in a living. I know others who do make a living at it, and it is a hard and difficult road. Writing freelance feature stories has brought joy into my life because people who are highlighted are so deserving of the recognition. That kind of joy is priceless!

Monti said...

Ashley, what a nice image of your father crossing with George! Thanks for sharing!

Monti said...

Thanks, Creepy Query Girl! Yes, I have no doubt it was destiny, and I've loved every step along the road!

Monti said...

Thanks, Amy, for visiting and for commenting!

Melissa Sugar said...

Hi, I am a new follower from the Origins blogfest. I am still playing catch up from yesterday-trying to read as many post as I can. I enjoyed your story.

Judy said...

First time stopping by. Love the story of how you got started - - and the amazing unsolicited phone call! The only unsolicited phone calls I get are from telemarketers :)

Jennifer Hillier said...

Seven published novels! Congratulations. Thanks for sharing your story, and I'm happy to be a new follower. :)

Monti said...

Thanks for following me and for your comment, Melissa!

Thanks, Judy! I know what you mean about unsolicited phone calls.

Thanks, Jennifer! I appreciate the follow.

Happy writing, All!

Diligent Writer said...

Love your post!! What a great beginning.

Monti said...

Thank you, Diligent Writer. Writing is a lifelong journey no matter when or where it begins!

Misha Gericke said...

I love how you got your dream job without any qualifications. :-)