When the fabulous and talented website creator Lisa Drew at Websites for a Song (did she do a great job for me or what?) suggested I add a blog I wondered: who cares what I have to say?

Then I realized, while we might have a thousand friends on social media, do we really know each other? A blog could let you know a little more about me and would force me to write at least something every single week. Writing is a muscle and you gotta work it out as often as possible.

You should know I’ll always be as truthful and forthcoming as I can but I’ll never let facts that don’t really matter get in the way of a good story. I’ll also try to be positive but if I blog about a movie, TV show or commercial that I think doesn’t work, it’s only my opinion and not meant to hurt.

I’m also going to try and avoid politics.

So, blog entry number one:

What made me want to become a writer?

In 7th grade, we were given the assignment to answer the question “What does Earth Day mean to you?” The best essays would be sent to a National Contest and could win a Major Prize.

I wrote something about getting lost in the beauty of nature and feeling blessed by God. It was a Catholic school.

After reading my essay in front of the class, Sister Renee was not pleased. She said something like “How dare you steal someone’s work! Stealing is a crime!” I said “No, no, I wrote this.” “Lying is a sin too!”

This turned into one of the few times “grade school me” took in information and extrapolated to reach a larger, more important conclusion. She thinks a professional writer wrote this and that I stole it! In fact, I wrote this so, I’m as good as a professional writer. I’m going to BE a professional writer.

Still, she was not happy. Thank God some others came to my rescue. “No Sister Renee, he’s a good writer.” and “You should see what he writes for Mrs. Bongers.”

Well, I could have died right there because getting praise and validation from kids who never once indicated they thought I was a good writer was enough for a full life.

She still wasn’t sure I had written it but accepted it and we moved on to the next reader. I think it was Dan Bressars.

That validation is what made me want to become a writer. It’s the little things.

If you’re wondering if I won the contest, no. A few weeks later, I asked Sister Renee if she had entered our essays and she said one of my classmates (not going to name names Paula) took the application package home for some reason and never returned it and the deadline passed.

Who knows, I could have won a National Contest and a Major Prize.

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