I have had a big problem in my life.  There’s always been the drive to create, to write, tell tales, listen to old stories by my grandfather or other older people in my life.  Some kind of latent oral tradition kept bubbling up in me.  The big problem was that none of my own writing or creating seemed “good enough”.  I’d pour myself out in a school writing project, or a book I was trying to write as a kid, and it all seemed to suck dishwater.

Rereading what I’d written was painful, and showing it to anyone was a risk.  I remember showing a screenplay/novel to a childhood friend, only to have her tell my band director about it.  The last person on Planet Earth that I would’ve even considered showing it to be read.  And then there were those stupid writing competitions or contests.  Mine were never picked, so they must have been awful, right?
Although I did win a poetry contest at Louisiana Tech, which my mother refused to take me to, and they had to mail the certificate to me.  I think you can read the picture here.
At one time I even set fire to everything I’d written, including a large short story collection written at a time when I actually liked what I wrote.  I can still smell the burning paper.  Hmmm.
Something has happened though.  I don’t know if it’s been the experience of running my own business, which  has been both exciting and terrifying, or just reaching a mature enough time in my life.  Self publishing is another new thing; I’m reading things on Nook that would make a third grader blush in the bad syntax, grammar, etc., that these big dollar earners are getting.  Hey, I can put a sentence together.  Why not me?
But another thing happened.  I started reading Deborah Harkness’ “All Soul’s Trilogy”, beginning with “A Discovery of Witches”, then fortuitously “Shadow of Night”.  It wasn’t that I wanted to copy her, it was just that she seemed to be having fun writing, and enjoyed her readers.  She’s a very generous, talented, bright, and imaginative woman.  Who would not be inspired by her?
This is a link to Deborah Harkness’ Facebook page:
So with all the things brewing in my head, I’ve been writing like a woman possessed, and hopefully something will come of it.

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Ramona DeFelice Long

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