Friday, February 4, 2011

Pay It Forward-

There is someone I would like to thank who has helped me so much on my writing journey.  In fact, there are five, but one in particular.
It all started in high school.  I had a wonderful creative writing teacher named Mrs. Cahill.  Not only did she encourage my writing (and always give me an A), but she was also a kind of surrogate mom.  I became her student teacher my senior year and when my birthday and graduation rolled around, my family did nothing.  She, on each occasion, got me a gift.  We talked about her writing when she was a journalist before becoming a teacher, which encouraged me to dream about my own writing career.
Second is my good friend and “adopted cousin” Joey who is now attending Georgetown University, so far-far away from San Diego.  Over two years ago when I first started writing seriously for young adult and middle grade, he would read everything I wrote and go over it with a fine tooth comb as we’d sit together at our local Starbucks for hours.  As a senior in high school and busy with applying to colleges, teaching at his own school, and teaching Spanish on the side, he made the time.  Brilliantly smart that he is, Joey often found mistakes I often overlooked since I was so eager to write, blowing through pages like I did coffee.  With being so young, Joey gave me an inside view of life in current day high school, slang kids were using, and silly events that happened.
Third I need to thank my boyfriend, Leo.  This man has encouraged me so much when I wanted to give up after having countless requests on one of my books, only to end up with rejection letters.  Leo, who is a literary omnivore (I seriously need to put blinders on this man when we go to the bookstore, for he will spend hundreds of dollars each time-I am so not joking).  His room is lined with bookshelves, overflowing so much, that they are stacked and pilled to the point you can’t read the bindings.  From Tolstoy to Faulkner, Bronte to Robert Jordan and Paramahansa Yogananda, needless to say, he has a very critical eye and knows more ‘fancy’ words than I do.  Not to mention his bachelor’s degree in literature from Tulane has helped so much!  This man can seriously write, reading what he writes about a sunset makes me want to cry.  One day, he’ll get that surf novel done!
Fourth is a name you all should recognize, Suzanne Young- author of: The Naughty List and the upcoming novel: A Need So Beautiful.  I have emailed this girl on several occasions and she has been very generous with pointing me in the right direction from web-sites, a few writing tips, to her opinion on a few chapters I’d sent.  Without her, I have no idea how long it would have taken me to find!
But how did I find my way to Suzanne?  Because of my best friend in the whole wide world, Amy (who is her sister-in-law)!
Amy is the fifth and most important person of whom I need to thank.  Let me tell you a little about this amazing woman.  Not only can she write herself, but no matter how much I bug her with story ideas or ask for her opinion on what I’ve already written, she makes the time.  With her two kids, working, and a husband, she has always been there for me despite her crazy busy life, and not just when it comes to writing.  We have been there for one another during break-ups, family issues, and babies.  We have been one another’s shoulder to cry on, listening and understanding, but giving the truth-even when it’s hard to hear.  Most importantly, we support one another.
To my best friend-I love you!

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