As a little girl, I made Dick and Jane readers out of yellow scrap paper my dad brought from work. My grandmother helped stitch the books together with a large needle and thread. For years I begged my parents to change my name from Raquel (which lots of people found difficult to pronounce) to Jane, my little heroine in the first grade text.
When I turned thirteen a godparent gave me a diary, but journaling is a process and my first entries were confessional and exaggerated. When my mother found it, she was appalled at my escapades. Let’s just say my version of what happened between Luis and me behind the garage was well worth being grounded.
Like all true martyrs of the craft, I resorted to “underground publishing.”
Through the years my scribblings modeled poems a la Sylvia Plath or Shakespearean tragic comedies. I blame fluctuating hormones and too many literature classes for that. To my delight, I later discovered Nora Roberts and Janet Evanovich in women’s fiction, and Eve Bunting and Patricia Polacco in children’s literature. It sure beat Dick and Jane.
I have published a few short by-line pieces and even landed a paying job writing a women’s weekly personal column for three and one half years, but it is time to stitch together my own novel with my own voice.
So this is my journey - no more underground publishing; no more writing as a hobby; no more modeling my voice after others.