September 20, 2008

Standing Under the Tree of Possibilities


Hi folks. I am Jackie Larson, the woman standing under the great big Myrtle tree. This is an unusual tree. You only see this particular brand of Myrtle in the Pacific Northwest, and in fact this picture was taken in Gold Beach, Oregon by my husband, Rick.
I titled this blog entry Standing Under the Tree of Possibilities, because that is what this tree is for me. In a sense I have been climbing this tree for the last six years. Ever sense I first attempting to visualize myself as an actual professional writer. My first climb on that tree wasn't when I first put pen to paper or finger to keyboard. I began writing in high school. No, it was by taking a seat at my first visit to Kings County Writers Support group in Hanford, CA.-my new home. I grabbed for my first branch when I handed five pages of "something" I wrote to June Rodriguez and she and the others in the group circa 2002, took it seriously. They enjoyed it and told me what I needed to do to improve
it. They spoke to me as if I was a writer. Being a writer was always my dream. There, it was my reality.
Soon after that first meeting, I brought in my baby, "Ironic Dance". It had been gestating in my brain since the summer before. No matter how much life tried to block its passage, it kept running its course through my veins. It took over my soul. But I didn't have a clue what I was doing. I knew I loved the little bugger with all my heart. But I felt its clinched fingers stretch the flesh of my technical know how. Critiquing by writers who had already been in the trenches and were in there now, helped me to see I wasn't a lost cause. I was a writer learning her craft. This is how it works. This is what we do. Six years later we are still doing it. Those of us who are published are still here sharing what they learned to be successful. But I see that every new book they start is full of fresh lessons to be learned. Every time, they are just beginning.
That Myrtle tree above is more than a representation of possibilities. It is part of a story in the making. Ironic Dance is not yet dancing off the shelves of bookstores, but it will be. I know this because its a good story and I tell it well. Because I am writing this novel even through the twists and turns of life. It is no longer five pages of tentative hopes, it is a manuscript in the works. It has a body now, it is a course not just running through my veins, but toward a publisher.
I and my husband travelled all the way to Gold Beach, Oregon so I could find that damn tree:) I knew I needed a tree that would be the gate-keeper to all sorts of fun and twisting realities, and by golly this is it. It was the first time I took my writing so seriously that I would travel to another state to "find" it.
Each of us has these moments. June and I shared one in San Fransisco at the RWA writers convention. I saw it change us both. There is a command to us now. We are about the business of writing. And while we were learning craft, we had a great time. Even gained fodder for great stories...like that cabbie...:)

1 Comments:

At September 21, 2008 at 6:23 PM , Blogger June Rodriguez said...

Way to go girl. What a tree. Connecting with your story in such a visual way gives it a life of its own. So hold on tight. You are getting on a wild ride.
Write On!

 

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