Thursday, October 29, 2009

With a pen in my hand....

I have come to the realization that you might be wondering about why I named my blog what I did. Obviously, my last name isn't king and we all know that, so why pick that as a name? Hopefully you picked up on the Martin Luther King Jr. reference in there, but you are probably still wondering just a little about me using it.

The name stemmed out of an assignment I had to do a couple years ago for a writing class I was taking; I was asked to write a brief paper on what I would title an autobiography, if ever I wrote one. My Name is Not King was my answer and in the paper I explained why. Now, with a little bit more background and detail, I will explain again.

The beginning.
When I was in preschool my career aspirations where slightly unusual; I wanted to be a "Juice Maker," I had a strange interest in the process of creating frozen and canned juice concentrate. By the time I reached elementary school I decided that being a veterinarian would be a better choice, I loved animals and it seemed like a pretty decent job. I stuck with this idea up until about 7th grade, when I decide what I really wanted to do was live alone in a cabin or maybe a cave in the woods and be a wildlife rehabilitator and work with birds of prey. The idea was a little far fetched and it originally came out of a book I read called My Side of the Mountain (about a boy who runs away from home and lives in the Catskills, with a falcon he rescues and trains)I was pretty set in this plan; I did lots of research, wrote letters to current rehabilitators and waited for the day I could be licensed for this job at the age of eighteen.

But one fateful day in May of 2004 that changed. As I was sitting at my little white, three-drawed desk in our mudroom/school room I took about a blue spiral notebook and began writing a story about a girl named Alexandra. There I was, suddenly with beginning, middle and end in my head, scrawling it out onto lined paper. I didn't know why, I never had really liked the name Alexandra, I never had considered far off fantasy lands outside of the ones I had read about and I had never once before thought about plotting out a full length story. It was RANDOM. School was ending and I guess I just looked at it as something to keep me busy over the summer...but somehow my sister got word that I was writing a book and when her friends were over on a Friday afternoon she dragged (literally.) me down to our basement playroom and made me read it to her and the three other girls (oh, you know who you are...) This became our weekly routine; the 4 of them wouldn't let anyone go home until I had read that week's chapters aloud.
A couple of weeks went by and I had quite a chunk of book done. Once again I am sitting at the little desk in our mudroom writing furiously. All of a sudden a divine shift occurs as I am looking up at the white wall in front of me; in that moment I went from knowing what I wanted to be when I grew up to knowing what God had meant me to be.

I was a writer.

Then and there I realized my life had been building up to that moment and I hadn't even noticed. All throughout my childhood I loved written words. My mom had spent years encouraging my creative writing skills. We have boxes of the stuff I wrote as a little kid, sheets of wide lined paper filled with highly pointless stories and the unrefined illustrations that accompanied them; I can't exactly say I was a prodigy, but I was definitely comfortable with a pen in my hand. She would also take us to the library regularly; we would leave with 50- 60 books, which we would easily finish off in 3 weeks time. My dad had also greatly contributed my love of books, but he did it by means of bedtime stories. Only, I wasn't a princess in a castle type of girl, so instead I was privileged with the reading of classical literature. I think the first was The Hobbit. By the time I was about eight he was reading my sister and I The Call of the Wild, next came Oliver Twist, followed by an attempt at Treasure Island (we never made it all the way through that one though...) Romeo and Juliet, and sometime later Watership Down. Instead of evil stepmothers and frog-kissin' females, my sister and I listened to tales about greedy dragons, groups of dwarves, sled dogs and their drivers, orphans and pickpockets in London, pirates and treasure hunters, the strained relationships of the Montagues and Capulets, and the cultural, political and social issues of rodents. That definitely isn't normal, but I must say that it helped shaped the person that I am. I wasn't ever really into normal anyway.

This is the part where most people start thinking I am crazy. After all, isn't writing a hobby and not a career? "I hope you marry well..." "I hope you don't starve..." "Have fun living in a cardboard box..." Yup, I've heard it all. Being a vet would have definitely been a more seemingly "acceptable" career choice, or maybe a nurse, a doctor, or even a lawyer like my dad. Those jobs are all great and lovely, but they are not my job.

I believe that sometimes what bothers you most you are meant to fix. One thing that bothers me greatly is literature for youth. It's...garbage! (time for a mom quote: "Garbage in, garbage out.") I won't list certain books (oh, I COULD!), but the stuff out there infuriates me. I walk into libraries and book stores, step into the young adult section and literally get angry. I am going to change that. I fully believe I am meant to. I've even taken pictures of the places my books will someday find themselves on the shelves.

Yeah, maybe it sounds a little crazy...but I am dreaming God-sized dreams. Dreams so big that I can't POSSIBLY accomplish them in and of myself (and also, I can't take any credit). I get told a lot that writing isn't an actual job and that I should pursue something else. But this I know, my Father (the Heavenly One, not the lawyerly one) wrote the best selling book of all time. Don't even bother trying to convince me that I can't write.

Do I sound cocky? Sorry, it's just that I am fully confident in who He is and who He has made me to be. And NOTHING is impossible.

Now, I won't ruin the plot of my book for you (which is now in final edit stage), that way you can buy it and read it yourself someday. This whole publishing deal takes a LOT longer than I had ever expected, back when I was filling up notebooks with my story. I've seen a lot of drafts and a lot of hard work. But that book WILL see publishing. So will the others that just need to be put to paper. I've been told that patience is a good thing to learn....

I KNOW that I am a writer. My name might not be King, but I still have one very gigantic dream. And one very gigantic God who is helping me get it accomplished.

"'...not by might, not by power, but by my Spirit,' says the Lord Almighty." - Zechariah 4:6



Brick Walker said...

"Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal."

You are the most focused person I know. I can't wait to read the book! :)

Isabella Kiss said...

who said that one? is that a churchill-er?

Brick Walker said...

Nah...that one was Henry Ford. One of the many gems slowly filling up my quote book.

Jeremiah said...

Great stuff!

Kimmie said...

okay, as your Mama I am trying not to cry.

May God's Spirit guide your pen and may you follow the path He has destined you for. I pray the new space He is blessing you with, allows for downloads straight from heaven for you and your writing.

To think back to those days where *they* gathered around you to hear the next chapter. What a glorious day when the publisher says *yes* and we chalk it up in our pirate-y belt of done deals. Well, maybe not so piratey, perhaps I am praying for more of a God thing than a pirate thing. But as I know the language you currently speak... ;-)

Of course I pray that orphans *adopted* are part of that road before you...and of course the arranged marriage. ;-)

Your loving mum~as always!

Sarah Louise Upjohn said...

So this book you've been working on with the editor lady, is that the Alexandra book? Or something totally different? Also, for those of us who lack patience, do you have a goal you want your book to be published by? Can we have a party when that happens?

Isabella Kiss said...

we can party FOR SURE weeze. dont know when that will BEEEEE but....there will for sure be partying! (still working on editing, and publishing takes like...a year and a half... :/)


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