People have been asking me what it’s like to have a writer for a mom for as long as I can remember. I always liked making up stories, but Mom has been my unfailing encourager and supporter throughout my writing life – my first editor, the first person I bounce new ideas off of. Mom wrote my stories down when I was too young to write myself (patiently taking time out of her own writing schedule for my extremely frequent interruptions). She typed my stories on request until I was about eight, when she taught me how to type. She gave me my first computer so I could work on my first book when I was ten. She took me to writer’s workshops, science fiction conventions, and weekly Southern Indiana Writers Group meetings, introduced me to other writers, editors, and publishers. We were our own little writer’s workshop while I was growing up, and still are, in a lot of ways. If either of us is stuck, we know the other will happily brainstorm with us over the phone.
Having an instant writing buddy in your mother is something you appreciate all the more when you’re around other writers later on, when you realize that most writers have to actively seek out other people who understand the process, the love, the frustration, the mindset that you can and will use anything as material, the sparks of inspiration, the terror of a blank page…. Writers are a little bit (or, in some cases, a lot) crazy, and it can be lonely when you’re the only one around. I consider myself extremely lucky to have always had someone around who gets it – who has as much fun as I do brainstorming story ideas, coming up with writing exercises and story challenges, explaining imaginary alternate endings to movies that could have been good (if we had written the script)…. So the answer is, having a writer for a mom is awesome. Thank you, Mom – for everything, but especially for your friendship and encouragement.