I wrote my first story about a disobedient mouse when I was about four years old. At the time, I knew nothing about plot or characterization. I just knew I could make a mouse do things by printing words on the page. Along with my black-and-white composition notebooks and No. 2 pencils, words were my favorite childhood toys. I enjoyed reading them, saying them aloud, writing them. Words, unlike my Barbie dolls or Sit-N-Spin, did not break. They were in my head waiting to be written, or printed in dictionaries to be discovered. My mother and teachers told me early on I was going to be a writer. I spent much of my life entertaining and resisting that notion.
I wrote my way through grade school. There were impassioned letters to the editor about politics, war, even baseball. My high school English teachers recognized my passion for writing early on. Mrs. Procaccini, my freshman English teacher plucked my early poetry assignments from the stacks of students’ work and submitted them to the school’s literary magazine. Bolstered by my teachers’ confidence, I began to explore a world of opportunities to hone my craft and express my thoughts.
From my t-shirt design gig while in high school to my current creative freelance ventures, I have always felt the need to create. And in everything that I did, my writing — whether it was an essay, a news article, poem, short story or even general correspondence — always stood out, often garnering favorable feedback from my intended audiences. I always appreciated the power and effect of a word and how, when strung together in sentences or paragraphs, created messages that inspired, influenced, encouraged and challenged.
Why do I write? Writing is the air I breathe, the blood that courses through my veins. To write is to live.