One Writer's Beginning
Family lore has it that my father wanted to be a writer. Instead, Poppy was a farmer, a carpenter, and a bookkeeper, in that order. I don't have a farmer's green thumb or a bookkeeper's head for math, and if I tried carpentry I'd have a sore thumb. Poppy liked to read western novels and pulp detective magazines. Maybe his reading habit rubbed off on me, and with it, a love of language; of putting words on paper.
A memory of first holding a book in my hands dates to about age eight, when Poppy sent me to the library to pick up Zane Grey westerns for him. I lugged home a few books for myself. A library seemed a magical place; a room full of books from which I could choose a handful to take home. The Sibley (Iowa) Public Library became my favorite place to idle away free time. Although the librarian, Miss Zenobia Walton, encouraged my reading, and the setting fostered a fondness for books and authors, I never had that "I want to be a writer" moment.
During the same era that I frequented the library, the public school system grounded me with a solid background in spelling and grammar. All this held me in good stead when, at age fifty, I tried my hand at writing for publication. A late bloomer, yes. My sister, Dolores, called me the Grandma Moses of writing.
From a family history I'd compiled, I gleaned essays. The first piece I submitted was published in two newspapers during the same Christmastime. Simply Delicious has since been published nearly every holiday season for more than twenty years. The first fiction I submitted, The Story Lady, was published by Thema Literary Journal and nominated for the Pushcart Prize (two other nominations came later).
I considered it the luck o' the Irish when I stumbled upon my Jones and McLaughlin cousins' unique story during genealogy research. After publishing an article about this family in the Tampa Tribune, I received an offer from an independent filmmaker who wanted to collaborate with me on a screenplay of the story. While flattered, I felt uneasy about giving rights to someone who might have a different vision of the story, and who might take years to complete the project (if ever). I declined the contract and wrote Swinging Sisters, the musical journey of the Texas Rangerettes, a Depression era all-girl band.
My second book, Masquerade: The Swindler Who Conned J. Edgar Hoover, is based on a true story; not of a family member but someone we knew. I've also written an e-book: Rogue Writers, and co-authored the e-book: A Mix of Holiday Memories, published by my good friend E.P.Ned Burke (http://www.epburkepublishing.com/).
I'm a past Contributing Editor to Writer's Guidelines and News; current Editor of the online magazine Doorways Memoirs; Contributing Editor and columnist for Yesterday's Magazette and The Perspiring Writer, and a columnist for Creativity Connection. I'm listed in Who's Who in America, and my work has appeared in more than one hundred publications. I'm a member of The Emerald Coast Writers (aka The Hotsies) and Sarasota Writer's Connection. My husband and I live in Sarasota, Florida, where our worst vice is crowing about our grandchildren. Don't get me started.
http://www.madonnadrieschristensen.com/ and http://www.doorwaysmemoirs.com/
Reading, collect vintage dolls, genealogy (family history)
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