Simple questions that you get asked many times. The answers are not as easy as you would think. Oh sure, it starts simple. Praise for your way of expressing yourself or a well-written paper, but it quickly morphs into something bigger and soon the beginning is more complex than you can easily summarize.
My journey began with reading. I read Tamora Pierce’s Wild Magic books when I was 10/11 years old. I adored them and aspired, in the way children do, to be just like her. That aspiration turned to need on September 11th, 2001. When I witnessed my mother collapse to her knees, tears streaming down her face I did not understand. I questioned my parents many times after that day and listened with all the focus and curiosity of an eleven year old to every news story on the tv. I did not understand everything. I understood war from my history books. Talk of war scared me. I knew that was bad, very bad. The thing that haunted me as a child, and still haunts me is the hate. I never understood why they hated us so much that they could commit murder.
So I wrote. I wrote a short story about what I saw, what I thought, what I felt and the questions I could not answer. My mother read it and cried.
I had used one of the old learn to write and tell stories computer programs for the Windows 98 or 2000 machine, I don’t remember which now. I had added pictures to the illustration section and poignantly described my thoughts on that paper. I had poured the innocence of a child onto the paper and asked the questions no one could answer.
That was my beginning. My parents encouraged me to tell more stories. So I wrote more. I wrote an entire book when I was 13. Looking back I cringe, a thirteen year old girl’s mind is a scary, hormone driven world of drama that does not actually exist. That was an act of preservation though, I preserved a piece of myself on those pages.
Now, as a more mature writer I write with more thought and organization. The beginning is the same. I always start with the question my eleven year old self asked in the face of terror and war. Why?
My journey began with “Why?”.