Monday, February 13, 2012

The Origin

Thank you Chris Allinotte at The Leaky Pencil for the Versatile Blogger Award!

Six months ago, I participated in the Spark Blogfest, and wrote about what gave me the spark to write. I had a blast! A big part of that was because it was SO MUCH FUN to read everyone's Spark stories. (So I'm really hoping that a lot of you are posting your story today!)

The Origins blogfest is very similar, which makes me so excited! I can't wait to read everyone's Origin story. Last time, I wrote about what gave me the spark to write. This is what gave me the spark to BECOME A WRITER.

I did NOT grow up wanting to be a writer. (In fact, I had a high school Honors English teacher who was awful and horrible and mean-spirited, and after her class, I never wanted to write even a single email in my voice ever again, let alone anything else. It was only about five years ago that I recovered from the damage that one teacher caused.)

Of course I did recover, and then came the Spark story. And then, my Origins story.

I love the TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I've said it before, Joss Whedon is a genius. GENIUS! Anyway, a couple friends of mine discovered, watched, loved, then worshiped the show Firefly, so I dangled Buffy and Angel in front of them. It only took the words "Joss was a genius even before Firefly," and they were sold. After sticking with both series for a total of 244 episodes, I figured they deserved to have a book written with them in it! I put them both as the main characters in that world and *ahem* I gotta say it was pretty magical.

I've always created things with my hands. Physical objects that I could hold and say, "Look what I made!" I lived off the high I got from it.

But I discovered that the creative high I got from writing exceeded everything I had ever experienced with any other creative endeavor. I was hopelessly hooked.

But wait! That's not actually what made me want to become a writer. (I'm sure that, eventually, it would have. I mean come on! It's writing!) I read MG to my kids every night, and have done so for 6 or 7 or 8 years, and I love it. After I finished the book I wrote for my friends, I read it to my kids. Because that's what I do.


I seriously had no idea there could be something so great in the world as reading a book to my kids that I wrote. I had no idea that the thrill of reading it to them could outshine the thrill I got writing it. From that moment, I wanted nothing more than to spend the rest of my life writing books that I could read to my kids. And that someday they could read to their kids. As I hugged them goodnight, I made a choice to embark on a journey I knew would be painfully hard and that would take me years and years.... and there was no part of me that wasn't okay with it. I've been living off that high ever since.

I love my kiddos. Not only were they the impetus in my Origins story, but they continually offer me an insane amount of support and encouragement.

How about you? What's your ORIGINS story? If you posted one on your blog, let me know! I want to make sure I read it.

(And if you didn't sign up for the Origins Blogfest, go check it out. It's probably not too late!)


Elodie said...

Awww :D Sweet! And it must be a thrill to read YOUR stories to your kiddos...any as you know I LOVE BUFFY :D

JeffO said...

That's a great story, Peggy. My stories are not exactly the sort of thing I would read as a bedtime story, but I hope my kids can read it as a published work soon (I can't quite bring myself to let them read the manuscript right now, though).

My Origin story is up for your reading pleasure.

Sarah Tokeley said...

I love that your kids were your inspiration. Also, I wonder if teachers ever realise the damage they can do with just a few ill-chosen words.

Jay Noel said...

Amazing how the teacher we have shape our lives. Having been a high school English teacher, I can only hope I was a positive influence!

These days, my little ones are writing stories and tell them to ME. How cool is that?

Annalisa Crawford said...

I loved Buffy, Angel and Firefly, so I'm a new follower based on that. It must be cool to share your writing with your kids. I write adult stuff, so it'll be around 3 and 8 years before I can show my kids what I've been up to instead of taking them swimming!

Theresa said...

Buffy is Amazing and Joss Whedon is a genius!

Such a great story. I love that your kids are your inspiration.

i'm erin. said...

I still haven't watched Buffy, which amazes me that you're still my friend, but I am a huge Joss Whedon fan. I lub you.

Tonja said...

I love reading and telling stories to my kids too. :)

S. L. Hennessy said...

Joss Whedon is my idol. Literally, I think he's one of the best writers ever. Buffy and Firefly are my favorite tv shows of all time. Great origin story!

S. L. Hennessy said...

Joss Whedon is my idol. Literally, I think he's one of the best writers ever. Buffy and Firefly are my favorite tv shows of all time. Great origin story!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You had me at Firefly!
Sad how one teacher can have such a negative impact. Glad you recovered.
Thanks for participating in the blogfest.

Emily R. King said...

Did we have the same AP English teacher? Urgh!

Angela Cothran said...

This is SO cool Peggy. I read to my kids every night too. We did the math a while ago and figures we've read over 60 books in the last 8 years. What a fun origin.

Patti said...

It's totally true Joss Whedon is a genius. I loved Buffy, Angel and Firefly, which was way too short lived.

Leigh Covington said...

This is awesome Peggy! Honestly - one of things that pulls me through the slumps is my kids. I can't wait to read them my stuff, OR to have them hold my book and say, "Look what my mom wrote!" It's way too awesome! Love your origin story.

Chantele Sedgwick said...

What a sweet story, Peggy. I'm so excited to share my books with my kids as they get older. It was SO nice to meet you this weekend! You are so cute and fun!

Christine Rains said...

That's an awesome story. I read to my son and maybe one day, I'll write a story for him and experience the same joy you have.

And yes, Joss Whedon is a genius!

Maggie said...

What a wonderful story and a very unique origin!

Carrie Butler said...

...You had me at Joss Whedon. <3
Great post, Pegasus!

Jennifer Joyce said...

I've read some origin posts about inspiring teachers today. It's such a shame you didn't have one of those. It's great that you are inspired to write for your children though :-)

Skippy Bo Bippy said...

Very cool, thanks for sharing. I did the origin's blogfest too and have been checking out the others and WOW.. the mix of people and stories is incredible. +1 follower.

Alleged Author said...

Joss is a genius! Loved your story. :)

Kimberlee Turley said...

I love Joss Whedon's "Dr. Horrible's Sing-a-Long Blog" and wish he'd made it a series.

You've got a lot of fun posts here on your blog. Happy to be a new follower!

Bonnie Gwyn said...

Fantastic story! I just put my Origin up as well. :)

Trisha said...

This is a great story - I'm so glad you got past the damage done by the evil teacher. I hate hearing about teachers who will gladly squash kids' innate talents and their dreams along with it.

Lan said...

I'm surprised more people haven't cottoned on to the genius that is Joss Whedon. And to think Buffy was almost not going to take off. Thanks a lot Luke Perry. This story is so great. I can't even imagine what it would feel like to read something you wrote to your child! Although, you'll get to do that heaps now :)

Susanna Leonard Hill said...

What a nice story! So cool that it was largely your kids who got you going. So many people (myself included) started writing as youngsters - it's fun to hear a story of someone who came to it later. Thanks for sharing!

Laura Pauling said...

I think having children are extremely inspiring! We see their stage of development and we get it. We don't have to do the research. We know first hand what they are going through. that's cool you read your stories to them!

Unknown said...

Oh so sweet! That is the most beautiful reason I've ever heard to love writing. And there are a lot of reasons. Good for you, Peggy! That's wonderful!

DL Hammons said...

On one of our family road trips everyone took turns reading my latest novel to help identify issues. It was AWESOME! I recommend it to everyone now!

Your ORIGIN story was great! Thank you for sharing. :)

Peggy Eddleman said...

Elodie-- It was a thrill. And I'm so glad you're a fellow Buffy-lover!

JeffO-- Definitely not every story is bedtime material! Sometimes I wonder if I write what I do because reading to my kids at bedtime is so important to me.

And I loved your origins story! Thanks for letting me know it was up.

Sarah-- I think they probably don't know. Human fallacy I can understand. Purposeful? Not so much. (And I don't think it could be called a "few" ill-chosen words, darn it.)

Jay-- The fact that you hoped you were a positive influence more than likely means that you were! Good for you. And I LOVE little kid stories! They're the best! It's amazing how creative little kids are.

Annalisa-- I love you already. :D And 3 and 8 years to wait for your kids to read your book isn't THAT long (if you count it in publishing years. :))

Theresa-- Agreed and agreed! And thank you! My kids are amazing inspiration.

Erin-- I lub you, too. And we can still be friends, because you watched Firefly. Were it not for that, it would be OVER! ;)

Tonja-- It's the best ever, isn't it?!

S.L.-- I SO agree! I learned so much from writing by listening to Joss' commentaries. He's amazing.

Alex-- Thanks for hosting the blogfest, my fellow Firefly-lover.

Emily-- When you were absent the day before a test and weren't there to hear you needed to bring a pencil and a red pen to class, did yours make you stand up in front of the class as an example of what everyone will be like if they don't pay attention in class and come unprepared, then forbid you from taking the test? If so, then yes.

Angela-- 60 books?! That's amazing! I love reading to my kids at night. My oldest is starting to lose interest, and it makes me want to cry.

Patti-- WAY too short-lived! Breaks my heart.

Leigh-- Yes! Having them hold your book sounds heavenly! When I get my arcs, it won't be pictures of me holding my books that excites me-- it'll be pictures of THEM holding the book that I'll fall in love with.

Chantele-- I had a blast with you this weekend! I loved meeting you in person!

Christine-- I'm so excited for you to experience reading your book to them! You're going to love it.

Maggie-- Awww, thanks!

Carrie-- Then from now on, I'm starting every post with the words "Joss Whedon." ;)

Mama J-- It's totally fine. I don't think I was meant to be a writer until I was an adult. And the writing teachers I've had since I started writing have been inspirational to such huge degrees, that it completely makes up for one lousy one.

Kevin-- I love me a good incredible mix of stories! Reading people's origins is fascinating. I'm going to come check yours out!

Alleged Author-- He totally is! And thanks!

K-- That would be AWESOME as a series! And thank you so much! I'm glad to have you here!

Bonnie-- Thanks! And I loved your origin story!

Trisha-- Yeah... evil teachers who gladly squash are no good. (Love your wording!) Inspiring and encouraging are much better ways to go. I wish someone would've told her.

Lan-- That's why we all have to do our parts to spread the word. :) And it is pretty amazing.

Susanna-- It's amazing what kids can inspire you to do, isn't it?

Laura-- It's quite the perk, isn't it? They can remind us SO MUCH of what it was like to be a kid. It's great thing no matter what you're doing!

Nisa-- Awww! You are so sweet! Thank you!!

DL-- Oh, my goodness. I had no idea I would find so many things to improve on just by hearing someone ELSE read my book. It is definitely awesome! And thanks!

Scarlett said...

Love Firefly (all 14 episodes of hunkiness)! I mean c'mon, who wouldn't fall in love with a space cowboy and his wayward, sexy entourage!

I think it was, most definitely, my kids that jump-started my love for writing again, though I didn't mention that in MY origins post. My stories were pretty much dead in a drawer until my husband and I bought our first home computer back in '96, maybe? That's when my need to torture myself on dial-up out-weighed my fears of disappearing into stay-at-home-mommy status. I shared many stories of mis-adventures and mis-haps (that whole vice grips to the nose wasn't pretty) in family emails. Still have them. Always thought they would make a good weekly column in the local paper (my family thought they were better than I did).

What is it with those AP English teachers anyway? I had one of those who really JUST DIDN'T LIKE ME. What's not to like, right? I was painfully shy in high school, well junior high, too... yeah, all the way down to first grade actually. Painfully shy and a wee bit hyperactive, though that disappeared by my freshman year. That's me. Was me. Found my voice. Now I'm unstoppable.

I think it's cool that you share your passion for writing with your kids. My daughter, just about 16, is reading my novel as I write it. It's fun getting her perspective, though there are scenes to come, which have me wondering if I really know my audience.

It's cool *meeting* you here, Peggy! Looking forward to more of you! said...

Fabulous! How wonderful to be able to read your stories to your children. A great journey.

Tara Tyler said...

i love bouncing my writing off my boys, too! but not too much for my captive audience who usually need to get back outside or something...boys!

great beginning =)

Peggy Eddleman said...

Scarlett-- Who wouldn't, indeed. :)I love that your daughter is reading your novel! At age 16, she is probably quite helpful in saying what she thinks. :) I'm glad to meet you, too!

Madeline-- It really has been wonderful.

Tara-- I know! What is it about boys! Don't they know life's funner when you spend more time plotting with your mom?! :)

nutschell said...

A bit tough to get to 212 people in one day, so I'm sorry for the late Origins blogfest visit. I love how you got deeper into your writing thanks to your kids. It must be awesome to read them your work every time.

your newest follower,

Peggy Eddleman said...

nutschell-- Don't be sorry- I'm glad to have you here! Welcome! And yes, it's totally awesome. Also: I love your name.

Jeremy Bates said...

Such a wonderful story!:)

tammy said...

You had me at "Pivotal". ;) The great thing about reading comments on a writers blog, is that each one is its own mini blog post! No one can help themselves! A writer must write! All your writer friends must be so cool, so thanks for letting a writer-enjoyer peek in sometimes!