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  • Writer's pictureInkedAuthor31

The Magic Begins

I have always wanted to be an author.


The passion I felt for books was unmatched. I cleaned out my closet to make my own “Reading Cave” where I would hide for hours, with my favorite blanket and my cats, devouring as many books as I could. It was pure bliss. It became my escape. My way to cope with demons I did not yet fully understand.


My passion has not abated. I still to this day never leave my house without a book (or two!) in my bag.


Not only was I a reader, I would write stories when I was younger, and give them to friends and family as gifts.


In high school and college, I took as many creative writing courses as I could get my hands on. I even took some photography courses to go along with it, imagining my art being published into books one day. After a not so great experience with my professor, it turned out photography just wasn’t something I felt good at. And the the pesky Imposter Syndrome roared it‘s fat, ugly head and I gave up on the writing.


In the end, I graduated with my Elementary Education degree, following in my late Momma’s footsteps. It is a decision I have not regretted. The experiences I have with my students every year have helped shaped me to be a better person, and mother.


I may have let the writing dream go, but the dream never let ME go.


In 2011, right before the birth of my daughter, I decided to take a chance and take the writing assessment with the Children’s Institute of Literature. The positive feedback I received was just the push I needed to give it another go. I knew it would be tough—I had a toddler, with another baby on the way. I was in my third year of teaching. But the fire was once again lit, and I went for it.


I managed to juggle it all, and get a few assignments under my belt before the first roadblock hit. And peeps, it hit HARD.


The instant my daughter was born, I knew in my heart she was special. She had her first surgery at 6-months old in attempts to correct her strabismus (crossed eyes). A year later, she was diagnosed with Autism. A year after that, we discovered she has a Chromosome Disorder. Fast forward eleven years and she has had nine surgeries. Her IEP is thicker than the Bible. She is labeled with ASD, Speech and Language Impairment, OHI and IDD.


And she is the SWEETEST, most LOVING kiddo on the planet. We are very blessed to have this young lady in our lives. SHE has shaped who I have become as a mother, educator and author.


Due to her needs and care, writing came to a screeching halt. I put my heart and soul into my children, and my career.


And still, the dream lingered.


I started feeling the pull again in 2013. I enrolled in a Master Class taught by James Patterson. At the time, I had a huge collection of his novels was eager to learn from him. I took the first lesson, then BOOM. Another full-force roadblock.


My best friend died. The pain, the confusion, the anger, the sadness. It was as though my favorite blanket had been drenched. It was no longer warm and cozy and safe. It was suffocating.


I didn’t pick up the pen again, until summer 2020. By then, I had three kids, my youngest only a few months old. Even though overwhelmed (and out numbered!) being home due to COVID, it felt like a good time to try again. I created an IG account, put my dream out into the world with my first post, and started working on the many ideas swirling around my head. I re-instated my course work with the Children’s Institute, and I got busy working on assignments and developing my craft.


Then on August 1, 2020 my next roadblock hit. And it showed NO mercy.


My mother died. And because of COVID, she was alone. I didn’t get to say goodbye. The devastation was unbearable, and honestly, still is. My biggest champion, my person, GONE. Just like that.


Not long after, a dear friend reached out to invite me to join her writing group. They meet once a month, and she felt I would be a good fit.


I was numb. Broken. I just couldn’t do it.


Luckily for me, she was patient.


I was able to pick up my pen again a full year later. The pain still heavy, often excruciating, but I could feel her every time I pick up my pen to write. I joined the group. After downloading Twitter, I joined a few more virtual groups. I graduated from the Children’s Institute of Literature.


Since then, I have made some really incredible connections with fellow writers. In the last two years, I have grown as a person, and as a writer. I still struggle often, but I am in a decent place. I am getting the help I need. I have people in my corner that I can rely on, and trust. And that feels more incredible than I can describe.


I have been published in children’s magazines twice, with a third publication coming this year.


My perfect agent is getting closer. I can just feel it. I like to think my Momma is picking out the perfect match for me.


I am finally firmly grasping my dream. And this time, I will not ever let it go.




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2 Comments


Tonnye Fletcher
Tonnye Fletcher
Jun 27, 2023

You go, Girl! Your mama is looking on proudly I am sure, watching her daughter sail over every hurdle to pursue her dreams and showing her own kids what perseverance leading to success looks like. I’m proud of you and my fingers are crossed for your just-right agent!

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InkedAuthor31
InkedAuthor31
Jun 27, 2023
Replying to

Tonnye, these words truly mean a lot! You are a very special person, and friend. I love seeing your FL adventures as well! It is definitely hot down here, but you are making the most of your trip! Sending Love! ♥️

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