As a child, I LOVED books. The library was like a candy store. It broke my heart that I always had too many books to check out and some couldn’t come home with me.
A vivid imagination got me through many lonely childhood days, and books fueled it.
I had an aptitude for computers and joined the workforce a decade into the information age. Most people didn’t have personal computers back then. There was no WWW. Most folks had never heard of the Internet. We thought that knowing how to use a computer meant you’d never be unemployed. We also thought computers would eventually make paper obsolete. We were wrong.
I spent much of my career in information technology—teaching applications and providing software support, as well as doing technical writing. I loved it. Fourteen years of it, though, and I burnt out.
Hated to hear a phone ring. Hated to hear my name.
My siren's song
Around 2003, as best I recall, I literally turned a corner into an epiphany. During my final IT role, I was in the beautiful city of Walhalla, South Carolina. I was in the upstate for two days of training and support, and I had such tunnel vision for my job that the first day I didn’t “see the forest for the trees.” Only when driving the same route on the second day, did I notice that I was driving into mountains. In the distance, mountains were all across my windshield. As one who always “stopped and smelled the roses,” I was devastated that I didn't notice them the day before. It shook me up so much I had to pull the car over. Through my tears,it occurred to me that if I didn’t find a creative outlet, my lifespan would shorten tremendously.
First came the images…
I recall using a digital camera in the mid-late ‘80s on the job. I found an interest in photography, largely due to Photoshop. I worked in an agency that had an award-winning magazine that included magnificent photographs of nature. I watched over shoulders in awe.
After my mountains epiphany--some fifteen years later, I believed that images might be my creative solution. Beams by DiDi's Angel babies were born. I pursued a certificate in photography in 2006 and began a part-time photography business on Leap Day in 2008. I closed that business in 2015, but it was a fun and learned experience.
Then came the words…
In the fall of 2009, I discovered a television show on TNT called Leverage. A game on the TNT website featured actor Christian Kane, saying he “lost his music,” and visitors should help him find it. The web search that followed lead me to discover Christian had an acoustic CD, Live in London. Working part-time for a nonprofit at the time, discretionary funds were “gravy”—and there wasn’t any gravy on my plate. But, it seems that Christian unlocked another door—one that wasn’t ready to be opened yet.
On Wednesday, February 17, 2010, I decided I would wait no longer…doing without necessities, if I had to.
Transported -- Live in London
Christian Kane sang me to sleep that night, with Steve Carlson’s great harmonies and acoustic accompaniment that was to-die-for. I absolutely LOVE acoustic guitar.
I had a vivid dream that night. Libby and Joe, and Whirlwind Love was conceived in those wee hours. For thirty days and nights, this story haunted me…it didn’t matter if I was awake or asleep. It tumbled around in my mind like a rock tumbles into a gem. After a month, I was exhausted and sleep deprived, with dark circles to prove it.
A little voice spoke to me one day, “Maybe if you write it down…it’ll shut up.”
Oh! The prospect of a silent mind!
I took spare time from a couple of weekends and typed the story I heard rolling around my head onto 100 pages. There was no intention to write a novel…just a need for peace of mind.
The creation of Libby’s Journey led me to a local indie filmmaking group in 2011, which led me to SC Film Commission’s workshops, which then led me to Trident Technical College’s film production program in 2012. I never had a desire to work in the film industry, but the idea of learning screenwriting—yes, please.
A family crisis brought me home for good in 2013; and I never made it back to finish my degree. I loved it while I was there, though.
I published Whirlwind Love: Libby’s Journey in February 2014, after years of studying writing.
Chuck’s Song and Hollie’s Folly—all part of the Whirlwind Love series—followed within a year.
In 2015, I realized that while Libby’s Journey was a love story, but the rest of the series didn’t live up to any romantic expectation. I decided to retitle the series before releasing the three prequels and two remaining titles, so I pulled everything.
I've continued to study writing. There's so much great information out there on the web. I'll likely tweak the three books previously released before they all come out again.
Each of the stories tells of characters going in different directions. Our chosen paths—those we choose to walk or those chosen for us by fate or divine intervention—lead us on the journey that becomes the story of our lives.
The message from the entire series of 1 Chosen Road is simple:
Enjoy the journey.