With all the different genres out there to choose from, you may wonder how I started writing personal essays and eventually a memoir. I wonder that myself. Some may say I haven’t lived long enough to be worthy of publishing my memoir. I say a lot of life has been crammed into those 64 years!
Ten years ago a good friend suggested I check out Chicken Soup For the Soul. Learning to write a short, true story was a good practice to sharpen my writing skills. If my story got accepted, I’d be a published author. Sounded simple to me! Believe me writing a story good enough for a Chicken Soup anthology is everything but easy.
I’d written and submitted 15 stories, editing, rewriting, getting feedback from other writers I knew. Nothing. Until the day the email came telling my my first story, Treat, Pray, Love would appear in My Dog’s Life. My sweet dog, Ginger, who the story is about, got a few extra biscuits that day! It is still my favorite of all the stories that have appeared in Chicken Soup For The Soul titles, seven in all.
I came to realize at that moment that my life mattered. Every life matters and every person has a story to tell that others can relate to. None of us are alone in this world even though there are times we may feel alone. If telling my story can give strength to someone else, then writing it has been worth it.
My experience with my step mother June, left me feeling lost and alone most of the time as I tried to care for her. I know there are many people out there in similar situations who also feel very much alone. After she died, I knew deep in my heart that this was the story I needed to share with the world. June would want that too.
A Bittersweet Goodnight is my story. Tragedy precedes the entrance of a step mother. What happens next depends on the twists and turns of a lifetime. It is the Bronze Winner of the 2019 Royal Palm Literary Award.