|I can remember a time, not so very long ago, when I was part of the general population that didn't have computer skills. I learned in public school and four and 1/2 years of college before computers, so that computer skills were a learning challenge I had to take on myself. Nobody told me I had to. I figured it out myself. The world moves on, and I had to take action not to be left behind.
TV commercials have a way of projecting our society into our awareness, whether we want the information or not. I don't remember the year, but I remember that "Yahoo" wave of commercials. They ran long enough for me to become annoyed with myself for not even knowing what it was I didn't know to do.
The first community college computer class I received a learning certificate from is dated 1995. I had a book that I read, and I attended all the classes, and I suppose I learned as much as one would expect when one doesn't own a computer. On a fixed income, I found wishing, and a considerable amount of research that left me with a confusing and expensive list of wants.
I don't know if it's my personality or years of making bad snap decisions, but a lot of time often passes between the spark of an idea, plotting a course to a goal, editing plans along the way, and eventually getting to more or less where I was aiming. I invested in a package deal for dial-up, a Toshiba starter computer, and an Epson printer. Then, I had to learn, really learn about computers and what they could do for me. I didn't want to be a slave to a computer job, but I was at a disadvantage being its master.
There were several more sessions of community college classes: Introduction (again), the second in the required series, Word (finally, because I knew if I intended to write--this would be my program), then there was an Internet class, and before that educational burst ended I also received my continuing ed certificate for Quicken. By now, the millinieum has passed, I'm getting my searching sea legs, and on March 2, 2002 I found Writing.com and joined.
Nine years have now passed since that day. I can't imagine a better or more supportive and nurturing community than Writing.com. I am convinced that persistance counts for something. Having one place to compose and find helpful feedback has helped me see what kinds of possibilities I have as a writer--and the possibilities seem endless. I hope everyone at Writing.com finds what they need when they need it. This has been my writing home for nine years, and I hope our relationship never ends.
My portfolio currently has 415 items. It started with poetry, and expanded with more fiction than I realized I had in me. I went through a phase of writing web content articles--initially I wrote items that piqued my curiosity, but have actually been able to make a small income writing articles for others (which are not included in my portfolio).
I've got nine chapters started on a project that's been haunting me for the past year and a half. It's something I need to write for myself, even if it never gets published. I've had my works included in the anthologies of others, but I've not had a work of my own published. This may be the one for me, which I now find more frightening than thrilling. However, considering that one of the characters in my novel is Michael Jackson, maybe that's the way it's suppose to feel.
I'm 175 pages into the 750+ page biography of Jackson by Randy Taraborrelli. This is serious research. I have a workable story board in my head. I've played around enough, and gone through similar efforts before, but this feels different. If Michael Jackson is dead and gone, his public isn't. I have what I consider an honest to goodness market for my work. A lot of things feel right about this.
No better time than an anniversary to share common hopes and dreams. If birthdays are for celebrating with friends, please pour yourself a glass of your favorite beverage, and join me in drinking a toast to what we accomplish every today, and to what we dream of tomorrow.