My writing path is crooked. I am a self-diagnosed dyslectic. When I was a pre-teen and teenager, I told stories to my nieces and nephews. I don’t remember what they were about, but the children liked them better than when I read to them. Except for one—they insisted I tell a ghost story. I don’t like ghost stories, they still give me nightmares. I pressed forward anyway. It went along pretty well, at least they were listening. Time came for the ending. It was dumb. They said so. They never asked for another ghost story.
My big stumbling block was spelling. That followed me through high school and junior college. When I was in high school, some teachers graded B/C. The first letter was for content and second grammar and spelling. I got an A/F from a teacher who said there was no such thing—yep, you guessed it: spelling. I started 2 novels in high school. I’ll mention the one titled 5 Girls in a Trailer.
It was about me and 4 friends taking a road trip in a trailer I’d seen. It went pretty well, except for the spelling, until I got to the Arizona-New Mexico border. I lived in southern California, and had visited Grandma Mac in Phoenix, Arizona regularly. This was my first lesson in the need to research. I didn’t know what we would see or do further east.
When I went to the local junior college the first time (today we call them community colleges), I took what we then called Bonehead English 4 times. I knew grammar perfectly. The 4th time, the teacher said, “Miss McNeil, don’t raise your hand. I’ll call on you if nobody else knows the answer.”
The problem once again was spelling. They didn’t teach spelling. At the end of the pass/fail class we had to write a 500 word essay. More than 5 spelling errors and you failed the class. I dropped out that semester for other reasons.
I even gave up reading because I read so slowly. When Star Wars came out, I couldn’t read the opening credits because they went too fast. I have since conquered that, but don’t have space to delve into it here.
Helping my children with spelling words and grammar check helped tremendously for the spelling part. When spell check catches things like “comming” enough times you learn.
In the early 1990’s I felt a call from Heavenly Father to go back to college. This post is already too long, so I won’t go into that here either.
After I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Literature and Writing, I started writing once again. The rest of the story is too long for this post.
The main point is, in my senior years, I’m striving to fulfill a dream that started when I was young.