I suppose I’ve always wanted to write. I wrote my first verses in elementary school. I would not call them poetry, but they were evidence that I loved expressing my thoughts on paper. I worked on the school newspaper in junior high school, but saw no need to take journalism in high school. I wanted to write what I cared about, and I wasn’t really passionate about school news. One doesn’t have to take a class to write.
I doubt if I will ever be a published author. I don’t write fiction. Until 2009, with the exception of academic work, all I wrote was letters, a bookstore newsletter, and poetry. The letters were very private, intended only for the eyes of the people they were written to. I poured just as much work into them, though, as if they were to be published. Most were written to college students away from home or to soldiers who had earlier been my high school students. I also kept journals. I think the longest letter I ever wrote was 28 typed single-spaced pages. The recipient referred to it as “the term paper.”
I think the main reason I did not write anything for the public until 2009 was because I had nothing to say except to individuals. It took a life of solving problems, a few years of teaching, nine years of living with our adopted children, both of whom have died now, caring for an aging mother until her death, and serving youth in many different churches, to finally have something to say. I’ve also been a bookseller since 1993 – first at home school conventions and school book fairs around the United States, and then on the internet.
I should mention that I love taking pictures. I took many photos in the 1980’s and 1990’s when we traveled as a family. I lost interest in 1991 when my son died. I didn’t resume this hobby until my heart had some time to heal a bit and I needed photos to illustrate my online articles. Now my photography is an integral part of my writing life, and I never go anywhere without my camera. I just never know when I might have the opportunity to document something important or observe something I may never see again.
The internet finally gave me a chance to write personally to more than one person. In 2009, I discovered Squidoo through a Twitter post. My fellow Squids introduced me to HubPages and other writing sites. Each has helped me develop in its own way.
The same people who introduced me to Squidoo, introduced me to Zazzle, a print-on-demand site that allows me to make products with my photos and offer them for sale to be customized and printed as customers desire. My first store, Barb’s California Card and Gift Gallery, is a general one that offers many products made from nature photos. Many are inspirational. My second store is California Wine Country Memories and Gifts.
I live in the midst of Paso Robles wine country. All my neighbors are vineyards and tasting rooms. I have the opportunity to walk the properties and photograph them in a way few others do. What I see and learn on my visits often finds its way into my writing.
I have always resisted specializing. My interests are diverse and I keep finding new ones. I started this blog to focus on my writing. My other blogs cover my other interests — education, gardening, life in my county, local government, local art, and reviews of what I read. My articles on the content sites often get very personal, especially on my BarbRad profile on HubPages, where I wrote about the death of my adult daughter.
Here are the other places you can find my writing:
Review This! I am a contributor to this review site. Before I became a bookseller, I was a card buyer for a store in Westwood, California. This article from Review This! tells the story of My Life In Greeting Cards. It one of the favorite chapters of my life.
My WannaB Writer HubPages Profile
Capturing the Paso Robles Area with My Camera: My blog that shares at least one photo a day from my local area with some commentary. This connects to the City Daily Photo Blog Network where bloggers all over the world share daily photos from their cities.
You can connect to me in all my other social networks through my XeeMe page. That includes Tumblr, Quora, Twitter, Facebook, RebelMouse, paper.li, LinkedIn, and some you may not have even heard of. It’s a great place to explore social networks. If you’d like to have your own Xeeme page with your entire social presence and all your websites in one place with one address, please consider joining XeeMe though my XeeMe Referral Link.