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  • Writer's pictureLisa

Happily Ever After

People often ask me when I knew I wanted to be a writer. I don’t think there was a specific moment when I made that decision, but if you ask me when I BECAME a writer, I can answer that one easily; I was a little girl, not even old enough yet for formal education.

My first typewriter

When I was less than a handful of years old, someone told me that my grandfather, who was a geologist, had written a book. It was, of course, a highly technical book on geological formations which is still referenced in universities today, but none of that meant anything to me. To me, books were magical. Knowing my beloved grandpa had written a book triggered something inside of me, and from that moment, my destiny was set.

My first “books” were sheets of lined paper, carefully cut into two-inch-long strips, laid on top of each other, folded in half to create pages, and stapled in the middle to make a binding. On these pages, I created a cover complete with artwork, a title and my name, and inside, my illustrated, albeit simplistic stories were almost always about cats who met, fell in love, had babies and lived happily ever after.

Even then, and as purely innocent and guileless as these books were, I was a romance writer, and I believed in a happily ever after.

My grandfather was so proud, and he encouraged me to continue to write. He was so proud in fact, that he took my tiny books to the university he taught at, and showed them to the other professors, proudly declaring that his wee granddaughter’s books should be published and printed.

Nothing ever came of that, and I’m sure his intellectual peers were amused and touched by his pride in my work, but I am also certain he knew deep down how unpublishable these little books were.

A few short years later, just a few days before Christmas, my grandfather died. We travelled over 800 miles to attend the funeral and be with my grandma. She told me he would have wanted me to have his typewriter, a sky blue Brother Charger. I accepted the gift with more reverence and awe than one might expect from a child of that age. Right then and there I embarked upon my journey into journalism. That morning, I wrote my very first “news” stories in the form of a tiny “newspaper”. Included in the news I wrote that day were articles about my siblings, my cats, the unexpected changes to our Christmas plans and speculation about whether or not Santa would know where we were, a weather report, and a very matter of fact obituary for my Grandpa that, when I read it to the adults gathered in my grandparents’ home, made them laugh even while they cried.

Since then, I have never stopped writing in one form or another. From poetry to prose, feature articles to editorials, I have never stopped writing.

I will always be grateful to my grandpa for believing in me, and for encouraging me to write, both during his life, and also in his death.

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