From that time I began to share my writing with friends, and went back to college taking courses getting a few A's myself. The rewards encouraged me to continue writing, mostly memoir and family history with a scattering of poetry and children's stories. Some have been tossed, and some are filed away in boxes in a closet.
Only recently have I stepped out of the mold of my self imposed writing, and started to make efforts to submit my work. I'm receiving tutelage from two local Santa Cruz authors. I don't feel serious with them yet, only the sense that rubbing elbows might bring me some luck. University of Santa Cruz has an opportunity where Seniors (read: old people like me) can attend classes under their Lifelong Learners program. So, that's another big step I'm taking. Hopefully, I will get into the class of our local Poet Laureate and get more elbow rubbing.
What set me on this enjoyment of writing started many years ago when my sixth grade teacher asked me to help her with the school annual literary magazine. It was a conglomeration of poems, stories and artwork submitted by third to sixth grade students. It was a big production. We were very proud of it.
Mrs Rae taught me how to type up the stencils in preparations for the mimeograph machine which, thank heavens, she wouldn't let me use. I was a terrible typist, probably ten words a minute, and made many mistakes. She patiently showed me how to fill them in with correction fluid. I hated doing this, and eventually she let me off the hook.
Having been exposed to the other children's submissions, I decided I could write as well as anyone else and produced what I considered an epic poem. It used up a whole page, and Mrs Rae was full of praise. I wish I still had it, or at least a copy of the 70th Street School Banner with my poem in it. I wrote completely in rhyme an experience based upon "What I Did Last Summer". I had an infestation of bees set up housekeeping in my bedroom. I don't remember anything I wrote except how I managed to fancifully describe myself as sitting like a Buddha in order to be still until the bees moved on and I could get away.