When I was thirteen, I just knew I would marry Donnie Wahlberg from New Kids on the Block. And no one could tell me differently. See, my sister, best friend and I had formed this girl version of NKOTB and we were going to be their opening act. Of course, after spending so much time together on tour, love would eventually bloom. My sister was in love with Joe McIntyre (she's going to kill me for blabbing that, but it's the truth!), but Donnie--outgoing, sexy, crazy Donnie Wahlberg was all mine. The exact antithesis of me, his brashness was a perfect foil to my shyness. My dry wit charmed him while his outspoken nature encouraged me to let that inner-wild child loose. Yup, opposites attract, and we were going to be the fairy-tale romance that would live happily ever after...
Then the boy band fervor died down and I fell in desperate love with the guy in my homeroom with the bea-u-ti-ful hazel eyes.
But, the point is not how fickle I was, but that even then--at thirteen--I was writing. When I put pen to paper, the young, awkward pre-teen from Plainfield, NJ, became the girl who Donnie Wahlberg had chosen from tens of millions of adoring fans. But, only when I put pen to paper. When I wrote. Even then I knew the joy of taking a nebulous idea and weaving together characters, emotions and circumstances until I had a story that spoke, breathed and lived.
It's important that as writers we don't forget this joy. Sometimes we can get so frustrated with not winning the contest or rejections from publishers that we forget the delight that comes from just creating. Don't get me wrong, if I received "The Call", the news would be flashing on the backside of the Vulcan by now! But, if we never get the call, if we never win a contest, would we still write? Yes, a thousand times, yes. Because it's a must, a need and a joy.
So, in twenty years, things have come full circle. New Kids on the Block have reunited, and though Donnie doesn't play such a prominent role in my stories, I'm still writing. And in another twenty, published or not, I'll still be writing...and writing...And, I wouldn't have it any other way.