The year is almost over
and so are my posts on balance.
For your enjoyment
I love writing. When I’m stressed out, which seems to be a disproportionate amount of time, I write. Or I think about writing. Just the idea of being a writer has intrigued me since I was about 10 years old. I always envisioned myself with a cool typewriter and a big wooden desk, in a cozy den with a great view. Perhaps I’d sit at my desk and write wonderful stories, pausing to look out at the woods – or maybe the ocean – just beyond my window.
Have you ever noticed how movies portray writers? They often have such a romanticized life, hunkering down in a quaint coffee shop and penning page after page while sipping a cappuccino. How dreamy. I love those movies. I pretend that that is the type of writer I am. I’m wearing a very stylish sweater, with a scarf knotted smartly around my neck. There is a pencil tucked behind my ear, and the words pour onto the paper effortlessly while I drink my mocha. At a glance of my watch, I notice that it’s almost time to pick the girls up from school. My son is just waking from his nap, and he stirs a bit. I’ve just put in two glorious hours of work on my latest novel, and now I can spend some quality time with my kids. How fabulous!
Reality check. I look down and recall that I’m wearing my husband’s college sweatshirt, faded with age. The dryer has just clicked off, a reminder that I can now switch the laundry, and I have several stacks of papers to grade. Yes, I am a writer. But, I’m not the kind that you might envision if you’re thinking of one of those glorious films. Nope, I’m a full time working mom with a house to keep clean (if you call the constant pile of laundry and the obstacle course of blocks, cars, and dollhouse furniture clean), and bills to pay. I make time when I can to squeeze in a few minutes of writing, though this generally makes me feel guilty because I always feel that I should be doing something else.
Then again, books are my passion. I think they always have been. I want my kids to have great books to read, adventures to whisk them away, stories to bring them comfort. So, I write them. My writing partner and I discovered, almost simultaneously, that there was a serious deficit in great adventure/mystery stories for kids in a very pivotal age group. So, what did we decide to do? Write some.
But when? How? I get home from an exhausting day of teaching and try my hardest to be energetic for my kids. I don’t look or feel the part of a real writer. For this reason, I pretend. I imagine myself the author that I always envisioned. Then, I pull on my sweats and a t-shirt (which I pretend is a very artsy/writer-like outfit), grab something to drink in a plastic cartoon character cup, and plunk down on the living room floor – my own quaint café. Then, I write. Sometimes, it’s during the wee hours of the night. Everyone else in my house is sleeping. I don’t feel guilty. I’m not shirking any of my duties. This is an okay time. I crank out a few pages, and can barely hold my eyes open. Sleep calls me. Tomorrow night, same place. I’ll be here.
Laurie Cameron was born in Montana and moved to the Washington, D.C. area after completing her advance degree in Economics. There she met her husband and took up the nomadic life in the U.S. Foreign Service. For more than twenty years, she has lived and traveled throughout many parts of Africa, the Caribbean, and Latin America. She has two sons who are both in the Peace Corps.
Laura Meagher was born and raised in Plainfield, Illinois, and continues to reside in that same Chicago suburb today with her husband, Joe, and three beautiful children. She received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education and her master of arts in teaching. Laura is currently in her thirteenth year of teaching in the public school system.
Laura is Laurie's husband's sister's daughter (phew!). In other words, she is Laurie's niece. They have been writing together since 2008. When they started, Laurie lived in the Dominican Republic and Laura lived and continues to live in the same Chicago suburb where she grew up. Since then Laurie has resided in Honduras for four years and is now living in Sedona, Arizona.
For this reason, all their writing happens over the internet. First Laura writes a chapter and e-mails it to Laurie, then Laurie writes one and e-mails it to Laura. The chapters aren't always sequential. If one of them is inspired to write a particular chapter, she writes it. They worry about putting it all together later. But each chapter provides inspiration to continue.
Laurie and Laura co-authored The Ghost at Old Oak Way, published by Untapped Talent, Inc in 2009. The Ghost at Judy Creek Station was published by Acorn Mysteries in 2012.