Another piece of Jackie history. I’ve always written stories. In the beginning, I rarely let anyone read my stuff, usually just the teachers who made the story an homework assignment. Once I DID start writing and submitting, the activity somehow completed me. It was like in my early life, I had a part of me missing…a void that even marriage and motherhood couldn’t fill.
After my divorce, money was tight. When my IBM Selectric died and I couldn’t fix it, I stopped writing. I told myself I was being noble, not using money that my children needed for a selfish reason. I felt worthless and blamed the breakup of my marriage as being the reason. I joined a group called Parents Without Partners, an orginization that does exactly what the name inplies. It was a group where single parents could join in family activities with other parents who were single, for whatever reasons.
We had a special program titled Regaining Joy. We went around the circle, telling what we missed most in our life that we lost with the lost of our spouse. Most talked about the sense of security or material things, whatever. When it came to me, I blurted out that I missed writing. Then, I broke down in tears. The moderator, a psychologist named Les, immediately stopped the session and talked me through my feelings. He ended up tellling me that no matter how, I HAD to get back to writing, even if I had to do it with pencil and paper. Writing wasn’t just a hobby with me; it was life itself.
I took Les’ words to heart. I had to put my youngest son into braces and my insurance repaid me $1000. Did I spend all this money on my kids? No, though I did spend most of it on them. But I did use a part of it to buy me a Smith-Corona word processor. Not as good as the computer I wanted, but I couldn’t justify spending it all on a computer. I also used some to take a class at TJC, as it was known back then, on Writing the Romance. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Best of all, I started living again. Even before I sold, I had worth again. I had romance in my life. Even better, I had the best sex I’d ever had in my life! God bless you, Les. You were so right. Writing is an important part of me. And always will be.