Twelve-year-old Me and the Writing Dream

When I had just turned twelve, I ran across an old book in some of my dad's stuff called THE MASK OF FU MANCHU by Sax Rohmer. Apparently, my dad loved the book enough to, uh, liberate it from the public library, for the card was still in the back. At that time, I would read anything which fell into my hands—a habit which has continued to the present day, I’m happy to say.

I can still remember how awesome the book was—adventure, excitement, danger, the mystery of Egypt, stalwart, brave and handsome Englishmen, brilliant criminals, a plot to steal ancient treasures—who wouldn’t have loved it? The scenes where our heroes were staying at the Mena House Hotel, which sat on the Giza plateau in full view of the pyramids—THE the pyramids—made a special impression on me. I wanted to see it all. And more importantly, I wanted to write books full of adventure and danger and excitement—and handsome Englishmen.

Flash forward over thirty years. My lifelong love of all things historical is fulfilled, at least partially, by a trip to Egypt. Ah, Luxor and the Temple of Karnak! Ah, the Valley of the Kings—where was Boris Karloff’s Imhotep when you needed him? Ah, Abu Simbel, and a cruise down the Nile. And then, and then, the absolute culmination of a lifetime of dreams. I’m staying at…wait for it…the Mena House Hotel. Me. A country girl from South Carolina.

But something was wrong, and for the longest time, I couldn’t figure out what. I wanted to tell someone I was here, in the spot I’d dreamed of being for so long. But who? I’d told everyone I knew, believe me. Who, oh who else could possibly be missing the important information?

Then it hit me. The one person I really, really, REALLY wanted to know where I was…was me. Twelve-year-old me. The little girl who had fallen in love with adventure and Egypt and the Mena House Hotel. Okay, yes, and handsome Englishmen. I wanted her to know, “We made it, kid. We got here. We grabbed for that dream and we caught it at last.”

Yes, there is a point to my rambling. Writing is hard. Writing is work. Writing is a job. Promotion is hard and rejection is agony. And some days, we would rather be doing almost anything else. That’s when it’s important to remember that kid in you who first read books and got excited about the glorious, the amazing, the astonishing idea of writing them.

She is still inside you, waiting for acknowledgement. Tell her. Tell her, “Yes, we did it. We’re writers. And it’s all thanks to you and your dreams.”

And to handsome Englishmen, of course.

K.G. McAbee loves and writes all sorts of genre fiction, including steampunk, fantasy, science fiction, horror, mystery and comic books. She’s a member of Horror Writers Association and International Thriller Writers. Her latest release is THE HEIRESS ON THE ISLAND book two in THE CLOCKWORK PIRATE middle-grade steampunk series, published by MuseItUp Publishing.

Sale alert! For a short time, book one in the series, THE JOURNAL IN THE JUG, is included for free with purchase of book two.  

She’d love to have you visit her Amazon Author page

 Keep writing!






Karen Cioffi said...

Wow, Gail. How wonderful to have achieved your dream. And, what an amazing place to visit. What the imagination can spark!

You're right too, writing and promotion is hard work.

Mary Jo Guglielmo said...

Thanks for the great reminder that it is important to acknowledge our dreams and accomplishments.

Shirley Corder said...

Thanks Gail. I'm with you. Writing is hard, and promotion is double hard. (Guess where I'm at right now!)Thank you for reminding us to see what we've achieved.

Anne Duguid Knol said...

Loved this. I had just such an exciting moment a few years ago when I passed Lawrence Durrell's home in Cyprus where he wrote the first novel of the Alexandria Quartet. Great reminder.

Margaret Fieland said...

What a touching post -- it brought tears to my eyes. Thanks for letting us in on your dream.

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