When I was eight . . .

. . . I lived in a small redwood cabin in Big Sur. It was 1962 and I was in Mrs. Stewart’s third grade class at Captain Cooper School. That was the year it moved from next door to the ranger station to just over the hill from us.

Before the move, I took the big yellow school bus everyday. Because I lived on the east side of the highway, the bus picked us up and took us all the way north to get the boy who lived at the lighthouse. Then we’d turn south and travel all the way back–past my stop–to the school. Silliness, indeed. But they didn’t want us crossing Highway 1 (although we did it all the time to buy penny candies from the General Store).

After the move, I hiked over deer trails to get to school. It was much faster. Even when it rained and poured–which it did a lot that winter. Thinking back, I’m not sure why my mother sent me off like that, but she did, packing up a change of clothes in case I got wet. And I got very wet. It was quite an adventure.

I’ve been thinking a lot about Big Sur recently because I’m going to attend the Children’s Writing Workshop in December. It’s put on by the Andrea Brown Literary Agency in conjunction with the Henry Miller Library. I’m really excited about this opportunity to work with agents, editors, and other writers. I hope to kick my writing–and especially my query and synopsis–up to where it needs to be in order to get an agent and sell.

There’s something marvelous about this happening in Big Sur. The year we were there I did lots and lots of writing. We had no TV; there was no reception in any case. But, we did have my mother’s old typewriter, and I loved banging away on the keys inventing my stories as I went along. (I was a pantser in those days.) That was when I decided I wanted to be a writer.

It was my year to be the acorn. Now I am the oak tree.


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