Writing is the craft I've stuck with the longest.  When I was a child, the first thing I wanted to be when I grew up was a farmer.  What better life than to wake when dawn opens its sleepy yellow eye and sends the roosters into song?  Why, I could have horses, cows, pigs, chickens, goats, dogs, cats, sheep... "And you can butcher 'em too, kid."  Words of wisdom from my Uncle Greg.  Quick as that, the dream went up in smoke.  What about a veterinarian, then?  I still get to work with animals, but this time I get to cure them.  Ah, but that dream was short lived as well.  How many years of college?  Math, you say?  Sorry, numbers and I just don't add up.  I started writing shortly after that--picture books at first--and it was like I had finally found a set of clothes that fit me instead of riding up in all of the most tender places.  Since then I've always envisioned myself a writer, my own projections for my future not far from Thomas Turner's The Writer's Life.  My ideal writer's life involves a modest home with nature as my neighbors; a house stacked from floor to ceiling with hundreds and hundreds of books... my own titles among them.  I want to write a great fantasy series, a scifi epic for teens, an anthology of horror that would curl your toenails.  I have never been a great public speaker.  My words come much more easily when there's a pen and paper in front of me, when I have that extra moment to articulate my thoughts into something more than just, "Uhh, well, you see..."  Writing is a way for me to be heard without ever having to open my mouth.  I want to share.  There are so many ideas shoving about in this head of mine that it would be selfish to keep them there.  In five years, I want a *published* novel under my belt, not just one I've written and let rot in the confines of my hard drive.  In ten years, maybe three.  In twenty years... well, it's hard for me to think that far ahead, honestly.  I have already sampled rejection and the taste is bittersweet.  On one hand, it made me feel like I took my first tentative steps into the world of real writers.  Some of the responses were even hopeful: "We like your writing, however [Title] is not really suited for [Magazine].  Please try us again!"  Others left something to be desired: "This didn't really work for me."  But I take every rejection in stride knowing that one day I'll receive an emphatic yes instead of a no and I will begin my ascent up that tricky writer's ladder into the world of publication.  It will be hard--really hard--but since when is anything ever worth having easy? 

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