Words – so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them. -Nathaniel Hawthorne, writer (1804-1864)
… to all elementary school teachers that write “Great work!” on every piece of writing to allow children to think “I am GOOD” and to keep trying.
… Mrs. Stovel (Gr. 6) for taking me to the giant dictionary in the library when I had the word “exuberant” stuck in my head for days but had no idea what it meant.
… to the government for requiring we learn French in high school and showing me the complexities of language (like verb tense – there aren’t just three, you know) that I’d never learn by just speaking my native language.
… Mrs. Thompson who used words like “tenacious” to describe me and reminded me how much I love finding JUST the right word to describe life.
… Mrs. Reiner (Gr. 11) for teaching the nitty gritty of grammar for what felt like the first time in my school career (or maybe just the first time I paid attention?) and starting my obsession with grammatical perfection.
… Ms. Libbrecht/Daniels (Gr. 12) for begrudgingly giving me good marks and positive comments on essays, book reviews, journal entries, and year long projects (all done the night before the due date) because even though she KNEW it was a last-minute-not-my-best-work effort, it was still good enough to earn the grade. The sigh and snarl that came with those marks first started to show me that I wasn’t the only one who enjoyed my writing.
… Jan Cioe and other university professors actually invested enough in their students to demand decently written papers and perfection in formatting and pushing me to do better than “good enough” even though I don’t think I ever did get an A on a paper for Jan. (Run on sentences are still my biggest downfall – I could fix this, but I won’t. 😀 )
… to friends who showed they appreciated my grammar obsession by asking me to edit university papers and giving me permission to write ALL over them.
… Clint, John, and Donna at the DKA for asking me to check everything that went out for public consumption.
… colleagues that asked for examples of report card comments and help getting just the right structure and style to tell the truth without complete destruction.
… to all the friends, family, acquaintances, near strangers, and so on who have ever made a comment on something I’ve written and slowly, slowly, built up the stockpile of little nudges that got me to the point where when Laura told me straight up, “Start writing” it was the last little nudge, and just suddenly I had to!
THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO MADE ME A WRITER!