That's when she made a statement that changed my life.
One day on the phone I was moaning about my career or lack of one. Should I go for a master's degree? Should I teach?
"What do you want to do, Karen?" she asked me. Without a moment's hesitation, I said, "To be a writer. I only want to write. It's what I've always wanted." And she said, "Then why go back to school? Writers write. They don't keep going back for degrees. They write. If you want to be a writer, you have to write."
At that time, I'd finished Farm Girl and felt there was hope for me completing a novel. After my conversation with Julie, I resolved that I would finish the novel I'd been working on for ten years and I'd get other projects lined up as well. Whenever I wavered and worried about money, thinking I should be supplementing the family income with a guaranteed paycheck instead of spending time writing with no guarantees, I thought of Julie's words.
There's really no other way, is there?
Like all my family Julie's a really good sport about seeing herself show up in my stories. She is who I based Marcie's older sister Linda on. One reader said this about Linda-- "I especially loved Linda, Marcie and Cindy's sister-- I do wish we got to see more of her. She was fun!"
Happy birthday to my wonderful sister, Julie! Who I'm sure won't mind if one day Linda gets to be a main character in her own book.
|Julie has always loved laying out by the pool to work on her tan. (She's the one sitting on the edge.)|