My destiny was revealed to me in the third grade when my short story entry, My Pet Dinosaur won the gold ribbon in the district wide writing contest. Lapeer County is a large district, with three rural elementary schools; at Elba, I was a celebrity, having beaten every single third grade competitor in my county. Imagine the blow to my ego when as a fourth grader, my entry earned me an ugly, generic red ribbon–third place. I was crushed. I cried all day, and my classmates laughed because I had gotten just what I deserved for being such a narcissistic bitch.
My tenth grade creative writing teacher didn’t like me. He thought my subject matter was “too adult” and my language was unnecessarily “Jane Austen-ish.” That son-of-a-bitch had probably never read one full page of an Austen novel. I choked on C grades all semester. For one project, I wrote a screenplay about a teenage girl contemplating suicide. I was called to his desk, and he explained that because it was technically well written, he wouldn’t give me an F. Fuuuhhh…
College comp was the best. Because I was the best again. Mr. Awesome Guy Who Knows A Thing Or Twelve told me so after the last day of class had ended. He was always boasting about how difficult it was to earn a final grade of A+ in his class. I was the only student who did that term.
In my early twenties, I was hot and heavy with a dude called Fantasy; my favorite author being Terry Brooks–gaahhh! Because of Brooks’ Shannara series, I’d decided I wanted to write a fantasy novel. I didn’t have a computer, so I began writing a manuscript old-school style. I filled three giant notebooks before I was given an outdated IBM ThinkPad. It was during the process of transferring my 100% unique fantasy manuscript to the computer that I realized my story was totally derivative of The Elfstones of Shannara. Damn it!
In my late twenties, a friend convinced me to join Myspace–I had a big girl computer by that point. First, I called myself Polythene Pam, then later Pammy Pamtastico! My blog was bangin’ with subscribers. I composed shitty poetry, ranted about everything under the sun, moon, and stars; comedy and satire were my M.O. Then Myspace became the loser on the playground, and I moved to Facebook with all of the mature, boring people.
I’m in my late thirties now, and writing is as awesome a bitch as ever. And I love her more than I ever have because every setback ultimately builds me up bigger and better. I have a completed novel currently being read by a publisher, about half of my next novel (which will be part of a series of three) finished, and Santa’s bag full of ideas for future manuscripts.
To all of you future novelists out there: believe in yourself, believe in your words, and never stop.