It seems I have quite a bit in common with today’s Tuesday 12 x 12 author, Kirsti Call! I, too, have kept a journal as long as I can remember and still find old poems I wrote to my parents tucked away in memory boxes in my mom’s basement. But now that we’re adults, there is one significant difference — Kirsti has managed to pursue her passion for writing, get a contract for her first picture book (coming in October 2013!) and be an active member of the 12 x 12 community all while raising 5 children! It is that kind of passion and dedication that inspires me and keeps me going. Please welcome Kirsti!
I love to write. I love the feel of a pen moving smoothly across paper. I love the sound of the words in my head. I love how each word combines to create something completely unique. I love how a good story has the power to change lives.
I remember as a 3 year old, sitting next to my dad as he wrote his dissertation. I listened to the clacking of the typewriter, and sat up straight with my pen and paper, excited to be writing too! I started my first journal when I was 5, dictating my words to my helpful mom. And when I was 8, I wrote my first poem. I still remember the sound of my mom’s voice, filled with laughter and pride as she read these words:
“My mother’s smile is the best.
She smiles at every guest.
And yet the while I know that I,
have almost all the rest!”
That was the year I wrote novellas about horses, kids, fairies and magical boots in my childish script. Even then I knew that I was a writer. I won essay contests and published articles and poetry in my school newspaper. And when I wasn’t writing, I was immersed in a book.
But somehow getting married and having 5 children distracted me. Two years ago, in a rare moment of quiet, I realized how much I missed writing! At the time, my oldest child was 9 and my youngest was 6 months. I spent my days playing with them, reading to them, and telling them stories.
Picture books were a perfect fit for me! I began writing down some of the stories that I’d told my kids. I joined a critique group. I learned about revising and submitting. I went to my first ever SCBWI conference. I received dozens of rejection letters. And finally, I got a contract for one of my stories. This was it, I was going to be an author!
The excitement of the contract was slightly dampened when I realized that my publisher could and would change my words whether I agreed with it or not. And despite multiple submissions, no one else wanted any of my other stories!
So when I discovered 12×12 I was thrilled! Here was a way for me to be accountable for writing and revising a manuscript every month. Since January, I’ve doubled my number of stories and revised my other stories like crazy. I’ve met my incredibly talented and supportive critique partner. I’ve become part of a community of writers who get me! Just knowing that other 12x12ers are creating as I create makes me smile. And somehow I know that together, our love of writing will produce powerful stories that change children’s lives.
Kirsti Call writes picture books and dabbles in middle grade fiction. She is a marriage and family therapist and mother of 5 delightful children who help her invent imaginative stories. Find out more about her upcoming book, The Raindrop Who Couldn’t Fall at www.kirsticall.comCategories: 12 x 12, Children's Books, Goals, Guest Blogging, Picture Books, Publishing, SCBWI, Works in Progress, Writing · Tags: 12 x 12, Author, Goals, Guest Blog, Julie Hedlund, Picture Books, Publishing, SCBWI, Tuesday 12 x 12, Works in Progress, Writing