Mom, I just want you to know,
That my reading and writing ability,
To you, I owe.
For, you read to me before you ever sent me off to school.
You gave me an early start.
I grew up on Cinderella and fairy tales,
And reading, I never ever failed!
And now, at writing, I excel!
I was first published at a third grader in The Enterprise, the oldest newspaper in my hometown. My teacher submitted my story about my dog. My first college essay titled "April Flood" was published in another local newspaper. It was about the 1983 flood residents of our parish endured. In 1992, another poem titled "Someone Special" was published in the Southern Poetry Association, a poem about my father, who died when I was four years old on Christmas Day.
In 1988, my short story "The Lord Had Something Better in Mind," won Southeastern Louisiana University's fiction-writing competition and was published in their literary magazine, GAMBIT, Volume 18. The story was reprinted in Pebble Lake Review in Summer 2004, Vol. 1, Issue 3. It's listed in the side column with a picture of the magazine cover.
Though Mom raised me on fairy tales, she also raised me on Bible verses in such a way that they became part of my life, leading to my faith in God. One thing Mom failed to tell me was, God is not a fairy tale. I always said I'd never raise my girls on fairy tales, because they'd be disappointed when they met toads instead of Prince Charming. I remember one fairy tale where the princess kissed the toad and turned him into a prince, "The Frog Prince". If only it were so easy. I've met my share of toads, but Jesus is my Prince and my best friend.