Yesterday’s writing exercise sparked a trip down memory lane. I began going through my files and came across some writing I’d totally forgotten about. One piece was an introduction letter I had to write to my ICL writing instructor during my almost microscopically brief enrollment. It was written almost two years ago but I think it’s a pretty good summary of me:

Dear Heather,

Hello from “Charm City” -Baltimore, MD. I’m a wife and a mommy, an Air Force brat with southern sensibilities, a bookworm, a blogger and an aspiring writer.
I was born in South Carolina where my parents’ families are rooted. My dad enlisted when I was nine months old and the adventures of military life began. Aside from a three year tour in England, my parents, younger brother and I were mostly stationed in the south; Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. I have so many fond memories of being a military kid. My favorite and most vivid memories are from the ages of about ten to fifteen when we were stationed in Charleston, SC and Upper Heyford, England. These memories include Girl Scouts, summers with my grandparents, riding the tube in London, and my first kiss. One of my favorite gifts as a child was the Little House on the Prairie book set. Judy Blume was one of my favorite authors; I loved the character Ramona and read the book Are You There God? It’s Me, Maragaret at least four times. I was bitten by the writing bug after receiving an essay award in the fifth grade and began filling notebooks with short stories and poems. One of my first stories was titled “The Junk Food Junkie” a cautionary tale of what happened to a boy who ate too much junk food.  
Back then I aspired to be a teacher or a librarian so I could read to children all day. We returned from England to be stationed in Goldsboro, North Carolina where my parents eventually settled. It was in Goldsboro that I graduated from high school and went on to East Carolina University to graduate with a bachelors in Accounting. After seven years in NC (the longest I’d ever been in one place up until that point) I was eager for new surroundings, so upon graduation I accepted an auditing position with the Dept. of Defense in Springfield, VA in the DC metro area. This is when, as my husband likes to say, the country mouse became a city mouse. I fell in love with the hustle and bustle, the culture and feel of the city. I had a few adventures as a single transplant learning the ways of the big city (including meeting my future husband online). I encountered what I would describe as a “quarter life” crisis about four years into my career. I realized I could not fathom the thought of even five more years of the same routine. I decided to take advantage of my relatively carefree young adulthood and enroll in graduate school full time. I moved to Baltimore to study Human Resource Development at Towson University and graduated with a masters in May 2005. Within six months of graduation I started a new job, married my best friend of five years, and discovered we were expecting. As an expectant mom I experienced a seismic shift in my perspective and priorities, making the decision to quit my job and stay at home with our son. It was during this time that my childhood passion of writing resurfaced. Until that time I had journaled sporadically but, preoccupied with other pursuits, I’d pretty much given up creative writing. So as a new mom I continued to journal and ventured into blogging about my experiences as well as my opinions on current events. I also began writing stories and rhymes for my son. During this time I submitted a short story to Highlights for Children that did not meet their need at the time. I also submitted two short stories for a Writer’s Digest competition which I had no delusions of winning but appreciated the practice. Economic and family realities ushered my return to work shortly after my son’s second birthday but I was determined not to give up writing again.
So these days life revolves around my husband Ronaldo and my soon to be four year old son Judah. We enjoy just being together, whether it’s swimming at the Y, a movie night at home, a festival in the city or our nightly reading and bedtime prayer. We’re very involved with our church. I volunteer one Sunday a month with the preschoolers, assist with community outreach projects, and participate in small group studies. As a Health Insurance Analyst for almost two years, I review health insurance forms and contracts to ensure they comply with state law as well as ensure they provide a clear and accurate explanation of the insured’s benefits. I guess you can say I write letters for a living as I note any deficiencies in an objection letter to the insurance company and recommend revisions. While I’m not doing cartwheels out of my door each morning, I do enjoy the work and like to think that because of what I do some individual or family will be a bit more informed about their health benefits. I’m an avid reader. I feel an euphoric rush whenever I walk into a library or book store. My two favorite genres are Christian/inspirational fiction and memoirs. I like stories of redemption and forgiveness, as well as stories that deal with the dynamics of family and race relations. I also love humor. When I finish a book or story I like to feel as if I’ve been enlightened, challenged or inspired in some way. I’ve become a huge fan of blogging as I now have three blogs. The first is a personal family blog where we share pictures, stories and our little family happenings as a way to keep in touch with our expansive family. The second blog “Barnabas Blessings: Thoughts for Encouragement” is my platform to share personal thoughts and scripture. The last blog, “The Published Journey” is fairly new, and chronicles my thoughts and experiences as an aspiring writer.

My goal and interest in this course is to develop my skill for writing short stories and articles for children. I write for adults as well and believe the foundational guidance will help me to sharpen basic skills and develop my potential. One day I hope to be able to make a modest living doing something I love. I look forward to working and corresponding with you.

Have a great day,

LaShona Sellers

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