The old woman caught my eye one morning on my way to school. I was in the 8th grade and had just turned 13. She called to me from her porch rocking chair and startling me out of my morning daydream as she asked, “Penny for your thoughts?” I can still remember her little wrinkled face and thought she must have been 100 years old. I politely smiled, yet continued to walk faster. I wondered if she could read my mind.
That day, during school, I wrote my first poem. It flowed magically from some hidden place between my heart and soul. I felt “myself’ for the first time and so I wrote, It Wasn’t a Shiny Penny.
Secretly I wrote poems and essays, mainly journaling, throughout highschool. In college I choreographed renaissance dances and wrote a screenplay which my dance group performed in Lincoln Center. I didn’t see myself as a writer, even after I created that show. Then into the years of my marriage, I wrote with my husband, a lyricist. I personally never published anything up to this point. Nowadays, I pay more attention to this calling.
I unwrap my special gift ideas when they come to me. I digest them, fall in love with them, and then with the full force of passion, I write until I can see my words come to life. A best friend writer, who I have known for 42 years, is my mentor. I have published several essays over the last few years.
I am more confident as I leave my fifties and head into my sixties. I am not afraid to be ‘judged’ or ‘rejected’ — I continue to learn something from both. I am now wondering if my short story, Charlie Hawk, might turn into a novel one day. Anything is possible for this writer.
Carolyn Rhodes had a B.A. in drama and dance. She is presently employed at the University of Alabama as assistant to a department head, has been the editor of Journal for one year and created monthly newsletters for American Indian families. She is a freelance writer for PrimeLife Magazine in Alabama, has written for senior news in the northeast and has been published in Southern Antiques Magazine. Presently, she is working on a dance project titled, “Super at Sixty”. She is available for short biographies, creative writing and editing and can be reached by email at crhodes078 (at) aol.com.