Monday, January 7, 2013

About the Authors - Kimberly

"When we start at the center of ourselves, we discover something worthwhile extending toward the periphery of the circle."
Anne Morrow Lindbergh
"Gift from the Sea"

What are the stories behind the stories our women writers penned for Slants of Light: Stories and Poems From the Women's Writing Circle?  How has her unique journey embraced the collective experience of being a woman?  Our authors share this in  our "About the Author" series which begins with Kimberly.

"I have been writing stories since I was in middle school. I can still remember the assignment given to us in my 6th grade English class. A creative assignment-- you can write anything you like, just be sure to tell an interesting story. The task was given to us early in the school year, to encourage us to figure out what we like and talk about it. I often imagine teachers telling themselves, "This is easy enough...the kids will like it because it is so non-restrictive."

What my teacher did not, perhaps, anticipate, was that she would feed my hidden passion. Someone not only gave me permission, but encouragement to write and write and write. And once the gates were opened, I could not be satiated.

I submitted about twelve pages of text to that teacher. The story was about a dynamic duo who solved mysteries. There were ghosts, murders, and unexpected thrills. And I was hooked on writing and the art of storytelling forever.

When Susan asked our anthology contributors to write about what inspired us to tell our stories and share our voices, I laughed to myself. What inspired me? The same thing that inspired me as a middle-schooler. Writing. The thought of writing. Simply having someone say, "Why not write this for our anthology?" is enough inspiration to get me going.

Writing is like breathing. I need it, I want it, I will always do it.

The story I contributed for Slants of Light is one of some heartbreak. I wanted to tell this story in particular because it is one of failure. So many times in life, I find that people, and women especially, are embarrassed or even ashamed to fail. Many of us are perfectionists chasing the perfect dream: great job, great marriage, great home, great kids. But sometimes, we walk down a path only to find it was the wrong road. The wrong journey. None of it felt right from beginning to end, and yet we walked forward anyway.

My story, "Steps - And Missteps - In the Right Direction"  is about a failure that became a moment of teaching for the unsuspecting protagonist . . . ME! I love telling the story and hope it inspires readers to fall down, fall down a little harder, crash head-on, and LEARN. These are the things that make life worth living."

Kimberly Ely is an editor and adjunct professor at Eastern University in St. Davids, PA. She is pursuing her MFA at Arcadia University and resides in Downingtown, PA, with her husband, Mark.   Visit Kimberly at her blog:


Candice said...

Kimberly -
You're so right..sometimes the only way to find the right path is to stumble down a few wrong paths.
Thanks for your honesty.


LadyDi said...

Yep, I too am an unwilling protagonist learning lessons every day. Writing allows us to share a common space where we are safe to be ourselves and write from the heart. Thanks for helping us to create that space.

Krissy said...

Can't wait to read it proud of you!


BdotW said...

I love this Kimmie! Here I was with no idea you were still writing...

Jan Backes said...

I only wish I had your encouragement as a young person. Writing is new to me. I was about 53 when I wrote after my first visit to the Circle. I hope to see you soon. So wonderful to have the environment to coax and ease our soul's divulgence. If not for the Circle, I may not be writing. Am so grateful.

Unknown said...

Kim - Thanks for the encouragement to welcome all of life's experiences - including failure. Wow, how many times has ANYONE ever encouraged that attitude? And how much have we all missed because we only focused on appearing to be perfect?! Thanks for writing with such candor!

kathleen pooler said...

Kimberly, Thank you for this lovely story . You have tapped into a universal theme of lessons learned from hard times. Your story could be mine and you've enticed me to read more about it. Even how a teacher helped you open the flood gates. Mine was an English teacher whose assignment was to design a journal with tabs for different topics. I still have it as a reminder of how journaling became a big part of my life. Best wishes in your writing!

Susan G. Weidener said...

Kimberly, I spent much of my life held captive by my desire to have the "perfect" family - whatever that meant. For awhile, it even seemed possible. A handsome husband, a healthy, attractive son, another baby on the way, a good job and a beautiful home . . . and then "life" intervened. Only years later did I realize, appreciate and embrace that there are many different kinds of families and that what is most important, above all, is that we love one another. I think it was then that I began "letting go" of this need to keep everything perfect and under control. Life is imperfect and our journey filled with many ups and downs - "steps and missteps" - as you wrote in the anthology. Thank you for this lesson learned and sharing it in your writing.

Susan G. Weidener said...

Kathy, I love your story of how your English teacher inspired you to keep a journal ... and how journaling became a lifelong passion. We are very excited about you teaching our journaling workshop on Feb. 23. Can't wait!

Edda said...

Dear Kim,
...Go girl! Follow your dream! You'll know when it doesn't feel'll'll move'll keep on writing. Stay true to your center.

Unknown said...

It is always so wonderful to hear stories from other writers, their passions, inspirations, motivators, tests of their skills so to speak...Good luck, Kim in all your future writings!

Sonia Marsh/Gutsy Living said...

Kim, I am envious and happy at the same time that you found, "Writing is like breathing. I need it, I want it, I will always do it," at a young age.
I am 55, and just published my first memoir about chucking it all and uprooting my 3 sons from a comfortable life in California to a hut on stilts in Belize, Central America.
I admit, like most women, I wanted the perfect home, kids, etc., during my 30's but I think something wonderful happens when you get older: you no longer care about those things as much. At least there has to be some advantage to getting older, and for me, accepting myself, and feeling more confident with who I am is one of them. Good luck to you Kim, and Kathy, I am so happy you're starting to teach. You have so much to share with other writers.

Anonymous said...

It takes courage to admit we've taken a wrong turn and to try something new. Thanks for sharing your story.

Patty said...

This is a lovely homage to (probably) an unsuspecting teacher. To have learned so young the lessons you share here and in your story is a wonderful gift. It's never too late to change course, but first we have to admit we're going in the wrong direction, and that takes courage. You've voiced that beautifully.

Anonymous said...

Kim you go that special talent that comes from within your core. Can't wait to read the book. XO D