Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Do You Remember Your First Published Writing?

I had to dig in the vaults for this one, but I found it!My first publication was right out of high school for a small press magazine, Primitive Bikini, which is no longer in print. I had thought it was published when I was in high school, but it seems my memory was fuzzy as I pulled it out from the filing cabinet this afternoon. I'm going to share a poem with you about my time spent in the Appalachian Service Project, but first I want to tell you a little about the organization.

I blogged a little about this experience earlier this year. A.S.P. is a Methodist organization helping repair homes for the poor in the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky, Virginia, and West Virginia. Every summer high school kids from all over the U.S. volunteer. Long after I left the church and organized religion all together, I still traveled with the program to do this service work because I believed in the people who ran it, people who were open-minded and accepting of everyone, regardless of their religion or lack of religion.

It's amazing and sad that there are still people here in our own country who live without indoor plumbing and running water in their homes. These people in the mountains have some of the biggest hearts and I was humbled by them. I volunteered for six years with A.S.P., my last year as a youth leader, which was truly rewarding.

Here's my poem about my experience. I don't write anything like this now, but it's good to remember where I come from. If I don't remember where I came from, I can't grow as a writer.

Morning Song

In the misty morning the
mountains swell as we
join hands in the
circle of eternity
our souls intertwine
to become one
our witnesses are the
whispering leaves and the
families whose lives have
been warmed with love
and affection
like the morning star
which rewards us with
life-giving light
as our spirits
dance in
for to give love
is to receive

What was your first published piece?

As always, happy writing and happy reading to all!


Frederick Gear said...

I wish I could say I had one. . .

Nora B. Peevy said...

Frederick, I know you will. I've read your writing and you have talent, which is something you can't learn in a class. Hang in there. My advice to you is to submit like crazy. I'm just now starting to get paid a little, but it's not easy. I'm not living off my writing, but I am working towards that and you can too. If you don't have any publications under your belt and want to start a writing resume, I would submit to places that welcome new writers. You might not get paid for your writing, but you can build a reputation and editors will see you are marketable. Geez, I wish I was getting paid big bucks for mine right now, but I am still in that transition from amateur to semi-pro. And then it's on to full-time pro!

Good luck. I know you have it in you. Keep writing and keep submitting. Think positive. :)