I thought I’d take a brief moment and introduce myself to the group. My name is Suzanne Paul and I’m a 12- year transplant to Las Vegas, NV after living in Indiana most of my life.
I currently occupy a cubicle full-time, performing auditing functions for a government agency that shall not be named. I have degrees in Accounting, Construction Management, and Public Administration. None of which are particularly useful for my heart’s calling, writing.
The first memory I have of my love for words, I was in first grade and was pestering my mother on a rainy afternoon. I was bored and the prospect of an afternoon with my younger sister held little appeal. My mother told me to go read to myself. When I complained that I’d read them all she told me to write one.
Armed with a number 2 pencil and my mother’s shopping pad, I wrote my first story about a fawn, lost in the woods, looking for its mother. I still remember that sense of accomplishment I felt when I looked at that finished story. I was so proud of myself that I took it to school and showed my teacher. She copied onto that large, blue-lined primary school paper that I’m sure they don’t make anymore, and hung it up in the classroom.
I’ve been chasing that acceptance ever since.
I’ve written one, rather long action/adventure novel that I self-published, but was probably best left in a drawer. Currently, I’m recovering from a bout of “critique session-itis”. You know it. It’s that paralysis that comes when your inner critic is amplified by the chorus of nay-sayers who have used your otherness as an excuse to demean everything you write. I made the mistake of advising a fellow student to be careful of the “white savior” trope when writing his murder on a Native American reservation story and the backlash wasn’t pretty. Even though I took the course some time ago I find I’m having trouble writing anything substantive since.
Which brings me to why I decided to attend these sessions. I hope and believe that within the context of social justice and writing creatively I may find likeminded souls. I’m hoping the short exercises will help loosen the block that I’ve been facing and help me rediscover the joy I felt when I wrote that first story so long ago.
So, hello everyone.
My apologies for being so late.