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Monday, April 8, 2013

Forty Years...

Today I am appearing on Writing into the Sunset and Hope, Dreams, Life and Love. I hope you'll drop in and leave a comment. This virtual tour ends this week and a lucky commenter will win a beautiful Celtic necklace. Plus, you'll see interviews you won't find anywhere else.

Much can change over forty years, a fact that was recently brought to my attention by a friend who has known me forever. It was exactly forty years ago when I left home for the first time. I moved into a trailer that was 12 feet wide and 60 feet long - 720 square feet. In the hot Mississippi Delta summers, the trailer easily soared above 110 degrees. The cockroaches were as long as my fingers and if I awakened during the night and turned on a light, I could see hundreds scurrying down the walls body-to-body like Pickett's Charge.

With my son napping in his crib, I spent my afternoons writing, hunched over an old manual typewriter set on the floor. I saved my pennies - literally - until I had enough to purchase a ream of paper. I carefully drew light pencil marks at the bottom margins so I would know when to insert a fresh sheet of paper.

When publishers rejected my writing and one literary agent openly mocked it, I didn't give up. I believed in myself and I believed in a higher power. I didn't believe that it was meant for me to live out my life in a trailer park.

I was often marginalized; treated as if I wasn't a human being. I vowed then that I would always treat each person I met, no matter what their stature, social standing or the size of their wallet, exactly the same. It's a promise that I have kept throughout my life.

I lived in that trailer for nearly three years before moving out in search of a better life. It wasn't long before I was living out of my car. Just seven years later, I started the first of two successful computer companies without borrowing a dime.

I've been asked to write my autobiography. When I'm closer to knowing the ending, I just might do that.

Until then, I'll live each chapter as it unfolds.