When I was a kid my bedroom carpet was green, perfect as pretend grass for my plastic horses, and soft as down, at least the way I remember it. The carpeting was wall-to-wall, even creeping into my closet, which was just big enough for me to sit inside, legs crisscross-applesauce, the hem of a hung-up dress tickling the top of my head.
With a flashlight tucked between my shoulder and my ear, I'd write stories. They were sweeping tales about romance, or maybe the adventures of a young heroine like "Harriet the Spy." The characters sometimes had pretentious names and lived in Paris (what kid wants to always follow the rule of "write what you know?" Not this kid.). Other times the stories were about a girl who wanted to be Olivia Newton-John and ride a Mongoose dirt bike, like Matt Langley down the street.
Though in the following years I would move to many places that unfortunately didn't have carpeted nooks — a dorm room in Rochester, N.Y.; a tiny apartment in Evanston, Ill.; my first house in Decatur, Ga. — writing was a constant. It took me to a windowless office under an Army recruiting station in Herkimer, NY, where my only companion was the constant crackle of the police scanner. Writing got me tossed out of a hip-hop music studio in Atlanta when I went there looking for Britney Spears. Writing took me to the Lego Master Builder championships in Carlsbad, Calif., and some sweaty government protests in Chicago and on Sea Island, Ga. Writing got me on my first rollercoaster (at the age of 24), sent me to a parkour class, got me dancing in high heels and put me on a stand-up paddleboard and a trapeze. I've met politicians, puppeteers and pop stars. I've told the stories of victims, survivors, tycoons and rabble-rousers. When I was picked to front the world's first all-female tribute to Van Halen, a job that required me to mimic David Lee Roth's Spandex swagger and fantastic caterwaul, I wrote about it.
So now I'm an award-winning journalist with about 20 years of experience writing and editing for print publications and corporate clients, covering everything from asset management to zygote formation. But I'm still that kid who sat in her little closet. I love to tell great stories.