My Origin Story

12:23 PM Elizabeth Seckman 24 Comments

Oh my...more blogger fun. This one comes from DL HammonKatie MillsAlex Cavenaugh, and Matthew MacNish

Gonna have to break out the Red Bull to keep up.

Not really, I'm doing a little cheating. I've blogged about this before. 'Why' I write was my very first blog post. And as the mother of four boys, I loathe repeating myself...For example, heading into church, I simply have to say..."default church setting"...that translates to...we are late, go in quietly, take your seat without pushing or arguing...if you fail, you don't go out to eat afterward

I guess I'm saying, why re-do what I've done so well already? So here is a shameless cut and paste on why I write....From my original Blog Post...FROM BOAS TO REALITY

Even as a little girl, I wanted to be a writer.
Okay, so my idea of a writer was mostly  influenced by Felicia Gallant of  “Another World” … sooo basically, I just wanted to spend my life wrapped in boas (the feathery kind) and click around in high heels (on the marble floors of my mansion!).
What I am finding is that writing is, ugh, work. There is no little fairy sprinkling golden words and ideas on my little blond head. (I think Steven King may be holding her hostage, I just can’t prove it.)
So, here I am. At the beginning.  The people in the ‘know’ tell me I need  to blog. And I need to publish some shorts (oh no, not my britches!). And I need to enter contests.  And I need to attend conferences. And I need to network. And I need to join writer’s groups. And I need to write. And I need to edit. And I need to query. And I need to research.  And for crying out loud, MAY I PLEASE HAVE A LITTLE TIME TO READ?
And I’m thinking I better pray.  Pray for a change of heart or the endurance to compete. It’s a tough world out there. So many good writers, so few good readers.
So, it’s important to bring the A game. Don’t get sloppy, don’t get cocky. My college English professor, Dr. Hart (Heartless was the pet name I fondly used in my thoughts). He gave me the first B I ever got in an English class. I was stunned. It almost brought me to tears. He stopped me as I was leaving the class.
He asked in his uber thick German accent, “Miss Hartman. Did my B surprise you?”
“Uh, hell yes.” (I really just nodded…understand, what I say and what I think are rarely congruent)
“You have talent Miss Hartman. But you are lazy. I’m sure you’ve earned  A’ s your whole life with writing that is ‘good enough’, but in this class, you better be prepared to stun me to get your A. Now have a good day.”
“Pecker head.” (okay, so I choked out a simple ‘thank you’…what else do you say to a scary German guy who holds the power to end your scholarship with a B?)
So, now when I write. Dr. Heartless, uh I mean Hart, is my muse (Darn you King, release the fairy!). He sits on my shoulder and barks, “lazy” until I struggle word by individual word until I hear him say, “eh, that’s better”.

Being a writer was this child's dream. Dr. Hart was her reality.


  1. I didn't want to be a writer early on. I thought writing was something people did in their spare time. :)
    I love that you had an English Prof kick you in the butt. I had one, too.

  2. I'm glad you 'repeated' this, since I never saw the first one. You're right about the work part... and don't forget the huge dash of luck.
    I loved your thought of King stealing the fairy! Maybe he will let her go someday... then maybe not.

  3. I have to say, I never actually *believed* I would ever write for publication. I just filled notebooks. It was my fantasy me, but I never thought I'd pursue it as a day job. But then I thought, I could send these puppies out...I mean I enjoy buying lottery tickets.

  4. I don't think King will ever release the fairy. He's probably allowing demons to torture

  5. Neil Gaiman keeps complaining that brownies refuse to come in the night and complete chapter ten for him! Great origin tale, Roland

  6. Lol, I remember reading another post earlier about someone who had a mean English teacher! Sounds like they turned out to be pretty useful!

  7. Roland, we DO we find those brownies?

    Kyra, maybe we need them to thicken our skin.

  8. LOL! Oh my gosh. This story is spectacular! Love it. I hate professors like that. Man, they can totally bring you down, but at the same time they challenge you. Still - they don't really lose the "Peckerhead" nickname easily, do they? You're brilliant. Love this post!

  9. My history teacher in college is named Dr. Hart...he's a tough grader with his essays. Maybe it's a "Hart" thing. LOL. I never thought to call him heartless...clever, clever!

  10. Great post! And after the kazillion (seems like it, anyway) posts I've read today, it's amazing I'm even capable of enjoying one. But I enjoyed yours. I really like your voice. Guess that means I'll have to follow you. So, count me in! Oh, and it's nice to meet you.

  11. Great Origins post. Tell Dr. Peckerhead Thank You very much and wrap yourself in a father boa and sit down at that computer and write.

    Love this story. Nice to meet you. I'll be back.

  12. What a great story! I'm sharing it with my daughter who received her first 'B' in English this year.
    Nice to know your origins.

  13. "Default church setting" - I love it!

    And I'm still dreaming about strolling my mansion up to my writing eyrie to dash off a few words that publishers will fall over themselves for. Dream on :)

  14. Ha! That's great about your professor, thanks for sharing! :)

  15. I also like the meaning behind "default church setting!" This is an excellent story with a great ending. Nice to meet you via the blogfest, and hope to see more of you! Julie

  16. Great tag line :-)

    I've had to give up visiting each blog methodically - to be honest, I always do, I am not a methodical person. I chose your blog because of the title. I've got an almost-teen who had taken to mubbling, so all you hear me say all day is 'Use Your Words!' Nice to meet you - new follower!

  17. Thanks and welcome new followers! I love brilliant people. :)

  18. We all need a Dr. Hart in our writers lives! We would be better because of it. Now we call them Critique Partners! :)

  19. Thanks for all the comments guys...I've been trying to figure out that cool nesting feature (my tech abilities are stuck in the pen and paper days)...and the last two days have been busy, but I wanted to take a minute and be a little more specific than a thanks...

    @Leigh- nothing like a good nose tweak to send said nose to the grindstone!
    @Ashley- permission granted to steal nickname
    @Susan F.S.- Thanks. That's the best sort of praise!
    @Faraway Eyes- lol...just may do that
    @Susan G.K.- hope your daughter wasn't too traumatized
    Botanist- my grandma wrote this in my graduation card: "Hold fast to dreams...For if dreams is a broken winged bird...that cannot fly"
    @Julie- glad to meet you too!
    @ Annalisa- That's exactly where I got the title! Funny how I say that as often to my boys now that they are teens as when they were toddlers!
    @ DL- thanks for stopping by and for hosting the blog fest.

    *Now, who knows how to the nesting comments?

  20. I love how you "hart"less professor kicked you into climbing up to your best writing standards. :)
    Great to meet you on this blogfest.

    your newest follower,

  21. Hi, Elizabeth! LOVE your blog template! Changed it up not too long ago, 'cause it wasn't working with my title. I miss the weeds. *g*

    I don't no quite what to think of Heartless. He sounds a wee bit on the rude side. But if you learned something from him, like not to sign up for his class E-V-E-R again, then you learned *something*. I do agree, those teachers who push us to be better, whether we think we could use the push or not, are often the best teachers.

    I like your voice! Your funny and playful nature, especially in your pre-church warning, are contagious. It's great to *meet* you in the Fest!

    1. Thank you! And it's great to *meet* you too. Nothing is more exciting to this little blog than waking up to a new friend.

  22. PS: Not sure about the 'nesting comments' question. I tried Intense Debate for a day, but it wasn't working properly with Blogger. OR... I just did it wrong.

    I've looked into Disqus, and seen others, but for now I guess I'm just happy to have comments working! Good Luck!

  23. I figured out the nesting...Kristen Pryzbela (fellow writer/blogger) sent me instructions. It's not called nesting; under comment setting click on embedded. So, now I can respond to each comment. Much easier...and way more fun.


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