Ok. So last week I posted about a Miss America Moment https://www.pjcolando.com/miss-america/

Breathless, elated, soaring yet grounded by a fresh floral scent… This post goes further. It’s a wonder I didn’t keel over in shock.


I felt like my conference name tag looks in this pic. Upended, footloose… because my feet couldn’t touch the ground.

Literally. Several moments of shock and surprise passed before I found my way up to the presenter to acknowledge the award. There was nothing to ground me to this reward because I was amongst hundreds of great, great writers.

Little old me from small town Indiana. Little old me, the progeny of parents who could have achieved this award, if they’d pursued the endeavor. Thank goodness for their gifts: a good brain, a college education, and plenty of time to read.

I rose to receive the award, its openly discernible hug. I am a writer. Amen.

Six years ago I stumbled into a free write class. Six years of reading how-to books, attending seminars and author assemblages, meetings, and writers club events, soaking up the vibe. I wrote, clung to the chair by the seat of my pants, allowing words to flow from my brain onto the page.

I’ve overcome many hurdles:  dreaded illnesses and suffering through which I wrote to ignore, lack of time, lack of self-trust, my propensity to confound readers with high-powered word play.

Online classes connected me best to other struggling writers, word wranglers trying to find their way out of their minds onto a clear, communicative page. Evoking and/or abandoning emotions that no longer serve one’s life. Moving out of one’s comfort zone to further self-actualization.

Several years ago I closed my private practice without a whimper, worry, or backward glance. My husband was shocked at the ease of transition. The truth was that I like writing more. If I didn’t like the behavior of my characters, I could hit DELETE, an action not possible in my work or real world.

I no longer feel affiliated with speech-language pathology, a career that I adored. I have an encore career. I know the Universe, my Lord, approves.

I am a writer. Amen.