Diana McCollum

Freedom and Independence to Follow My Dreams

by | Mar 10, 2023 | Blog

(This first appeared as a blog on Windtree Press)

I live in a country the, USA, where I can enjoy the freedom and independence to follow my dreams.

My dream is to write and publish stories that I love for others to enjoy.

The job of writing is an independent job. I don’t have a ‘boss’ or a time clock or a paycheck! Once I sell a book to a publisher, I will have a boss, a deadline for revisions and a paycheck!

For now I am my own boss, which is fine with me. Except for the fact my boss is sometimes lax in cracking the whip and getting my butt in the chair and fingers on the keyboard

My beginning art class

As an independent writer I can pursue writing courses, business courses and learning as much as I can about publicity from sites such as Canva. I can enjoy my other artistic pursuits which includes, but is not limited to, acrylic painting on canvas.

I am immensely thankful that I worked for a company who took care of their employees. Not only in the present day, but thinking ahead to the employee’s retirement. Because of the retirement investments of 22 years being employed by the same company, I am in a comfortable spot in life. Not wealthy, but not worried about finances. Comfortable.

When I retired from MCM Construction my husband and I were able to move to OR and take care of my mom. I started following my dream of publishing books. I took classes. POV Author Services offers beginning and advanced writing classes, also classes on the business side of writing. I met with writer friends and went to conferences.

Then the pandemic hit and everything moved to online, Zoom ,or Facetime. I learned a whole other way of learning and visiting. Of course, no more meeting at the tea or coffee house with friends. Instead, once in a while we met in smaller groups on front porches or backyards.

Along the way I’ve found out a lot about myself. Writing does that for you. I encourage one and all to write in a journal. Every day, once a week, you choose. Believe me you will find out things about yourself you never knew.Maybe you will find you have a story in you that is waiting to be put to paper, or typed into the computer. Ideas for stories can come from anywhere. Newspaper and magazine articles are a good source for ideas. Special events which happened in your own life or the life of someone you know. Or an interest in a certain subject. Or a picture of my old chair could surely stimulate the imagination.

With me it was paranormal, witches and magic. My Pennsylvania grandmothers both had superstitions they lived by. Having lived their whole lives in PA, sometimes in PA Dutch country, and the superstitions abound in Dutch country.

One grandma believed to cure warts you only had to find a tree stump with rain water in it. On a full moon collect some of the stump water to douse your wart and it would kill it.

Both grandmothers and my mom believed things came in threes: death, accidents, good fortune, found money, etc.

There were lots of sayings about brooms. Jumping over a broom stick with your intended seals the marriage, a broom stick across the doorway keeps evil and bad luck out, a broom in the corner is for sweeping away bad juju. And on and on it goes.

My mother’s grandfather and her uncles made brooms. My mom and her sister had to take the straw to the creek and tie it in bundles and walk on it in the water to soften it for processing.

Listening to my mom and aunt talk about broom making got me thinking. Where do witches get their brooms? And so my first idea for a story was born. That specific story is yet to be written, although it is outlined. H-m-m? Maybe I’ll start that one next!

In the meantime, I do have a few books and short stories for you to enjoy. For more information check out my website.