My first grade class had been asked to draw a book cover for Miss Broton, with an exciting story name and a great picture on the cover. Crayon in hand, I named my story “The Valentine That Ran Away.” My pink valentine had funny, skinny legs and a twinkle in its dot eyes as it seemed to be speeding off the page. I was thrilled when Miss Broton looked at each of our covers, and let us go home with them. They were done.
But I wasn’t. The cover I had made inspired me. Where did the Valentine go? What happened to it? Did someone find it and take it home? I wanted to know the end of the story. But to do that, I had to write it. And I did. The next day I marched back into class with my completed story and gave it to a surprised Miss Broton, who of course had no inkling that anyone would actually write their story. She read my story, laughed a couple of times, and then shared my feat with the class. Which was all marvelous, of course, until Miss Broton told the class that everyone else could do what Kaeryn had done. A few of my classmates actually glared at me. (No help for my popularity contest.)
Well, that should have been enough to have convinced me I wanted to be a writer when I grew up, but I missed the signs. It wasn’t until after I started raising my family that my writing skills started really coming in handy. As my husband is a pastor, I frequently supplemented our ministry salary with contract work of some kind or another, and I was able to write for our church ministries as well.