SSpjut…What Makes Me…Me!

I and my seven siblings grew up on a small farm in Western Washington where mornings were spent jockeying for your ten minutes of bathroom time before heading out to school, and the afternoons found us rushing home to get the cows, pigs, horses and chickens feed in time to watch Barnabas Collins and Dark Shadows. My parents were hard working people who in turn taught their children that hard work, Godly living and voting Republican would earn you the American dream.  To inspire that belief we were each given a horse of our own, a pitch fork to clean up after it with and the freedom to imagine our lives to be whatever we wanted them to be.

When I was eight years old my older brother Ross handed me a copy of The Hobbit and told me if I was serious about becoming a writer than I needed to start by reading that.  So I did, and then I read The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, the Chronicles of Narnia, Dragon Rider’s of Pern and every science fiction-fantasy book I could get my hands on. For the next twenty five years I devoured everything I could that was about fantasy, romance, horror and mayhem. And in between my elementary years and high school I wrote short stories, poems and pretended to be one of the heroines out of Middle Earth, Narnia and the lands of Pern.

But interwoven with my love of books and fantasy was my love of horses and so the writing career was forced to take a back seat to training and showing my ponies Copper and Star. Dab those years with high school, college, marriage and children and I got lost in a sea of competition, motherhood, dirty diapers and later on, raising two boys on as a single parent.

In my mid twenties there came a resurgence of training and showing horses which lasted until one the horses I was working with at the time decided to fall down and try to make a sandwich out of him, the wall and me. When I recovered from the broken ribs, bruised clavicle and torn tendons and muscles I determined that I’d had enough with other people’s badly behaved animals and it was time to put my skills as a teacher and self taught sales manager to use elsewhere.

It was around this time that I had a serious encounter with the Lord God that radically changed the focus of my life and one of the outlets I used to deal with that rather lengthy transition was journaling. I remember going through reams and reams of paper until I finally went to composition books so I keep better track of them. At the time I thought I was just working out on paper all the ideas and changes that were going on in my life; what I didn’t realize was that God was using all that journaling to re-awaken the passion I had always had for writing.

Looking back over my life I can now see how being a daughter, wife, mother, business owner, horse trainer – teacher, voracious reader and Beloved of God has played a major role in shaping who I am today. It’s what drives my passion to bring all those joys and sorrows, up and downs into the character’s I am writing about. Each one represents an aspect of my life or the lives of those I’ve known and draws out the best and the worst from each. The jobs I’ve held, the children I’ve raised, the friends and family I’ve loved and lost all share their wisdom and essence with the lives of those I’m writing about. They are like my character Walks In Dreams; they are the culmination of many lives well lived.

From the laptop of an uncensored dreamer,

Shawn Spjut

SSpjut.com

SSPJUT | WRITERS BLOG | STARDATE

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