I think in words, sentences, and paragraphs, followed by images. I speak and write to express my thoughts, opinions, and feelings. Since news agencies and major periodicals do not ask for my reactions on events of the day, I blog.

Typing words that appear on the computer monitor allows me to release my emotions on varied topics. Writing facilitates coherent thinking. Unless one wants to be considered insane, rational thought is a necessity.

I credit a twelfth grade English instructor for successfully teaching me basic written language—punctuation and grammar. To establish correct skills, writers of all ages must practice. Grading writing in the early years of school discourages students from continued practice. If the red marks on a composition were seen as suggestions not poor performance, more people would love to write.

As I went through college and graduate school, I learned to write educational reports. I spent 36 years as a Speech Therapist. My writing was praised by some and vilified by others during my career. Bosses at work will resort to any way to exert power. Now, I am retired, so I do not answer to anyone but my editor and readers. Thankfully, they are far kinder than insecure mid-level supervisors.

I met a woman at a bookstore in the 2010’s. I commented, “oh how I wish I could write.” She quipped, “just start,” the best advice for a would-be writer. The third person who greatly influenced my writing is my editor. She presented me with rules, and I follow them, an effective process for me. Of course, these rules were applied to years of my experience in reading and speaking. Writing gives me power. I feel strong when I write, and my individuality emerges.

My first book was a memoir about my mother, a combination of a history report, an account of emotions regarding family, and an honest remembrance. In the development of my two memoirs, which I self-published, I acquired the role of family historian, which boosted my self-esteem and served the purpose of documenting precious stories. Through memoir, I clarify the difference between truth and myth.

After the publication of the memoirs about my mother and then my father, a few readers suggested that I attempt fiction. I felt that this task would be impossibly difficult. However, I realised that I had been composing vivid stories in my imagination throughout my life. I have never lacked for emotions. I am blessed with easy access to my thoughts and cursed with passionate feelings that cause my blood pressure to soar. I discovered that I could describe a person with candour but hide their identity by altering details; thereby, fulfilling my commitment to a realistic portrait.

I had experienced a particularly traumatic end to a longstanding marriage and shorter romantic affair. Some friends said, “you should write a book.” I took them literally and did so. The writing was a catharsis, much like punching the two people who treated me badly. Written expression—for me– substitutes for inappropriate and destructive behaviour, for example damaging walls and throwing dishes. I do not think I would hit a person, but I certainly made a few holes in my unfinished laundry room. Who hasn’t been tempted to push or shake a person?

Since one should not lecture people—which I tend to do–my writing complements my oral expression. Writing is my means for sharing my humble thoughts with the world. For this year’s high holiday greeting to friends and family, I stole an idea. (I was forgiven.) The text in the e-card asked for general pardon if “I have intentionally or unintentionally hurt you.”  Below the message were several hilarious responses for readers to use for my incessant talking, obviously one of my “sins.”

Lastly, writing is very good for weight control. Get involved in creating a story, and the need for food and drink disappears!

Article by Author/s
Karen Levi
Writing is my passion. Life is short. An author said to me, “Just start writing.” So, I did just that. My first memoir was published in 2017. The book is called, Love and Luck—A Young Woman’s Journey from Berlin to Shanghai to San Francisco. The “young woman” is my mother, and the story contrasts my life with hers. With this work completed, I caught the writing bug—a good virus--and wrote my first novel, A Glass Shattered. During the pandemic years which have not ended, I devoted my efforts to producing my father’s family’s story, my second memoir, A Smile That Lasts Forever. My professional background is in speech/language disorders. I was a Speech Pathologist for Montgomery County Public Schools (Maryland) for 36 years. Reading is my joy. I value both classic and modern styles in literature and nonfiction. I am studying piano as well. Reading has guided my writing, which is straightforward and descriptive. I have completed numerous online and in-person classes and workshops through Montgomery College, The Writer’s Center Bethesda, and Politics and Prose Bookstore.

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