I don’t really remember the date or my exact age when the urge to write first struck, nor when I first realized my talent.  I just recall being at my junior high school desk, grabbing a sheet of paper from my notebook and starting to pen.  Ever so swiftly, the words began to take shape.  And before I knew it, a plot had developed.  It was a story!  I was composing!

Hickerson, Kathy - Katharin Ridgeway

The author, Katharin Ridgeway

I do not recollect what that first story was about, nor the length of it. But boy howdy, I remember that nagging urge to give it to one of my friends and stand closely by them so I could watch the gleam in their eyes as they scanned the parchment back and forth from word ‘one’ to the riveting climax.  Then I would listen for those comments of praise and questions concerning the date of my next masterpiece.  Ah yes, my heart still thumps madly when I think back to that time, though I must confess, not every story got that reaction and not every friend enjoyed that sort of thing.

As the time passed, I began to lose interest in the world of fiction and non-fiction and dove into the realm of reality, boys and lest I forget, heaven forbid, my music, for which I also had a passion and talent.

I loved my music.  The instrument of my choice, the clarinet, which I mastered through my years at junior high and high school.  But just like the writing, my music would take a backseat also,  this time, to my future as a wife and mother.  And as soon as all three of my children were in school, there was work, to help out with the ever mounting expenses of raising them.  There was simply no room for a literary career.

An Author’s Inspiration

Time stands still for no man, this I have heard all my life.  But I also believe in the saying, “nothing is over, till it’s over”.   It had been eighteen years since I sat at my school desk, penning love stories and wild tales of adventure for my friends, when suddenly a familiar urge came over me.  “No, it can’t be,” I thought to myself.  “Don’t tell me I still have it.”  But I went to the thrift store and purchased a spiral notebook and a package of pens.  And my husband bought me a typewriter.

So I began to write.  And this time I had a partner in crime, a good friend whose name was Dianna.  And boy were we serious about writing.  Together we came up with a story we just knew would be a bestseller.  We even sent a couple of chapters to a professional to be critiqued and received fabulous results.  But as it had some seventeen and a half years before, life got in the way once more.  My beloved father passed away from a battle with cancer.  And I was so devastated I lost all will to accomplish anything.  So boxes and boxes of ideas and manuscript, written and typed, were stored away and eventually lost.  Added to that, Dianna moved away.

Five years passed and the worst thing of my life happened.  My fifteen-year-old son was killed in a fishing accident.  And this time, I wasn’t the only one who was devastated.  My husband went down with me.  And it would take years for the both of us to recover.   My writing was completely out of sight and out of mind during that period.  I couldn’t even look at a book.  But eventually, as I had again and again, I decided to make another attempt and sat down at the typewriter once more.  That was when ‘Nutmeg’ was born.  But it would be twenty-six years and on a computer before she would come into her own as a full-fledged published novel.

An Author’s Inspiration

I have been asked so many, many times what inspires me to write.  Drive?  Yes.  Inspiration?  Most definitely.  No matter how smart you are or what kind of degrees don your walls, I feel you have to be moved, but not by just a person or object or event, but by what I call, ‘A Writer’s Heart’.  Anyone can sit down and put pen to paper.  But I believe you have that little pump in the middle of your chest that pushes a true author’s emotions to their brain and through the eyes, which are said to be, “The Windows of the Soul”.  Just gives me ‘goosebumps’ thinking about it.

Speaking of a true author, the drive and ‘The Writer’s Heart’, have you ever heard anyone say that there is no such thing as ‘Writers Block’?  I have.  And I am here to tell you that I believe that to be a bunch of bunk!  I have to have the inspiration in my heart that my efforts are going somewhere, or else I feel blocked to the gills.  It’s like my brain has communicated to my fingers to stop and that there’s no reason to go on at the keyboard.  But let someone, friend or stranger, acknowledge their desire to read my work or make an affirmative gesture to what they have heard about it and the floodgates open with fresh, new ideas, so many that it is hard to even think about getting up from my computer.

Inspiration and where the passion of a true writer comes from you may ask.  It’s simple.  Just look into this author’s eyes and deep into my soul, listening to my heartbeat after you have paid me a compliment over something that I have written.  There you will find your answers.  They are there now and probably always have been.  And I guarantee you will never have to voice that question again.

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