When I was eight-years-old, I made a writer’s den in the basement of my family’s split-level house. With only a solitary naked bulb for a lamp and an old, plastic toddler’s table and chairs for a desk, I scrawled out stories about things I was an expert in: pesky cats, bossy older sisters, and gossipy friends. In elementary school, I ignored most assignments and passed in short stories instead. While this didn’t help me earn high marks, my teachers never discouraged me. For elementary school graduation, my fourth grade teacher made blue and silver awards for each student. Most of the “honors” were superlatives, such as “Best Speller” or “Fastest Runner”. However, my award was a bold, declarative statement: “Ambition is to be an Author.” A statement I vowed to make come true.
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