Firsts? Yeah, they're not my thing.

The first time I rode a bike, I zoomed downhill, flying at top speed--wahoo--and crashed into the side of an apartment building. But I practiced and practiced, and now I've ridden bikes in some pretty cool places like Cape Cod, across the Golden Gate Bridge, and to Monet's house in Giverny.

Skiing went pretty much the same way, except I crashed into a tree. Now it's the sport I do best (after many more crashes).

The first time I tried out for my high school dance team, my arms flapped like a condor attempting flight. Ew, it was bad. Embarrassing, too. But I really did want to make that team, so I drove my curvy sixteen-year-old body to a ballet class of slim twelve year olds. Each week I humbled myself, working on the basics of movement and routine. The next year I did make the team, but I always had to work a little harder to perfect routines.

Twenty-five years later, my husband can still make me blush, teasing me about the awkwardness of our first kiss... (Okay, best practice ever!)

Writing progressed much the same way. I created some really, truly awful short stories. But again I practiced, filling volumes and volumes of notebooks with my handwritten scrawl. The sentences bubbled on the page with the pressure of my handwriting, and I filled every speck of white space with words. Oh, how I wanted to learn how to write! Success began with a published poem, a magazine short story, a contest win, and eventually three novels. I even published my first manuscript, because I continued working and working and working on it. And I'm still practicing.

Sometimes I envy those people who seem to do things right the first time. But I know I'll get there eventually!
First time surfing--still haven't mastered this sport!


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  2. It's really so rare to do anything perfectly the first time. We might as well enjoy the learning curve--bumps, stumbles and all!

  3. I still crash into objects with my bicycle. Practice makes us better if it doesn't kill us in the process. I'm impressed that you're even trying to surf!

  4. Okay, as a Missourian in the midst of winter, that surfing pic looks fantastic! I love what you said about selling your first book because of revision, Sydney...There's just never a dead-end with any book!


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