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Reinventing Laura

It’s safe to say that I’ve reinvented myself several times in this lifetime. Doesn’t everyone? Years ago it was me, the college girl, reinventing myself to become the music teacher. Then it was me the exhausted music teacher reinventing myself into the ice cream store entrepreneur. Then, somehow, the bright-eyed entrepreneur faded into the cashier at the Mini-Mart—not so much of a reinvention as it was a concession.

Through it all, I came to believe that making concessions is what life was all about. I wanted to travel, but I made the concession of merely commuting to work. I wanted to sing, so I made the concession of Karaoke on Saturday nights. Concessions. Making do with what life brought me rather than going after what life had to offer. You’ve heard of that brass ring? I never grabbed it. Heavens, I didn’t even reach for it.

But very quietly, I began to explore something new. I began to write. At first I just snatched moments here and there when there weren’t any customers in the Mini-Mart. I wrote and wrote and wrote until I had twelve novels in nice neat notebooks on my closet shelf. Gathering dust.

Then one day I was talking to a woman who was poised on the cusp of reaching for her own brass ring. But she hesitated, unsure if she had everything she needed to make the best use of that ring if she did indeed grab hold of it.

You see, she wanted to be an independent publisher. But to do that she needed some manuscripts.

So I gave her one of mine.

My friends, you’d think I had sprouted wings and learned to fly. Letting go of one of my stories, letting it sail out into the digital universe, was the most liberating experience of my life. It launched me on the career I never knew I was destined for. The career that expanded my world in ways I could never have imagined. The career that gave me the opportunity to do the one thing I enjoy most in the world. Writing. Bye, bye, Mini-Mart!

So much of who I thought I was sort of slid away. Emotions that had been closely held for decades suddenly blossomed on the written page, and I discovered that being Laura Landon the writer was my true passion.

I shall always treasure that day when I gave away that first novel, because in some ways it feels like it was the first day of the rest of my life. Now, thirty books later and nearly one million pages a month read by my precious readers, I celebrate it more than I do my own birthday.

After all, it was the day I reinvented Laura.

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