My First Story and First Professional Sale


My First Taste of Writing

I have been writing for over fifty years. Yikes, that means the years are adding up quickly. The first story I remember writing was in 1965. It was a fifteen-minute story we turned into a play. Along with the other military brats in my neighborhood, we performed the little skit to the joy of the other children and our parents.

It was written in November 1965 with the Battle of Ia Drang Valley on the evening news. I was in the seventh grade. What was that play about?

The story written during the battle was about an imaginary rouge B-52 bomber crew flying in to save the day by blowing the North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong Communist back to the stone age. The story was set in a B-52 with the crew communicating during its imaginary unauthorized mission to rescue the US Army’s 1st and 2nd Battalions of the 7th Cavalry from the evil Commies. I remember thinking someone has to do something to save those brave soldiers.

I was living in base housing at Biggs Air Force Base (AFB) in El Paso, Texas. Biggs AFB was the home of the 95th Bombardment Wing which flew B-52s. And Biggs AFB was adjacent to the US Army’s Fort Bliss, Texas.

My school mates and I watched US Army basic trainees march to and from the rifle ranges past our school yard almost every day. The military was our family, in our blood and always on our minds.

My First Professional Sale

From 1965 until 1981 I wrote many stories. Some were published in school and community newspapers. Others were published in my part-time job’s newsletter. Sometimes I find it hard to believe that I had my first professional writing sale this month in 1981. that Sometimes I find it hard to believe that I had my first professional writing sale this month in 1981.

Sometimes I find it hard to believe that I had my first professional writing sale this month in 1981. What is a professional sale you ask? It is being paid professional wages for the writing. I sold a magazine article to a religious trade journal.

Since then I’ve sold many magazine and trade journal articles. I have sold book reviews, short stories, and nonfiction articles.

My Regular Writing Routine

For the last twenty-years almost every morning I wake up about 4:45 AM. I get ready for work and head out the door usually by 5:30 AM. I arrive at my favorite coffee shop, a Starbucks, at 6:00 AM. It located halfway between my home and my day job. I order my coffee and write for an hour. I normally write between 250 to 1000 words. That’s one to four pages. This writing routine has produced the first draft of a book every six to nine months. After writing, I head into the office normally arrive between 7:15 and 7:30 AM.

Tomorrow I’ll share what I’m currently working on.

Photo Credit: A U.S. Air Force Boeing B-52D-35-BW Stratofortress (s/n 52-669) dropping bombs over Vietnam. This aircraft was hit by SA-2 surface-to-air missile over North Vietnam during the “Linebacker II” offensive on 31 December 1972 and crashed in in Laos. The crew of six ejected, but only five were rescued. USAF – National Museum of the USAF photo 110224-F-XN622-007. The photo is a Public Domain picture.

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