January 18, 2012

My Name is Jacqui and I am a Writer

There. I’ve done it. I told you I’m a writer. Wow. That was harder than it sounds. I’ve never told the world. Most people think I’m a tech teacher or Meaghan’s Mom or Sean’s

Colleague or The Neighbor They Never See. I am all that–don’t get me wrong–but now I’m also



The thing about saying it out loud is, it’s done. I can’t put that toothpaste back in the tube. Now, I AM a writer, no matter how I make money to pay my bills.

It feels good to say it. And after forty+ years of knowing myself, I can tell you it fits. I graduated from college and got an office job and became an office manager, then bought a dance studio–boy that was hard work. 24 hour days and then I lost it to a crook.

Let’s skip that part.

Bruised and battered, but it’s hard to stay down if you’re basically a positive person so I got a husband and an MBA and two children two dogs and a two-story house and a job I don’t remember and then rose through the ranks and became a high-priced manager responsible for installing cell phone antennas on rooves

…then my mom got sick.

And died.

That woke me up. Life is short. I lost my job but I didn’t care anymore. Then my angelic husband got me an interview to teach technology at a local private school which is where I’ve been ever since.

But it’s not who I am.

I am a writer.

I feel it every time I sit at the computer and peck out a character profile and a story arc and find the hook and sit back to see it all explode. That keeps me going. I started writing when I had an unquenchable urge to understand where we came from.

It started one million years ago when no records existed so I had to eke info out of the rocky landscape known as the Cradle of Mankind. Africa. There I met a Homo erectus girl named Lucy and we became friends. She showed me how to survive in a time when thin-skinned, flat-toothed, furless mammals weren’t supposed to. I loved her story so much, I shared it.

Unfortunately, agents didn’t love Lucy.

I tried to forget her as I wrote a more conventional book about terrorists and submarines and bigger-than-life ruggedly handsome heroes. Which is when life happened. My husband lost his job and my kids needed money for college, so I wrote a series of tech books. Those were easy. They were my life. No need to figure out the paleogeology of prehistoric Africa or the machinations of sonar and subs. I thought they’d be work, something to help pay the bills before returning to the stories I loved. But they were fun, also.

Putting words on paper in a way people understand is fun.

I wanted more so I started a blog on technology, then one on writing and science and the Naval Academy and that blossomed to guest posts and ezine columns …and always, the writing remained fun.

Which is when I knew I was a writer. Who else could sit in front of a computer for hours on end with a silly grin on her soul?

How about you?

–reprinted from Write Anything

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Jacqui Murray is the editor of a technology curriculum for K-fifth grade and author of two technology training books for middle school. She wrote Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy midshipman. She is webmaster for five blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a tech columnist for Examiner.com, Editorial Review Board member for ISTE’s Journal for Computing Teachers, IMS tech expert, and a weekly contributor to Write Anything. Currently, she’s seeking representation for a techno-thriller Any suggestions? Contact Jacqui at her writing office, WordDreams, or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.