L. Phillips Carlson ~ biography
Make yourself at home
and feel free to look
around my attic.
I won’t mind a bit!
This is the place where you usually learn that the author had always wanted to write since childhood, penned a novel or screenplay at a Mozart-like prodigy age, and currently has several cats or dogs whose pictures are prominently displayed.
Well, it didn’t happen that way with me.
When I was a kid, I thought I’d be a ballerina or a fairy princess or something else just as goofy. Then I wanted to be a teacher, an artist, and then a musician. After that, I combined a couple of those and thought I’d be a music teacher. But I found out that I hated teaching bored kids. And I didn’t want to spend my life travelling around performing.
I tried journalism in college, but didn’t have the gall to stick a microphone in the face of a grieving mother or to be obnoxious enough to get answers to probing questions. And I got a “C” in the magazine article writing class, which is kind of funny now since I’ve gotten published in magazines. But back then, I was discouraged about writing and decided to approach my more artistic side. I completed a degree in interior design before finding out that the profession was vicious. I designed interiors of homes and businesses for a couple of years and then gratefully quit.
The only writing I did was some extremely bad poetry when I was in grade school (at least it rhymed) and some teenage angst-ridden stuff later. Oh yeah, I wrote some quasi-clever notices in my kids’ elementary school newsletter for the PTA, if that counts.
My daughter started writing young, however, and won a contest when she was in fourth grade. I went with her to the awards convocation where a local author gave a wonderful speech. It was Madge Harrah, a lovely grandmotherly person with a real sensitivity for young readers. As she encouraged the crowd of youngsters that they could become writers if they really wanted to, I listened and thought—wow, so could I!
So I wrote. It’s said that writers must pen a million words of crap before they produce something decent (rather like practicing scales on the piano—forever), and my initial stuff wasn’t stellar. I made the mistake of getting published rather early on, though, and kept writing crap until I found a decent critique group. They’ve held me to my own high standards and helped me put forth my best effort. I also joined a couple of professional writer’s organizations, went to conferences and classes, edited a newsletter and various magazines, and kept writing.
Just like learning to play a musical instrument, it takes time to learn to write. Years, even.
Now my work is both traditionally published (some of my articles and short stories), and indy-pubbed (my latest efforts). The indy stuff is worth another blog entry—or two or three. It’s a lot harder than it looks, if you do it right. And the publishing scene is changing rapidly in this new digital age, which means more learning and more challenges to meet.
I plan to keep learning and improving, and delivering the best story I can to you, the reader. Thank you for reading my work! I hope you enjoy it.
Click here for L. Phillips Carlson's Amazon author page.