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Friday, March 20, 2015

Guest Blog: Jacquie Biggar: Of Desperation and Daffodils

In keeping with March’s theme I thought I’d share with you the beginning of my love affair with writing.

Normally, procrastination is my enemy. I like to get done whatever it is, as soon as I can, so that I don’t have to worry about it any more. I know, kind of anal-retentive, what can I say.

In school I worked hard to stay in the top ten every year. So when I came down sick with the measles and missed two weeks of grade nine, I was devastated. How was I ever going to catch up? I had less than a week to write a compelling story for Language Arts or get a failing mark.

Angry and frustrated, I sat in our living room, pen and paper in hand, staring at a bright yellow bouquet of cheerful looking daffodils. I wanted to hurl them across the room. It wasn’t fair. Why was I being punished for getting sick?

But then an idea popped into my head. A silly, farcical story. If the teacher wanted an essay, fine, I’d give her one then. And so, Count Daffodil, was born. After the first paragraph the words flowed faster, I could see the scene in my head and needed to get it down on paper. (Sound familiar?) I spent the rest of the day writing, and by the end of the night I had my story.

The next day I turned it in and immediately felt ill all over again. It was dumb. The teacher was going to hate it. I’d be a laughing stock. Funny how easy you can build something up to catastrophic proportions when you lack self-confidence.

We had to wait two weeks for the results. I was on tenterhooks the entire time, sure that my mom would blow a gasket because I’d goofed instead of giving it my best shot. Then came the big day. I was scared to look. Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore and turned to the last page. These were my teacher’s words:

I’m glad I didn’t read this at night. It’s been a while since I was so enthralled with a story. Very professionally done. The suspense, the ending, the style was excellent. I think I’ll read it to the other classes. Very impressive.

Not only did he read it to the other grade nines, he read it over the intercom to the entire school!

Because of Mr. Thomas and a hapless bouquet of sunny daffodils, a writer was born.

Annie Campbell's predictable and cozy life gets turned on its side when her son's prodigal father returns to town. Then an old enemy shows up and the outcome will not only place her in danger, but their son as well.

Jared Martin left Tidal Falls a hotheaded youth, and has seen his share of violence in the eight years he’s served Uncle Sam. Floundering, he returns to his hometown to regain his bearings, bitter and disillusioned.

Then he finds out he’s a father.

When an old enemy follows and causes mayhem in the small town, can Jared overcome the odds to protect the woman he’s always loved and the child he never knew, or will it be too late?

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From the time I was twelve years old, I knew I wanted to be a writer. That year I wrote a short story called Count Daffodil after spending countless hours searching for ideas. The story garnered me an A and was read aloud through the school's loudspeaker system. Needless to say, after that I was hooked.

I grew up, got married, raised a family and left my writing urges to simmer in the background unattended.

Jacquie Biggar


vicki batman said...

Hi, Jacqui! What a wonderful story. And that affirmation inspired you to continue. I love it!

Judy Baker said...

OMG, Jacquie, what a neat story and I love daffodils. Looking back, aren't you glad you got sick? Otherwise, how long would it have taken you to discover the amazing world of writing?

Anonymous said...

Thanks Vicki. I think most people have that special someone in their lives to guide them along their path of life. For me, it took a while to figure it out, lol, but I'm getting there.

Anonymous said...

Exactly Judy! All that frustration vented into a good direction for once in my life :)

jean hart stewart said...

Hooray for that perceptive teacher! You were lucky to have her. I think everyone has one or two stand-out teachers in their lives....

Polly McCrillis said...

I raise my glass to all the Count Daffodils every created!!

Cara Marsi said...

Jacquie, I love your story about Count Daffodil. How inspiring. The new book sounds great!

Anonymous said...

Hi Jean, that's how I felt after I got the A, lol. Before that I was cursing him for making me do the assignment even though I was sick!
Shows there's always a yang to every yin :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks Polly!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Cara, Thanks so much :)

Melissa Keir said...

What a great story about how you came to be a writer! I'm sure you won't forget that teacher and I'm also sure that teacher never forgot you!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Melissa, no I haven't forgotten. It's nice to get that kind of encouragement.

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