Back when I was a kid I loved to write. I would write long letters to my grandparents, I had several pen-pals in various countries, one I remain in contact with still, and I would write stories. A class that many disliked in high school but I enjoyed was composition, and for my final writing assignment in that class I wrote an article on child abuse. Horrifying information, but if I remember correctly I got an A on the paper. I wanted to become an onsite news reporter. Getting out and seeing what is going on in the world and writing about it. Active, interesting. Why didn’t I?
I didn’t go to college for journalism because I allowed my mother to influence my decision. This was back in the 1970’s and equalization in jobs and society’s view on women and certain careers was still very negative. My mother told me that journalism wasn’t a good career for a person who wanted to have a family because if I became an onsite reporter I would have to pick up and go at all the times, would never have a family, and I should go into a more stable career such as secretarial. For some reason I let her thoughts on journalism as a career influence my decision and I went into clerical work.
Clerical work has served me well. I have worked as a clerk typist, administrative assistant, secretary, office manager, and after returning to college am now a paralegal. I like office work, but I have often times regretted that decision not to pursue my chosen career back when I was younger. I have dabbled in writing over the years, though.
Back when my children were young I took a correspondence course on writing magazine articles for children and loved it. Unfortunately I was also working full time as an office manger, held various volunteer positions and had two children who were also involved in extra curricular activities. I never managed to find time to do the writing I wanted. Then after my children were older I participated in a writing group at a local art studio for a while, but that didn’t provide the outlet I wanted.
In 2004 I moved to St. Clair County and became a member of the family history group. A few years later the newsletter editor decided to give up her position and I took it over and still hold that title today. As newsletter editor I select material for the newsletter, write some articles, layout the paper and handle the mailing.
In 2011 The Lakeshore Guardian, a local free newspaper, was looking for someone to write a monthly column on genealogy and my column Who Am I? was born. They recently developed an online access and some of my more recent columns can now be viewed on their website.
My husband and I have been trying to adopt our two granddaughters who went into foster care in 2010 and the parental rights were terminated in 2012. We immediately applied to adopt and have been involved in a very frustrating situation ever since. The youngest child was awarded to her foster care parents for adoption, a heartbreaking loss, and I did a Shutterfly book after she was lost to adoption called KAE-LEE JOY GROGAN: Forever in our Hearts. We continue striving to obtain visits with and adopt the older child, Kiley Grogan, who has severe mental, physical and visual handicaps. She is a precious little girl who we want desperately to be returned to our family. I have discovered that our story is unfortunately not uncommon. People have been waging similar battles for years and I have decided that the public needs to be aware and am in the process of writing a book that tells what has happened to us and our beautiful granddaughters.
I was just accepted to a position as an opinion columnist for The Times Herald, a local newspaper. Me along with with five other new columnists were announced in their June 26th edition and my first column was published on July 9th, Michigan Gun Owners Deserve a Measure of Confidentiality. Being an opinion columnist is a new and exciting adventure and I am looking forward to the challenge.
When I started writing the book mentioned above I found a freelance writers group that deals with the business end of writing. One of the first things I heard in that group is that writers should have blogs. A blog helps you connect with people and gets them familiar with your writing style. That was the reason I began this blog. I did have a hard time with it though, because so many blogs deal with one topic or area of interest, and I like to write about all kinds of things and didn’t want to be locked into one format and at the same time didn’t want to juggle numerous blogs. That was how I came up with the name of my blog “Life is a Melting Pot.” That title leaves me free to write about anything and everything, including my other interest as a photographer, for which I manage a Facebook page Times Gone By Photography and have a website of my photos on Fine Art America, Times Gone By Photography: Grace Grogan.
What I have found is the more I write, the easier and more enjoyable it gets. When I look back now at my desire to become a journalist when I was making career choices in 1977/78 I think “Why didn’t I do it?” I can’t go back now and do it over, but it is never to late to start a writing career. While I no longer desire to be an on-sight breaking news reporter/journalist, one thing always on my mind is that Laura Ingalls Wilder was in her 60’s when she began writing the Little House books. Her mid to late life start is an inspiration and has played in the back of my mind for years.
Now to my writing…..