Hi, my name is Delphine. It's really hard to know where to start. Early writing was persuasive because I was a debater in high school.(SC state champion twice.) Wrote and won a few essay contests. I loved poetry, read it constantly but limited my own writing to doodling in the margins. I decided I wanted to be a journalist but I was "guided" towards law since I was a debater and counselors didn't encourage a career in writing where I was back in the late 70's. Ended up at Duke University on a scholarship. If only I had fallen in with the writers! I Found the idea of hitch-hiking across country with my new boyfriend far more interesting than political science and economics so I journaled my way through about thirty states the summer of '79. Somewhere along the way I fell out of the passion of politics and social ideas that burned to be expressed and decided to just make myself a better person rather than trying to set the world on fire. Writing a daily journal and nature writing fit the bill. Married that guy I went hitch-hiking with and after nine years we had our first kid, followed by a business, four more children and a thirty-two acre homestead. We were the local renaissance people with our self-sufficient life style, health food store, large organic garden, solar powered home and five happy home-schooled kids so I was asked to write and speak on things like canning, making herbal salves, planning a curriculum, avoiding overuse of antibiotics with kids, etc. Small, local stuff but, I was writing. At some point my family history/heritage started a story brewing. My great-grandmother -- born in 1850 and died in 1958-- was the daughter of an Indian woman that was a slave who had seven children for her master, Captain John Harvey. Interesting. Loved history and knocked around for years studying South Carolina's. Thought I might someday write something about it but would never dream of calling myself a writer. Meanwhile I had an excuse to stay in the literature books, study writing to teach my kids writing. I studied poetry and wrote (on real paper), enough to fill a volume but didn't do anything with them. I enjoyed writing them so that was OK. When the fourth kid left for college I had time to begin serious research. Read a few feel-good books that helped me finally call myself a writer and began writing, with great fear and trepidation, FICTION. I fell in love with the interactions between the Indians, Scots and Africans-- my people-- that joined together in the very earliest days of Carolina. Found it to be a unique time that we have few real pictures of in our minds. I Decided that I had to become a novelist. I love the history texts, could live in them, but I really wanted to see them come alive with characters and stories. I wanted to see this stuff in a format for the enjoyment of those who don't care for academic history books. Last year in June I started both studying the craft more seriously and writing every day. I've written over nine hundred pages; made it to the end. Now I'm in the process of rewriting and editing. Obviously I have a lot of work to do, a lot chopping. I edit and rewrite, study writing and read my favorite authors everyday. I COULD JUST SCREAM at this point because I am most impatient. I can't get this done fast enough. I actually still have another life. I have more stories pushing at me. At the same time, I don't want to be done because I know I will never be in this world as fully as when the creating is going on. I am patient because it has to be right and it has to be good. I'm 52 years old and I think this story started pushing at me when I was in my early 30's. I live in a very rural area, (still married to that same guy after 34 years). We are still very busy and I have never seriously considered going to a writing workshop or hanging out with other writers. But, I think I need the feed back, guidance, help and the communication. Might have something to add too. So, here I am, ready to fall in and become a part of this writing community.