My name is Joann H. Buchanan and I wear many hats. One of the hats I wear is that of mom. That hat has a lot of stitches, patch jobs, glitter, bedazzler jewels and stains. It is the most important one in my life and the one I never take off. Between my fiancé John and I, we have 7 children. "WOW", I'm sure some of you are saying, while others are going, "Bread much?" The truth is that without them, I wouldn't know what to do. They are the most inspiring beautiful people in my life.
The other hat I wear in my life is that of a writer. I've always been a writer. When I was a kid, my parents grounded me to my room with nothing to do but homework, read and write. One summer, I was grounded for leaving my kid sister at church. I look back now and laugh about it, but it was then that I discovered the love of writing. I ran out of things to read in my room, so I picked up a pencil and started writing. The first story I wrote was about a gypsy bird. A whole new world opened up for me. One I couldn't get enough of. I started taking the bus all over San Diego just so I could sit and write stories about the people who got on. They had stories of love, laughter, heartache, horror and yes some of them were evil. My parents never understood this but I didn't care.
5 years ago this Easter Sunday, we lost our house in a fire. We lost everything . . . almost. Sitting on my desk, was a stack of disks and a paper copy of a book I was working on. The computer, covered in ash and soot, melted down to nothing. Miraculously, nothing touched the stack of disks and the paper copy of the book. When I say nothing, I mean nothing. The paper was still white and the disks didn't have a bit of damage. It was like an angel had protected them. It was also a sign to me that I needed to do something with my writing. A few months later, John purchased my first laptop and I put a blog together. I didn't know what I was doing. Talk about being green. It took a couple years to learn what things were like query letters, polishing, and all the other stuff that comes with writing, but it was so worth it.
When people ask me, how do you balance out your life? I tell them the truth. Not everything gets finished. There are days I forget to take the laundry out of the dryer. There are times when dinner is late and yes there are moments when I say to my family, let's just have fun tonight. I'm the person who dances in the rain and laughs when the milk is spilled. I try to remember that my children are this age once. Without any one of them, I wouldn't be doing anything I'm doing now.
When people ask me why I wanted to get published, I tell them the truth on that as well. I wanted my children to know that dreams come true if you work hard enough and believe in yourself. I wanted my children to see me as an example. They have seen my mistakes; shouldn't they see my triumphs as well? To me that's the most important thing. They need to know that they are going to make mistakes but that doesn't cause their lives to end. Each one of them can still dream an accomplish anything they want. When people ask me why I write, I write for them. I write because it's as much a part of me as they are.