Welcome to Writers4Higher
This issue, Writers4Higher features
Norma J. Sundberg
Hi Norma. Welcome to the Writers4Higher family!
Tell me about yourself: Your book(s), your life, your inspiration.
I am Norma J. (for Jean) Sundberg. I was born in 1933 in Northeastern Ohio and lived there until 1991 when my youngest daughter and I left and came to Tallahassee Florida. Was a difficult time but a chance to break free and keep growing. Met someone in a bookstore who saw me buying a writer magazine, and connected me with TWA, Tallahassee Writers Association, right off.
I've been writing and publishing for close to 60 years. Poetry in newspaper poetry corners;winning prizes in poetry contests; writing letters to the editor about aggravating situations, likethe time change and how it affects kids and cows. It's not the kids and cows who have to change it's the parents and those who milk those cows! Had an article published about the tractor accident; I fell and was run over by a large farm tractor. And lived to tell about it(write about it).
Raising ten kids on a dairy farm kept us very busy. The kids belonged to 4-H and FFA and thrived on successes in those endeavors. My inspiration for the most part was those growing and changing kids. Plus, I needed something that was totally mine! Something for me to succeed in doing. This also kept me aware and in touch with other writers and poets. KEPT ME SANE!
I couldn't wait until I was 80 to START writing. My career was my family. In the 1970s we purchased the family farm. Husband told me I may have to go to work to help supplement the income! I panicked, had no specific skills except working at a grocery store or clerking somewhere. It was at the time of the women's movement that I joined a consciousness raising group. Those gals urged me to try for college.
I entered Kent State University, Ashtabula, Ohio Campus in 1977-78 when I was 45 and my youngest child was two years old. What a balancing act that was. I got involved in anything and everything related to writing. Won the Kaleidoscope award my first year for my work on and poetry in that magazine. Early on I found just the WRITE English professor whose focus was creative writing. It was in one of her classes that I first wrote An Odd Fable. It only took me 30 years to get it published. I've written a weekly column for a newspaper for ten years; edited and wrote a poem and editorial for a church newsletter for ten years. After graduation from KSU with an Associate degree I was asked to teach/instruct poetry classes at their Summer College for Kids. We put together booklets of the kids poems, sending each two copies making them published poets!
Meanwhile, here in Tallahassee the beat goes on. I've been involved in other writer groups, one of which a friend and I started. I belong to BBP, Big Bend Poets and am looking forward to my second book, a book of poems to be published. My Odd Fable was published in 2007 through CyPress Publications. Many of these poems were posted in the church newsletter I edited. The pieces I wrote led to the newspaper columns.
Presently I'm submitting to an on-line newsletter, Extra Innings published through the university of Wisconsin, edited by Marshall Cook, a retired professor from the U. of Wisconsin. Connection with a person I met at the Erma Bombeck Humor writers Conference in 2006 gave me confidence in the marketing aspect of writing. Marketing is a whole 'nuther animal altogether. I have two of her books on marketing that helped immensely with the Fable and plan to dig into them toward the poetry book. Each step leads to another on the ladder of success. I'm still climbing.
Where do you see your writing taking you in the future?
I don't look too far into the future. I'm taking it as I connect with each new step, meeting and networking with other writers, sharing experiences, markets and information through e-mails and on-line newsletters. I'm waiting for the May 2013 issue of Extra Innings for my contribution in print, due out momentarily.
How do you use your talents/time to help others?
I recently did a journals class, re-titling it Writing Your Own Personal History, incorporating writing in journals for women in my daughter's Ward at church. I used handouts toward their own writings. I forward on-line newsletters and writing information to writer friends toward their publishing endeavors or just their enjoyment. I've built a network of writer friends. I've kept touch with the professor mentioned who is now retired. She got her P.hD in writing while I was going to college. I'm active in my church.
The planning for the journals class came about because my daughters and friends were trying to find a way to keep me busy while they planned a Surprise 80th Birthday party for me. They all came up with, “Something to do with her writing!”
Because I was busy gathering materials and writing an outline toward the class, they were able to hoodwink me. My daughter even came by and copied articles and clippings, pictures, putting them on a tri-fold poster thing for the party. I never tumbled that it was for that purpose. She even took a four generation picture along with her. I figured it was part of the class items, family is part of genealogy and journals are an integral part.. Was able to teach “said class” a couple of Thursdays ago!
One of the biggest things that has kept me motivated through all this has been keeping a sense of humor. Sometimes it can get pretty warped! But it's better than crying uncontrollably.
Would you like to find Norma?
Check out the links to this talented author:
Fiction with a Southern Twist