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The dream to write has been a part of Luglenda as far back as she can remember. She states she owes the birth of that desire to her mother, Cloie Stidam who was always reading and occasionally set her own hand to writing poetry. “My mother taught us that reading was a necessary part of life. It is just natural that I would want to extend that to writing.”

Luglenda first practiced her writing skills in her journal as a teenager. It was filled with the typical ‘diary like’ things, but also had plot ideas, character descriptions, and her own poetry and prose. “I was often the only kid in class who actually liked the essay assignments.” It was in school where she discovered other people actually liked her writing.

Mr. Kissling, her Junior High School English instructor assigned an essay entitled “Why I Believe There Is/Is Not a God”. Luglenda’s work was selected as the best and posted on the school bulletin board for all to see. If her mother planted the desire to write within her, then Mr. Kissling planted the confidence that other people may enjoy reading her material.

In her early twenties, as a young mother and wife, Luglenda had three of her essay type articles published in her denominations national youth/young adult magazine, ‘The Lighted Pathway’. She immediately began working on her first novel.

That novel was never completed. Luglenda, like many people who hold the desire to write in their hearts, let ‘life’ get in her way. Before she even realized, writing was again just a dream. But it was a dream that would not die. The ‘writer’s ghost’ was always there. It was in the stacks of journals in her closet. It was in the several incomplete novels and short stories stored in boxes waiting to have their author breath life back into them. It was in the long, often exhausting letters written to friends and family members. It even worked its way into her professional career as a social worker where she found occasional opportunities to write short pieces for the local paper, in program newsletters, and brochures.

Luglenda has now resurrected her dream to be a writer, dusted it off, and determined it will not be hidden away again. Not knowing quite how to pursue this dream, she became an active member of several writing lists where she gained motivation to hone her talent as a writer of fiction. She continues participation in these lists and is the co-moderator of her own writing E-mail list, the New Writer’s List, where she hopes to pass on motivation and encouragement to others who hold the dream that will not die.

Finding time to write continues to be difficult for Luglenda. In her ‘real life’ she is employed as a Senior Social Worker at the Gateway District Health Department. She serves as the program coordinator for the Gateway Citizens’ S.C.A.N. (Stop Child Abuse and Neglect) Task Force and Director of the Gateway CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) Program. She is married to Paul McClain whom she refers to as “an all around good guy that is liked by most everyone”. She has two daughters, Mellissa and Christa, and six grandchildren: Michael, Kaylah, Johnathan, Gabriel, Cory-D, and Abby. Between home, work, and grandchildren she has little time left for the pursuit of her dream. She states, “You just have to find the time, if it is important to who you are. And writing is important to me.”

She states she has nothing published yet—except the three articles years ago—but she is convinced she will someday walk into a bookstore and see her books on the shelf. “Right there under the Number One Best Seller list.” Luglenda is currently working on a historical romance as well as participating in exercises on writing lists. A sampling of her work is posted below.


The breezes teased at her, blowing strands of her long chestnut colored hair over her eyes, hiding the handwritten pages she called her journal from her view. She was going to be a writer someday. She just knew it. It was her destiny. It was as much a part of her as her arm, her chocolate colored eyes full of hope and expectancy, her sense of responsibility—even for one so young. Writing for her, even at fourteen was an entry into another world—a world she created away from what others referred to as reality—a world where what she said and thought mattered. It was her secret world.

Sighing she gave up trying to hold her hair out of her face while writing her thoughts in the small notebook on her lap. She leaned back against the tree where she was sitting and stared up at the cloud shapes floating by. Her lashes soon rested against her cheek and her hand released its hold on her journal as she began to dream of her future and the books she would write.

A kindly old woman stood above her and told her of a special gift that was hers for the taking. A gift that would reveal her future, if she wished. “You can pick the time you would like to see, and only you can view this gift. Your price for this gift is to tell me what it is you see, that’s all. For as you can tell, I can not see this natural world with my own eyes. Ah, but be careful for you won’t be able to change the future that you view. It is yours to know, and yours to live—whatever you may see.”

“I’ll take it. I already know what my future will be. I’m going to be a writer.”

“How far ahead do you want to see, child?”

“Thirty years. Let’s see that will be 1998. I will be forty-four years old, my Gosh. Surely I will have written several of my novels by then.”

“Turn forward the pages of your journal and you will see yourself thirty years from now.”

“Is that me? Yes, I can see that it is. Look at me, I promised myself that I would never get above a size twelve! My hair is still long; it’s still the same color. No, wait a minute, I think it is a touch redder than it is now. And my eyes have a sadness about them, though I notice I still like green eye shadow.

Am I married? Do I have any children? Yes, I see it now. I married him? You’re kidding me—No way. No wonder we divorced. But who is that other guy? He must be my second husband. I can’t believe this! He’s not tall, dark and handsome, why he’s barely taller than I am and he’s a blond. He is kinda cute though—for an older man—you know what I mean. Oh, I do have children—two girls. One is twenty-seven and the other is twenty-four. Gosh, that means that I am going to have my first child in two more years! And I’ve got six grandchildren? —No way!

But what about college? I just had to have gone to college. I mean the sign on the office door where I work says that I’m a social worker. Oh, college came after the divorce, while the girls were still in school. I knew I would do it! But, a social worker? I am going to be a writer--I just know it.

No novels published—only a half dozen incomplete attempts hidden away in the closet? I’ve only published three articles—and didn’t even get paid for them? But there’s a stack of notebooks on the shelf. They’re my journals—the only real writing I’ve done. I can’t believe it. I don’t want to see any more. This isn’t true—none of it is. It can’t be.

No wonder my eyes look so desolate. Please old woman tell me it isn’t true.”

“I warned you child. Often a child’s dreams are put away in a closet because of the responsibilities of the adult. That is what happened to your dreams.”

“Will they never come true? Please don’t take my dream from me, please.”

“Your dreams will always be a part of you, always be there to remind you of the little girl you are today. I see that you are distressed because you did not achieve your goals as soon as you thought that you would. That doesn’t mean that you won’t accomplish them, the timing may be different, that’s all. To ease your distress, I can take this memory away from you. Your dreams will remain your own.”

“Yes, please. I couldn’t go on if I knew it would take so long, or that I might not ever hold a novel in my hand that I had written. Take back your gift, please I don’t want it!”

Uneasily she stirred as her brother called to her, waking her from her slumber. As she walked back to the house with him, she felt a nagging sense that something was terribly wrong, but she couldn’t think what it might be. Oh well, whatever happens she could write about it someday.

(c) Luglenda S. McClain 1998

Some of Luglenda's Favorite Links are listed below!

My Favorite Links

The Write Site
The Gateway Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Project
National Court Appointed Special Advocates
Angelfire - Easiest Free Home Pages
Subscribe to New Writers' E-mail List
E-mail Luglenda
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