My mom used to ask us that with a hand cocked on her hip, peering into our wide-eyed faces. Naturally, the blame trickled down to the youngest one, me. Being from a family with four generations of lawyers and legislators, I developed the skill of building my defense before I spoke at a young age. I had to solve the crime so I could plead my innocence. Well, even when I wasn’t quite innocent, building my case often helped. My parents were fair judges. Sometimes I got off with a light sentence.
On endless nature walks through the Texas Hill Country, Dad taught us keen observational skills. We learned to detect where a deer had traipsed in the moonlight or a beetle laid eggs under a fern leaf. I became a keen observer of nature, and later, human nature. So sleuthing is part of my DNA.
Though I now absorb mysteries whenever I get the chance, I never could get into Nancy Drew books. I didn't want to read about her and her shallow society friends. I wanted to be her, only a tad more rebellious and unconventional. I also was more of the tomboy type instead of the pearls and hairspray type.
Adult life told me to get real. I complied...for decades. I raised a family and worked as a medical insurance appealer, which still involved sleuthing and developing a case to get our claims paid. On the hour commute to and from home in the burbs, I’d develop plots in my head, though writing them down on paper seemed a tad presumptuous at the time. Who would take me seriously? Sure, I excelled in creative writing in high school, even won awards and was published in a national magazine, but…
Three people encouraged me to write for a living, so I began a small freelance writing and editing business. And actually, I made a meager living at it for about a decade. As a thanksgiving to God, I tithed my writing day to Him first and found a passion for helping people seek Him in their everyday lives. Ten years later, I still write for several websites and publications.
However, life became way too real. Widowed in my fifties, I had to fill the silence of my evenings. I've never been very craft-sy, so I shook my story-telling brain cells awake, let them capture my keyboard, and crafted mysteries and suspense instead. Fifteen novels later, with more in the works, I think I have finally begun to be who God has been molding me to be all my life. That, to me, is the biggest and most wonderful mystery of all!
I hope you agree.