Chapter 1It Takes More Than Talent

I was in the fourth grade when I wrote an essay about my kitten, Tangles. After my teacher, Mr. Wolf, read the piece, he nominated me to attend a young authors’ conference at our local community college. Mr. Wolf was the first person to recognize my talent. At the time, I didn’t know I had any.

It poked through as I grew, but it wasn’t until my sophomore in college when I was studying environmental science when it re-emerged. I heard that the school’s homecoming queen was selected via an essay contest and thought it was cool that the school picked royalty based on skill rather than looks. So I applied and, soon after, there I was, wearing a plum velvet gown and a rhinestone crown.

These were just glimpses of ...

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