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Constance M Gotsch

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How I Became a Writer
By Constance M Gotsch
Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Rated "G" by the Author.

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Find the right person and you can achieve anything

To say New Mexico’s light, land, and cultural mix forged me into a writer would be a cliche. But what if I said a single human being in New Mexico did that? Yes. One man, Dr. Patrick Rucker. We were both teaching at Eastern New Mexico University, he in the theater department, I in the broadcast division of the speech department when it happened.

People had always recognized me as a decent -- even a good -- journalist, but for reasons known only to them, had shot down my attempts at creative writing since childhood, dismissing me from classes or critique groups with a verbal chuck under the chin, promising that one day I’d laugh about my worthless attempts to put words on paper.

Still, something in me wanted to write fiction. Pat Rucker read one of my “plays” and invited me into his office. Over a semester, a few minutes here, a half hour there, he quietly, gently, and respectfully showed me how to use voice, movement, language, expression, word choke, and setting to create a character as an actor would.

My writing took off. I have published two novels for adults, “Snap Me a Future,” and “A Mouthful of Shell,” available from This past year, I published a youth novel, “Belle’s Star,” written from a dog’s point of view, available from Artemesia Publishing at Belle just won a 2010 Mom’s Choice silver award.

As program director of KSJE-FM public radio in Farmington, -- I moved from Portales in 1990 -- I produce a show called Write On Four Corners. In this half-hour segment that airs on Wednesdays and Fridays, I speak to writers from across the southwest about their art and craft. They like the way I draw them out in interviews. I can do that because I’m a writer myself. I’m a writer because Pat Rucker made me into one.

When I think of the times in his office learning, I think of what Scrooge said about Mr. Fezziwig, the boss who threw a Christmas Eve party for his apprentices. Fezziwig didn’t spend a lot of money on the festivities, but he knew how to make people happy. A paraphrase fits Pat Rucker. He didn’t spend a lot of time with me, but he sure knew how to make a writer grow.

I will worship Patrick Rucker until the day I die.

       Web Site: Imagination on Board

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Reviewed by Michelle O'Leary 3/10/2010
And your readers have reason to be grateful to Mr. Rucker, too! Nice work, Connie.
Reviewed by Karen Vanderlaan 3/9/2010
i enjoyed this look into your beginnings, successes and inspirations in becoming a writer

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