Students: James Ross

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James Ross“I had just read a western tale in the storage loft of the pharmacy where my mom worked. All nine years of me burst with its excitement and I scampered from my perch to find her and tell her about it.

“Why don’t you write one?” she said when I buttonholed her. I’m sure she just wanted to keep me busy, but the idea rippled in tingly currents through my body and before long I found myself back in the loft, outlining box canyons from which there is no escape, gnarly clouds to make my cowboy hero shape and reflect on his plans, and black-hatted bad guys to thwart his every move. Rollicking stuff.

I even got the three cents for a stamp to lay it on some unsuspecting reader. No surprises; the story was rejected. But that first kind note from the mystical land beyond the postal carrier, to keep trying, fired up my pen again and again.

Win, lose, or draw–and now I’ve got some of each to my credit–I understand my personal need to tell tales, and to keep a watchful eye on the world for the details to populate them.”