Sandi Furlong was born and raised in Molalla, Oregon. As a reader, it was natural for her to begin writing in elementary school. More and more, writing became her world, as she was extremely shy, even through high school.
As a young adult, life became very difficult, and the pleasure of writing simply got lost in the chaos. Life did get better: She married and raised four wonderful daughters. Life seemed to be on the move, having lived in Oregon, Washington, California, back to Washington, Montana, back to Washington, and now Arkansas.
There were episodes with their own story. After her husband’s death from cancer, she went to college to study commercial art, after which there were jobs at newspapers, and magazines, till her computer skills became an issue.
Looking back, she thought it strange that she could do everything at a newspaper but write. She received job offers in the state capital but didn’t want to move. Her last 10 years before retiring she worked in a nursing home’s laundry department. She didn’t want patient care anymore, as it was just too sad, and she’d experienced enough loss.
In the end she liked it, started collecting stories from some of the residents. A few were extraordinary, like the man who’d been a Guiness Book of World Records holder as the world’s tallest man at 7’4”. There was also a former operations engineer for Apollo 11. He loved talking about his experiences.
It wasn’t until she finally attended her high school reunion, the 30th, that she was reminded about writing by a classmate that she didn’t even remember. Returning home the first thing she did was start writing, as she does to this day.
Finding an affordable editor was impossible, so she did her best, then published on Kindle, so she could begin something new.
She never had much faith in her writing skills, though she dearly loved her characters and each of their stories. She’d always felt embarrassed calling herself a writer. One day a friend gave her a quote:
YOU ARE NOT A WRITER
BECAUSE OF THE PEOPLE WHO
HAVE OR HAVE NOT
HEARD ABOUT YOU.
YOU ARE A WRITER
BECAUSE YOU WRITE
END OF STORY.
She put it on her laptop and reads it whenever she even thinks about giving up.
Sandi is included in our Member Spotlight for November / December 2023.