who is fortune larkam?
That is the million dollar question isn't it? Who am I? Well, to answer that question I will start by saying that I am not normal in any capacity and I am grateful for that. I feel blessed that I have artistic talent and I applaud people like myself who try to reach out and touch others with their talent. I have known from an early age that I was destined to become a writer/artist and I will continue to follow that path until my dying day.
My journey as a writer started at a young age. I grew up in a small town called Plainwell, Michigan. I was different from all of the other bible-thumping kids that I lived around. I didn't like to follow rules and I spoke my mind so I stood out and not always in a good way.
It was natural for me to be extra observant of things. Back then, my teachers thought I had ADD, but it was not that--I was just full of imagination and curiosity. I loved to write stories and started doing that when I was old enough to write. I was published for the first time when I was in 3rd grade in the Kaleidoscope magazine for a poem I wrote about the rain forest. I also started journaling about my day and would draw little comics about my day underneath my writing. I won some awards at school for my writing as well.
In middle school, I got my first computer and absolutely loved it. I became quite the typist right away. By the time I was in 8th grade, I starred in the school talent show and read two poems.
I started a novel called "The Aunt" over the summer one year, but I never finished it. I still have it somewhere amongst my files. Maybe someday I will revisit it. Starting and not finishing big projects like that, as I have learned, is part of the writing process and is so frustrating. You start out with a great idea but lose your luster eventually and don't complete it.
High school was a time of discovery for me as I started really getting into more gothic and horror themed poetry/stories. I loved to write romance stories about the troubled teen who is swept away by the dark brooding male lead. High school had its ups and downs for me and I channeled a lot of my teen angst into my writing. I also started painting and working with charcoals as well. I spent most of my time in art classes and by the time I was a senior, I had art every semester sometimes twice a semester.
After I graduated, my road to adulthood began and I started off my college career by going to Kellogg Community College. My mom worked there as a nursing professor so I got in for practically free and it was a great school so I wasn't about to pass that up although my commute to school was long and arduous during winter. I was published in the L.A.N.D. poetry booklet for a poem called "Sleepy Seas." I received an honorable mention. At this time, I started and actually finished a novel called "As Silk." It was a book about a girl who gets kidnapped at a club by a group of vampires and falls in love with her captor, the group's leader. They go on a grand adventure together, traveling the country and she gets to see all sides to vampire life, the brutal and bloody side and the romantic side. At first, she is more like the leader's slave, but eventually he falls for her too. However, I got so caught up in writing this book that I rushed to get it done over the summer before school started up again. That was only a three month period of time and so eventually I started to burn out and took out my frustration on my characters and made them hate each other and the novel ended in bloodshed and was really fucking depressing. After all that and I never sought to publish it. I considered it my biggest failure and just saved it to a jump drive (which I still have) and kept it hidden. I got discouraged after that and I also was in the midst of a turmoil that I'm sure most college-aged people suffer from the dreaded question that will haunt you until you find the answer: What am I going to do with my life?
I had tossed around career ideas in my head and usually it came down to these three: teacher, nurse, or counselor (psychologist). I knew I wanted to do something that helped people, but I just couldn't make up my mind. So I took every single psychology class and creative writing class at KCC and ending up getting two associate's degrees. One in Arts and the other in General Studies. After I graduated, I decided to get my bachelor's degree from Western Michigan University, although I did get accepted to Grand Valley State University as well. I chose to stay close to home and not move to Grand Rapids to attend GVSU.
Once at WMU, I majored in Creative Writing and minored in Psychology. I lived on my own with a group of girls during my junior year of college and really excelled at school. I made the dean's list several times and joined an honor's society called Sigma Tau Delta. I never attended any of their meetings or events, though because I always had to work and they never gave enough notice for me to ask for that time off. I felt bad that I never contributed but honestly, I had to work to pay for bills and eat and I couldn't afford to just go to school. I didn't receive any handouts and mom and dad wanted to instill in me a good work ethic. It was really hard to juggle full time school with part time work, but I did it. And I enjoyed my financial freedom because I earned it. I got a poem published in "The Laureate," a journal of Sigma Tau Delta student's work. My poem "Conversation Between Two Hearts" earned a spot in the journal and I was very proud of myself. I also got to read a story I wrote called "Storm Reception" at the English Studies Conference held by Sigma Tau Delta. It was very exciting. By senior year, though, I chose to major in poetry, though as story writing was much more difficult at a college level than I had anticipated. I found a lot of push back from my teachers because I did not write in the style that was popular. It seemed that if you didn't either write SLAM poetry or the metaphor-laced contemporary style of poetry, you were not going to get any attention or make a name for yourself. At least that was the case with me. One thing that I have learned about writing is that no matter how many teachers or peers tell you to write a certain way or push you to use a style you aren't a natural at, they are WRONG. The biggest lesson of all that I learned was to stay true to myself and fuck anyone who told me otherwise. I hated making my poems so full of metaphor that it took a whole class period to figure out what the hell was trying to be said. I also preferred to use minimal punctuation and loved how that made my work less formal. If I had to describe my style of writing it would be honest and straightforward. I hate leaving my readers in a perpetual state of "What the fuck am I reading?" I want my readers to be able to relate to and connect to my poems and that is why I do that. Sadly though, my efforts were not well received and my senior capstone teacher labeled me a "Sincerest" which is like labeling you a bleeding heart and that is not welcome in today's poetry world. I still continue to write in my favored style because that is the type of writer that I am and I will never change who I am just to satisfy the status quo.
I met my husband, Jeremy, during my senior year of college by crazy happenstance. We met online through a mutual friend and became inseparable. We have been together since 2010 and have been married since 2013. He has encouraged my writing although he is not an artist or visionary like me. He is the rational-minded, sciencey facts and numbers guy. We are the classic case of opposites attract. :)
So, after several years of trying to figure out my life and answer that damn question about "What am I going to do with my life?" I decided to become an English teacher. I am going for my Master's degree in Secondary Education (I will be certified to teach 6-12th grade) at Western Governor's University an online school. It is probably the hardest shit I have ever had to do. In master's school you not only have to understand the material and take an exam, but also do assignments that apply it to real life. Sometimes I wonder why I brought this upon myself, but I'm in the homestretch right now. I have a year left and I am hoping all goes according to plan. Right now I need to complete the two state tests so that I can start my field experience and do my student teaching and observation hours then two more state tests and I'm officially a teacher!!!! Yay!
As you know, I have now published two books: "Life Beyond a Label" and "The Chronicles of a Modern Witch: Leading a Double Life." I am now working on book two of The Chronicles of a Modern Witch series and hopefully will have that completed by winter of 2018. I hope you have enjoyed reading my writing bio. If you like my books please write a review on amazon or goodreads. Happy reading! :)