It All Started With Dick and Jane

Glenda Clemens
3 min readSep 30, 2022

Why I Write

When I was five years old, I started first grade in elementary school in Bethany, Oklahoma. On the first day, we learned how to spell our names, how to count to ten then, learned the alphabet song. Soon, we were learning words with the alphabet, and with words, we could read stories. I remember the first time our teacher handed each of us the book, Fun With Dick and Jane. I remember how the book felt in my hands, the smell of the ink and paper, and the colors of Dick and Jane’s house and neighborhood.

I loved the story and wanted to read it every day. One day, my teacher said, “Would you like to take the book home for a few days?”

I was thrilled! So, I took the book home and read it to my sisters, who weren’t nearly as impressed as I was. Momma was busy cooking, but she listened as I sat at the kitchen table reading the story to her. She was proud of me, and I was proud of myself.

As the years went by and all the teachers knew I loved to read stories, they began to push me to read harder and harder stories. I read all the blue-cloth-bound books of the heroes of our country. I read The Bobbsey Twins, Nancy Drew, and other books of our day. I loved every story. But when the fifth-grade teacher handed me Little Women, my life was forever changed. I didn’t like the character Amy — she seemed silly to me. I felt great sadness for Beth and her illness and dying young. But Jo. I admired Jo. I read the book over and over again. I quickly passed over any scene that didn’t involve Jo. I wanted to be Jo. I wanted to live in a house with an attic dormer and have ink all over my fingers while I wrote stories.

Life happened, and I didn’t start writing until the mid-90s of the twentieth century. I was busy being a mother and wife and nurse, so didn’t have lots of time for writing, but I kept journals and wrote poems and little sketches of scenes. In the late 90s, I went to the University of Oklahoma and studied writing and nursing. I became a nurse practitioner but still dabbled in writing.

Dabbling is over.

Now, I write every day. I’ve written and self-published seventeen novels, the first being The Gloriana Paradigm. I’ve written three more novels in the editing process and started another novel this week. I write because I love to read and read because I love to write. Being a best-selling author isn’t my goal. Writing from my heart and soul and having fun doing it is the meat of my life. Everything else is gravy.

I write because Jo lit a fire in my heart to write. I write because it fills me to the brim. I write because I have no intention of simply becoming an old woman waiting to die. I want to be sitting at my computer writing a story when the breath of life begins to leave me, and all you’ll see is a jumble of letters, then nothing more but the stories I’ll leave behind.

This website is for you, dear reader. If you want to know more about the books I’ve written including ones written in collaboration with my husband, David, click on the BOOKS menu. If you want to read my essays, poems, and collaboration with my son, Ray, head over to Medium.



Glenda Clemens

I spent most of my life taking care of my family. Now that I’m retired, I have time to seek adventure. I’m writing fiction. I’m having the time of my life.