How It All Began

I began writing back in 1990 and, at first, wrote poems.  They would come to me intact and that would be it.  I could never simply decide to sit down and write a poem because I wanted to or on demand.  As time passed, this evolved into short stories and articles, mostly in the law enforcement genre.

In 1994, I became a member of the Police Writers Club after writing  an angry, cathartic article when a citizen telephoned my husband, the chief of police, while he was at home on sick leave to recuperate from abdominal surgery.  We live at 8000 feet in the Colorado mountains and this was at night in a blinding blizzard.  My husband retired from  a 20-year career on a metropolitan police department where he was the lead homicide detective during his last years there and immediately moved here to our small, high-country tourist town where he became chief and remained in that position for 22 years, the longest in the town’s history.  As I watched my husband gingerly dress into street clothes and summon one of his officers to transport him downtown that night, merely to negotiate a petty complaint about another officer, I opted to sit down and express my outrage on paper.  I was livid because this could have been handled over the phone.  Afterwards, I put my quasi-editorial  (It’s Just Routine) away and, subsequently, found it many  months later.  I read it again with the intention to just toss it into the trash and decided, instead, that it was pretty good.

So, I punched it up a little bit and submitted it to the editor of a state police journal where it was published.  As a result of that article, I received many congratulatory calls from officers and their relatives from across the state.  I had managed to pluck at the heartstrings of some truly street-tough cops and I had the writing bug “big time”!  More importantly, I now had been published in the field of law enforcement, which opened the door for me to become a member of The Police Writers Club.  I was welcomed with understanding words of encouragement that squelched my timidity about being a novice.  The PWC evolved into the Public Safety  Writers Association  (PSWA) in 2005 and I am still an active, dues-paying member of that proud organization.

And that is how my writing career began.  In June, my first stand alone book  WE ARE DIFFERENT NOW will be published by Oak Tree Press. I wrote it after my 21-year-old grandson was killed in a fall from a mountain ledge to the canyon floor 100 feet below at night while celebrating July 4th, 2010.  You can read more on that by clicking the “About” button at the top of the page.



About jtzortman

Author of "WE ARE DIFFERENT NOW" - A Grandparent's Journey Through Grief, first place award winning novel "FOOTPRINTS IN THE FROST" and award-winning novel "SNOW ANGEL". Contributing author to anthologies "Felons, Flames & Ambulance Rides", "American Blue", "Recipes by the Book: Oak Tree Authors Cook" and "The Centennial Book of The National Society of Daughters of the Union 1861-1865". Numerous articles, poems and short stories published since 1990. Charter Member of the Public Safety Writers Association and member of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. Winner of ten writing awards. I live in a quaint Colorado mountain tourist town with my husband and Siamese cat. When deeps snows blanket the terrain and spectacular views from my windows, it becomes the perfect spot in which to write.
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2 Responses to How It All Began

  1. Wince Lee says:

    Jackie Love reading your post. MISPAH was great.
    Uncle Wince


    • jtzortman says:

      Thank you for stopping by and for letting me know you were here, Uncle Wince. It makes my day when people tell me they’ve enjoyed something that I’ve written. Hugs!


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