It has always been my dream to be a historical fiction novelist and historian. I have worked all throughout college to make my dream come true, and I truly believe it is not only my calling in life but my true passion. It did not take long for me to realize I needed a day job; something had to pay the bills before I became the next Jane Austen. The problem was I didn't want just any day job, I wanted something that fulfilled me just as much writing about history did. I was lucky to finally find something I was not only good at but thoroughly enjoyed — writing about hockey.
It sounds weird, but I can trace back this interest to when I was little. I spent a lot of time at my aunt's house when I was younger, and she loved hockey. I remember watching a few Blackhawks games at her house and was always fascinated to watch the sport. "The Mighty Ducks" was a favorite childhood movie of mine, and when I was 8 years old, I asked my parents if I could play.
My sister, who was then 6, joined me, and we signed up for an all-girls pee-wee floor hockey league. I was in the the third and fourth grade division, and my sister was in the first and second grade division. I was sad when I found out I wouldn't be playing with her, but even more sad when I found out she was a Blackhawk and I wasn't. I was a Penguin (yes, the irony today is all too real, since my stance on the Toews vs. Crosby debate couldn't be clearer).
I played defense. I'd like to say I was a mini girl version of Duncan Keith (especially with my red hair at the time), but I sucked. I loved the sport, but I realized it was best for me to just watch it on TV and put my dancing shoes back on.
To make it even funnier, my dad scored Blackhawks vs. Penguins tickets shortly after my 9th birthday. The stadium was nearly empty at the time (contrast to how it is now), and I remember loving every second of it. It was everything I expected it to be and more, and getting to see a legend like Mario Lemieux (yes, very ironic now) play was an absolute blessing.
It was pretty quiet for a while. The Blackhawks weren't a very good team, but the shift of ownership and addition of two new teenage players who would eventually become legends in the 2007–2008 season changed everything.
Old fan gear had been dusted off, and Blackhawks games became just as regular as any other sport in household throughout Chicago and the suburbs, including mine. Hockey was back in Chicago, and I never looked back.
Throughout college, I struggled to figure out what my day job would be. I can remember the exact moment when I realized writing about hockey was even a possibility. Like most, I was disgusted when I heard the news of the rape kit hoaxin the sexual assault allegations against Patrick Kane. The very thought of someone making up such a horrible crime to get attention, end a man's career and make it harder for every sexual assault survivor out there to get justice made me want to vomit. So I decided to write about it . I received so much support that I wrote an article on Panarin a few months later and received a lot of support.
My third attempt at writing about hockey was by far my most successful article that was on Toews. It received more than 1,000 shares, and at that moment, I knew I had found my day job. I was receiving support from people I didn't even know telling me to keep on writing, so I did. After building up a strong portfolio, I gained positions at a couple of hockey websites.
My dream of being a historical fiction author is in no way over; I just have another dream too. I want to interview members of the Chicago Blackhawks, the team I will always love and got me interested in the sport as a little girl. With a day job this promising, I could not be more excited for my future as not only a hockey writer but as a historical fiction author too.
I think it's safe to say I have not only found a good day job but one I truly love and fulfills me.