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Typing away

When I was in middle school, my classmates and I had to take a computer literacy class. In this class, I learned how to type on a keyboard without looking down at the individual keys.

I remember when I first started the course and how I thought that there was simply no way that I would ever memorize the placement of each individual letter. The orange, rubber mats that we had to place over the keyboard became my enemy.

Of course, I eventually learned how to type without looking. In fact, I became a rather speedy typist, and any school assignments involving writing quickly became a joy rather than a chore. I began to use my writing skills to craft short stories in my free time. They weren’t exactly Shakespearean in nature, and my grammar skills were a bit lacking. Nonetheless, I developed a true passion for writing.

My mother often recalls that as a child I would rather sit at the family computer in the middle of the night, typing away in the darkness, than to get any sleep.

This passion for writing followed me all the way to college. I attended the University of Virginia in the fall of 2015. During my second semester, I applied and was accepted into the University’s Area Program in Literary Prose (APLP). For the next two years I studied creative writing, both fiction and nonfiction. I continued to stay up into the night, typing away. I completed a novella for my program’s thesis course and in May 2019 I published my first short story in the University of Alabama’s Call Me {Stranger} magazine.

After graduating in late May, I returned home to Farmville in order to wait tables and plan my next big move. In August, I was refilling a glass of soda when a customer informed me of an opening at the newspaper.

I am so happy to join The Kenbridge-Victoria Dispatch’s talented team. It is so exciting and special to write about the community and tell the stories of those that help to make Lunenburg and its surrounding counties such an incredible place. Every time I look down at my fingers gliding across the keyboard, I think back to middle school and how determined I was to dislike writing. Oh, how wrong I was.

Alexa Massey is a staff reporter for The Kenbridge-Victoria Dispatch and Farmville Newsmedia LLC. Her email address is Alexa.Massey@KVDispatch.com.