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Woman's story highlighted in 'Highlights'

— “It’s a mix. I’m very eclectic,” said Haugh.

She remembers her very first sale in 1979. It was an 11-word Secretary’s Day Card she sold to Hallmark for $75. Then came a short story for children in a religious magazine and seven poems and short stories for “Highlights.” One of her favorite self-imposed assignments is writing romances and mysteries for “Woman’s World Weekly.”

“Writing is fun but it’s work. Mysteries in particular are like a puzzle you have to put together,” said Haugh. “Something I feel like energizes my middle-aged brain.”

Her latest romantic short story, “The Perfect Christmas,” will appear in the upcoming issue of “Woman’s World Weekly.”

Getting paid to write is a perk for Haugh, not the reason she does it. It’s more the challenge and uncertainty that drives her.

“If you have that in you, that urge or whatever it is that makes one person want to write … it’s not a dollar value,” said Haugh. “Anything that you create and are able to get out in market somewhere is huge, it never diminishes, it never becomes less of a thrill or second nature.”

That’s not to say she doesn’t appreciate the rush she gets when finding a check in the mailbox.

“I received two writing checks in the mail on the same day, one for $500 and one for $1,” said Haugh. “It really was just as exciting getting the $1 check as the big check, to know I’d have something else published.”

She’s known since the age of 4 that she wanted to be a writer.

“I remember my Dad bringing me home this pad of yellow paper with a blue truck on it and a pencil. It was the coolest thing,” said Haugh. “I took it into my little desk in my bedroom, struck it there and thought ‘Now I’m a writer.’”

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