The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


March 27, 2011

Uncle urges author to submit entry

Virginia Hockensmith of Mineral Point is a first-time winner with her Chapter 1, Volume IV, entry in The Tribune-Democrat’s “Your Story” contest.

“I thought about it the last time, but didn’t do it,” Hockensmith said.

“I’m just thrilled and shocked to win the first time I entered.

“There are so many good writers out there.”

She was encouraged to enter by her husband, Jim, but it was her uncle, Ed Semich, who insisted she write this time.

Hockensmith often asks her husband’s opinion on what she has written, and she gets help from him with editing.

“It was an interesting story line,” Hockensmith said of the “Your Story” introduction.

“I read an article about women in the military and in combat. It’s something you don’t think about.

“I can’t wait to find out what happens in the story.”

Writing is definitely one of Hockensmith’s interests. She has penned two children’s stories and is in the process of learning how to get them published.

“I took a writing class in college, when I wrote a Christmas story,” she said. “I wrote the other story about finding a litter of puppies in the woods.”

Hockensmith’s father, Adolf Semich of Parkhill, also is a writer.

“He wrote about when he was growing up, and I compiled his stories into a book,” Hockensmith said.

“I love to write, even lists. I like to focus on it.”

Hockensmith said she reads a variety of books, with science fiction being a favorite.

“I belong to a book club in Nanty Glo and have read some books I might never have picked up,” she said. “I just finished a book on Gettysburg and the Civil War.

“Some authors you like, and some you don’t.”

Hockensmith has done therapeutic massage out of her home for five years and hopes to make it a full-time occupation.

She also teaches at St. Paul’s Community Nursery School in Mundys Corner.

Hockensmith is the mother of three adult daughters.

She was an editor for her children’s school newspapers when they attended classes.


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