Saturday, February 4, 2012

My Birthday Suite

As the days begin to explode with pink, my birthday inches closer. In a little over a week, I am going to be older than I am now. Profound, I know. I thought it would be a good time to give you my backstory.

The wind blew white across the land that February. Already a month late, I was not waiting for a little snow to subside. While my dad was helping my mom to the car, the dog escaped through the back door. Marble loved to run and did so often, to the chagrin of my parents. Fortunately, his dark coat was easy to spot against the mid morning whiteness.

Too far back?

My love of the English language began early. With my parents reading to me constantly, I learned to love the fine art of storytelling. Reading at bedtime. Reading at other times. Reading while we all sat in the family room. Reading around the table. Family time included a book of either nonfiction or fiction in most genres from the classics like David Copperfield to Greek and Roman mythology. After reading, discussion followed. In a multigenerational family of avid readers, the shelves were never bare.

Growing up, many books adorned my bookshelves. The ones with the golden spines always glittered in the nightlight. As the years wore, cats wearing tall thin hats yielded to DNA encapsulating amber. Each new book held a new adventure. I learning something new with every page turned. My imagination never captured; it remained wild and free. Allowing it to settle on paper challenged me.

It was a dark and stormy night started my first novel attempt at the ripe old age of eleven. That was also the age I began penning poetry. My poems were mostly raw and emotional to me. Yet, they cloaked themselves in mysterious multiple meanings.

After writing a plethora of poems, the poetry muse decided to abandon me. She gave no warning. I had no substitute. Eventually, something crazy took over me. I picked up my forlorn pencil and paper. An idea flowed from the graphite onto the pulp.

My second novel attempt flowed out of me. What was I to do with it? I felt silly. Building courage, I read it outloud to my parents. I was exposed and had nowhere to hide. Prose shows everything. They loved it. They encouraged me to write more. So, I did.

Turn right. Those are the first two words of my first published novel. Which happens to be the third novel I have ever attempted. The first will remain in the depths of my childhood. My second rests unfinished in a folder waiting for my pen to ink the remaining pages.

This year, I continue to allow my imagination to roam freely. And with each stroke of my pen, my paper tells its tales.

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