Once upon a time, there was a little girl with hazel eyes that turned emerald green when she cried. Her earlier years were filled with more than a few tears. It was her bright imagination and a heart two sizes too big that keep her smiling. This little rose bud was the daughter of two loving parents with a problem – they didn’t love each other after nineteen years of marriage, four kids, a house and a mortgage; everything the way it was supposed to be except for love. Her father realised it first and left.
It was for the best, which is something you aren’t supposed to admit in a fairy tale. Life isn’t a fairy tale, but those ancient stories fed the little girl’s imagination and that in turn keep her company.
The youngest of the children and the loneliest of all of them, I retreated to story books, myths and legends. Oops, I have given myself away. I really do believe my parents’ divorce was the best for everyone. It gave us kids a chance to live life without two warring parents and make our own way knowing that we, too, had a right to be happy.
Still, there were scars. Those, combined with a shy nature, produced a socially awkward little girl who never did find her place among peers. I have always been more comfortable with folks older than myself. One my best friends in high school was Mom-Mom Magee, who I worked with in the summers. There was never any tense between us. She was eight-six and the mother and grandmother of my two bosses. They talked, I listened, and my imagination absorbed their stories and experience when it wasn’t wandering through the marshes behind the fruit stand. They were my extended family; sometimes I wished they were my family. They let me just be me, especially Mom-Mom, and I never felt any pressure to fit in with them; I just did.
They told me some wonderful stories and all of them were true.
My aunt was an amateur historian. One visit, we toured the local graveyards discussing history. She told me stories about ancient civilisation, mythology, and my own family. She wasn’t the only teller of tales, but I remember more of hers than anyone else. The stories I was told about the family weren’t always true. They weren’t lies per say, more like elaborations which I drank up; more fuel for the future. It kept me company along with the books my mother and maternal grandmother gave me access to, my father’s desire to get me into sports and away from books.
All that fuel, combined with loneliness, creates inspiration which has been channeled into writing. My paternal grandmother read my poetry and wanted me to write for Hallmark. I didn’t really take to that suggestion. Still, I kept writing, my muse loneliness and a desire to belong. You always belong in the stories you create, at least in my mind.
Now, there have been people along the way that have kept me writing. Sometimes they were teachers, sometimes haters, but they always gave me a reason to write. It being my number one coping mechanism for dealing with the harshness of reality; you see, inside of me there still lives a naïve little girl, one that believes in the ideals she was raised with. No matter how much reality is infused into my world, she still lives on.
Writing helps me to make sense of the world, even if it is a new world. Inspiration can take me on a wild ride to some dark places. It pours out of me onto the page then, with a little elbow grease, it is ready to be released into the world.
I am inspired by the world around me, not just one person or one moment. The truth is, like many writers I can’t help but write. I won’t be me if I didn’t. Having a forum to write for gives me a reason to work on the craft.