Though my dad was primarily an artist, he liked to try his hand at other creative pursuits such as novel writing. He was also a drummer, so it made sense that he write a novel whose main character was one too. Because the story never went beyond a few chapters, I find it amusing that he designed the cover art work for his work in progress. Perhaps it’s what he needed as the impetus to begin his novel.
As far back as memory takes me, there is my father with charcoal or paintbrush in hand, whistling or humming a random song under his breath while creating art from talent and imagination, and whatever it was that drove him to create something out of nothing. His work, whether portraits, cartoons or murals stirred within me a deep wistfulness. How I wished for his talent! I felt it must be the most delicious feeling in the world to know you were good at something that was exclusively yours.
When I was a teenager longing with desperation to make my creative mark on the world, my father told me that writers are artists who create through the medium of words on paper. This delighted me to no end. I’d never thought of myself as an artist before, though I’d been earnestly painting portraits with words on paper since the age of seven.
Through the years of being a single mom to five sons, I never allowed my dreams and talent to die out. I wrote late at night while the kids slept or scribbled in my car during lunchtimes at work. While staring unseeingly at my laundry tumbling in dryers at depressing laundromats, I composed stories in my head while attempting to keep an eye on my rambunctious sons. Something compelled me to write down what I saw and experienced and heard, for unless it was formed in written words life didn’t seem quite real to me.
Where I Am Now
2021 finds me Nana to seven beautiful grand-kids. With the time I need now to wholeheartedly pursue the writing dreams put on hold for so long, I’ve published a book of poems, Brightwood Street Chronicles. There is also a childhood memoir in the works, Portrait of An Artist’s Daughter, as well as a couple of novels whose characters seem to have taken up permanent residence in my imagination and heart.
Over the years I’ve developed such a love for the creative process that when my own words don’t come easy, I devote much of my time beta reading the works of others.