Composed for the Writing Essential Group prompt for Thursday, August 28, 2014
I received an email from my friend S. She is a long time writer, but hasn’t had much opportunity to create lately. She wanted to know what influenced my desire to write, and if I always held that desire.
My poor friend. If only she knew how little encouragement I need to share my story. I started the email, “Good afternoon!” and closed it with “There. Aren’t you glad you asked? It’s 8:28, almost bedtime. That’s enough for now, don’t you think?” I also warned her that a good portion of that email would likely end up here on the blog. But since the word count approaches “long read” status, just shy of 2000 words (my poor friend!) I think I’ll focus on “The Early Years” of my illustrious writing career.
The first time Muse called me was in grade school. Perhaps the fourth grade, 1965. It’s hard to imagine, but apparently I had the literary wherewithal to cobble together a story that ran a foolscap page-and-a-half long. Mickey Maple was about a maple leaf who refused to leave the tree come autumn. But he got lonely for his friends and family, so finally, he let go. The End.
And that, as I recall was “the end” of my fiction writing career. I looked forward to more composition classes, but they either didn’t happen or I had lost connection with Muse.
However, like my friend S, I was a voracious reader. I asked her, “Do you remember the bookmobile?” I lived for those days when we got to march out single file, to the traveling library parked on the paved playground. Those days were so magical for me, they feature in my recurring dreams.
The science and nature books were at the back, up in the area raised above the wheels. Fiction, I recall , was directly opposite the entrance. I spent most of my time in these two sections of the bookmobile.
At home, I would pour through children’s reference books of animals and an old volume of Audubon’s Birds of America. I enjoyed reading a book of Bible stories and Hammond’s Complete World Atlas. A very odd mix, to be sure. I still have all three of these volumes. I’ve tried to part with them, but can’t bear to let go.It’s interesting to note that when I was young, I almost always read fiction for entertainment. At bedtime I was able to tell a reasonable make-believe story to my brothers. Today? Today I could not write fiction to save my life. Sometimes I feel that that’s a flaw of character. But then I shrug my shoulders and write a story about my favourite heroine, me.
*This little tidbit about faster buttoning of shirts came up in conversation a couple of weeks ago. I mentioned it to Reiner when talk turned efficient use of time on the job. He said something along the lines of “That’s absurd”. I think he shouldn’t argue with Frank B. Gilbreth, the father of time-management studies, but what the heck do I know?
Categories: Blog Blog Blog