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A Love Affair...

Writing for me has always been a love affair between ink and paper. To this day I love the feel of a book, new or old, between my fingers. The texture of its fibers and how the ink upon the pages changes its very being is a caress upon my skin. The scent of books is intoxicating, stirring feelings of anticipation as to how its words will make me feel or where they are going to take me. The excitement of an unknown book is as titillating as a flirtatious glance and a sly smile. A favorite that has been read over and over is as precious as an old friend.

When I was young reading was an avenue of escapism. Time travel if you will, to other universes, places unknown to me and sometimes beyond my years to understand but I took it all in. As I grew older they opened worlds to me, helping me understand and explore the intricacies of the human psyche and living beyond the situations I was in. They encouraged and inspired me to do something with my dreams. Literally.

I am a perpetual dreamer. It is like a movie unfolding in Panavision in my head. If I refuse to ignore it or write it down in its entirety then I continue to dream it over and over. I have created stories since I was in middle school. Written poetry since I was in elementary. I won a contest in the fifth grade for a mother’s day poem that I wrote. I still remember not believing the teacher when she told me, then getting in trouble for squealing with delight! The contest was put on by a local clothes merchant. My mom received a purely seventies polyester pant suit of her choice that she kept way past its prime and my poem was published in the local newspaper.

When I first started creating complete stories they mirrored what I was reading at the time. Romances, historical novels and fantasy. My mother introduced me to romances, Harlequin’s none the less, and historical novels. Fantasy novels I discovered one day in the sixth grade in the library with a book “Dolphin Island” by Arthur C. Clark. I was intrigued for years with reading about worlds beyond our imagination. I was never as good at completing fantasy stories as I was with romances. My imagination was grounded in what I was familiar with and I found it easier to write about what I wished for the most in life, love.

Writing became an outlet for me, a survival tool. Through fiction and poetry I could express my feelings and opinions about what was going on in my life without the suppression of the outside world. Because, of course, no one read them but me. Sometimes I shared them with friends that were kindred spirits, sharing in my misery of youth and family turmoil. But for the most part they were my spilt blood and so I kept them to myself. Various poems were published along the way in school anthologies and newspapers but very few knew of my stories. At the time writing was a secret passion and pass time, drawing was my life.

I had been drawing long before I found the expression of writing. Again a love affair with paper. Blank paper seems to have always called to me saying: fill me, make me whole, complete. Even to this day, I love paper. Well, when I was young the Wonderful World of Disney came on every Sunday night. I was determined I was going to be an artist for Disney. Creating such wonderful characters to endear those who saw them. Disney offered such a wonderfully perfect world. Beautiful art work, great music and a happy ending for every story. For those two hours every Sunday night I could float away on their feast for the eyes and the ears and renew my hope that life was better than what I was experiencing.
I have lost three prominent women in my life over the past three years. My mother was one of those women. Amazing what we do not understand about the people in our lives. It was not until a few years before my mother died that she told me she used to write stories when she was younger too. That one admission shed light on so many struggles between my mother and me. And though encouragement had not ever been my mother’s forte, on her birthday that year I gave her a notebook and special pen and did my best to encourage her to start writing again. She never did.

For two weeks before Christmas 2006, I went through a battery of tests and the fear that I had cancer. Bone cancer. At my age that would mean I had the dreaded “C” somewhere else in my body and it had spread. Extreme stress was the description for last year, losing one of my closest friends to cancer, my precious grandmother only months before that, working two jobs and trying very hard for a better job position and not getting it. With death haunting me for the past three years I have been contemplating where my life is going and not only what is my passion but what am I supposed to be doing while I am here.

During those two weeks all those thoughts plagued my mind, making me realize that if this was it I did have some things to be proud of, but I had one thing for sure I regretted. Not following my dreams, not using my talents. Worst of all, not believing in myself. Writing had always represented hope for me and by giving up on writing I gave up on hope and myself. I let slip away the very essence of who I am and my creation as a human being. Once again I had lost who I was, that was why I got divorced, but now there was no one to blame but myself. I was blessed with a clean report and though there may be other health issues, I do not have cancer. I hope I never have to go through that scare again but it was a blessing in disguise.

Writing has a lot of esoteric meanings that can only be understood by me. Last night I spoke with a new friend of mine from work. We were griping about our jobs and the senseless stress that goes with it. She spoke to me about what someone had told her over the weekend about forgetting our worth. That we, as well as others, can speak us into reality. Positive or negative our spoken words effect ourselves and others. It brought tears to my eyes and pain to my heart. Not that these were new words to me or even a new belief, but I realized I was not living what I believed. There is conviction when I am sharing these concepts with other people I care about but I am not convinced I deserve to reap the benefits of believing this way myself. I did not realize until I awoke at three this morning and could not sleep how much what she said hit me.

I know that writing represents a belief in not only what I can accomplish but what I have to say. Not that everyone who reads my works has to enjoy them or believe the same way I do, but that anyone who reads them believes they come from a consequential truth. My truth. My life has meaning and has it’s own truth that may not be someone else’s but it still means something because I believed enough in myself to follow my path and live it. Reading might have been escapism for me but just as those writer’s works had an affect on me my writing is a communication from my soul to others whether through fiction, poetry or any other form of creation. It is to manifest my energy into something tangible, a piece of me just as my daughter is. Even if it doesn’t make me a living. The words that I put upon paper or screen represent my worth. And that is a lot.


Writing, reading (and you've mentioned acting) are all wonderful outlets for your creativity. I went through three years much like yours...and a divorce (after 26 years). You've got a lot to accomplish ahead of you, and your words are worthwhile. Keep writing!

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