What did you think you’d be when you grew up? Did it change over time? Did you achieve that dream? Are you still working on it? These are simple questions we all face in life. Here are my answers. A famous Author. No, I’ve always yearned to tell stories. Yes, actually, I think I have. Yes, I am still working on it, I’ve not published any great work yet, but I’m getting there. All of my life, I’ve been captivated by stories. Words draw me, like a moth to the flame. I wonder very often, if every writer sees random strangers and makes up entire scenarios in their heads about these people they will possibly never even interact with? Am I the only one who has several conversations with people in their head while talking to that person? My kids find it amusing when I turn and expect them to know exactly what I am talking about, because in my mind, we’d already discussed it. They just smirk and say, “Mom, you never said that. You probably just thought it.” It can be rather embarrassing at times, I can assure you. I like to think that I’m fairly mentally competent, though I’d hardly call me “normal” or even “sane”. I crave information like a junkie needs a hit. I’m scatterbrained and distracted to an extent that my kids also have a quip for that. My oldest calls it “Shiny Rock Syndrome”. The Clones also have a great time trying to outsmart me. They know that I’m only distracted because I’m actually thinking or doing a half a dozen other things in that same moment.
Lately, I’ve noticed how many things in this life are connected, and I’m virtually exploding with ideas. Novellas scratch out in my brain, faster than I can even write them down. Others have suggested that I record myself, as the plots formulate. Frustrating as hell. Unless I have an audience, I can’t simply speak my thoughts. I keep my laptop with me at all times, because only by typing can I actually get the words up there to a page somewhere. I’m struck by inspiration, but it’s fleeting. Only if I sacrifice myself upon the altar of the Muses; my greatest sacrifice being total devotion to the act of expression, am I able to think clearly again and attend my daily activities with a somewhat regular routine.
This all means my entire focus in life is shifting. My greatest nemesis is my own guilty conscience. As a Mama, my children are my only reason for being. As a writer, the tale is all important. Until recently, I’ve short-ended my innate talent, repressing myself at every turn. So, I’ve decided to shake things up a bit. No one, least of all me, really imagined I would ever actually DO that which makes me happiest. Not seriously, anyway. Over the past year, I’ve gone from being a housekeeper/factory worker to a book dealer/freelance author. In my heart, I’m already a success. I get to share my love of all things literary with the world, I get to read to my heart’s content, and get paid to invite others step into my alternate reality. Pretty groovy, isn’t it?
I am currently researching the incomparable Charles Dickens. He has inspired so much of the literature I’ve read, as well as being a genius in the arena. I’ve immersed myself in all things Dickensesque. It seems that he has always been one of those great connections in my life. As a young reader, I tore through the pages of Oliver Twist and David Copperfield. I logically, at least in my mind, followed Dickens with Poe, Longfellow, the Bard of Avalon, Hugo, Chaucer, and so on. Each of these, turned me on to others. Like I said, for me, the alphabet was like a gateway drug. Successively, my Ma grew tired of monitoring my bibliomania. I always kept it harmless, never acting on anything negative that I read. Therefore, she allowed me to delve into any subject my greedy mind desired.
I always come home to my personal favorites, however, and my bookcase is rather eclectic. On it you will find everything from Classic Greek Mythology to serial killer true crime stories. I generally stay away from what I consider smut books, but have a guilty pleasure section that includes Anne Rice in all of her incarnations, including erotica. That woman can make the word “mud” sound sexy if she applies herself to the task, I am convinced.
Mr. Dickens changed the world, one story at a time, and I pray that someday, someone will feel the same way about me. I don’t deny that I wish, like every other poet, novelist, etc., that my name will go down in infamy; but I’ll settle with knowing that I am using my talent to follow in Charles’ footsteps, and trying to make life a little better for those who can’t help themselves, but keep trying anyway.
So, as I’ve said before, I’ll change the world, one book at a time, and I’m going to love every single second of this completely awesome opportunity to test my mettle. Hopefully, I’ll have what it takes, if not, as Daddy always said, “I’ll always have thought I should’ve.”
Until we meet again,