When I was in the second grade I clearly remember writing a play about bunnies. I asked my friends to help me put on the play, and after I made the costumes and had a few rehearsals during recess asked my teacher if we could perform it for our class.
Not long after that we put it on for the entire school. I guess she liked the play, or the way I wrote, or how I convinced so many of my friends to wear the paper ears I made.
I’m not sure why I was drawn to books, but I was often found in the library. I loved reading as a kid and still do. I read about two to three books a week when I can. In the summer at the age of eight I walked two miles to Van Nuys dragging a wagon to carry home the ten books I was allowed to check out. Ten was the limit of books you could check out. After doing that every few days for several weeks the Librarian took pity on me especially after she saw the wagon and I told her I walked the two miles down busy Oxnard St. from near the college to check out the books. After that she broke the rule and allowed me to check out twenty books so I only had to make the trip twice a week.
In Junior High School I took the bus in the morning as it was three miles away. I told my dad not to pay for the afternoon bus pass as I often missed the ride and walked home because I was in the library. It wasn’t long before I was asked to work in the library because I knew how to use the Dewey Decimal system to file away books. I loved it because then there was no limit to the number of books I could take home. All the while I was writing stories poems and plays, which I then directed. The plays I wrote always had dancing, my other love. (my tap dancing never improved but my Ballet was impeccable.)
I think I set my sights on nursing rather than dancing or writing (although I have kept up both) because I read so many books that idealized the profession. When I started nursing school at the age of 16 I had never been sick, or been in a hospital but knew more about hospital life than most others in the program because of the books I read. Of course in College I needed gas money (32 cents/gal.) to get to the hospitals we were training at. So I got a job at the library and in the summers got paid jobs to dance and sing in shows and programs. I was a theater minor and took drama, dance and theater management along with nursing. I wrote away for my own fun and most of those stories are lost in some trash heap.
I met my sweetheart in the library. Actually we first met when he sat behind me in Junior High home room and bugged me by putting his finger up the single long curl of my ponytail. Later he told me he couldn’t resist fiddling with my hair because it tempted him every day swinging back and forth in front of his face. He was a chubby kid who every day bothered me. I was the skinny girl who tried to be cool, but actually was a book loving nerd.
In college working at the library most nights I had a clipboard for the football players to sign-in for attending study hall. I guess they wanted to make sure none of the players got bad grades. Several times a week this one tall very handsome fellow signed in. (how did he get sooo tall?) Then he proceeded to bug me all night checking books in and out. He made tons of work for me. I did not recognize him from Junior High School, but he tells me he knew exactly who I was…he continued to delight in bugging me. To this day he is a tease. We had one sort-of blind date that went so well as far as attraction went that after the date I told him I couldn’t see him anymore. I liked him and was attracted to him way too much (we had a snog session that lasted for hours) as I was supposed to be spoken for by my High School boyfriend who was attending Annapolis. Later of course it was obvious that particular high school relationship was not going to work out well. Dennis turned to his religion once away from home. As you can imagine, a Christian Scientist who believes medicine is unnecessary did not mix well with a nurse who was becoming dedicated to her profession. I was unable to understand the mindset of that particular religion.
I remember one odd thing was that we had some of the football players in dance class. The coach had the idea that modern ballet would make them more agile on the football field. I remember they all stood at the back of the class. I thought this was because they didn’t know what they were doing and were embarrassed. I learned later it was because they like to watch the butts of the girls in leotards up front. By then I was pretty shapely and unbeknownst to me, became one of the targets for the watch patrol.
My writing career after I married and began a family was limited at best and with a few short bursts of writing poems about my children almost came to a halt. Then it started up again with plays and roadshows. My writing must have been good enough, along with my directing as many productions won accolades although none was ever printed. As the years passed my scripts and poems written at others request piled up in a drawer. Often I would write to keep a record of important life experiences. Now that I look back, many wonderful opportunities were missed but now I am trying to catch up after raising my family. The problem still exists that time is elusive as life pushes in and prevents my sitting down to put my thoughts on a computer chip (I almost said put my thoughts on paper, however that medium is almost archaic)
My longtime dream was one day to write a novel. One that was interesting had some shred of reality to it, as well as mystery and romance. Inside my head, thumping to get out was my story and when I finally got some of it recorded on a computer it was lost and I became discouraged. (That does not happen when you use pen and ink.) When my sister-in-law complained I had sent her pages and then stopped I began thinking of my story once again. She wanted to know how the story ends. When I told her I knew what I wanted to happen but the characters would tell me what should happen she didn’t understand and demanded to know the end of the story. If you are a writer you understand the zone…and how sometimes time disappears as you write and the story unfolds without you help.
I’m stopping now and will continue later. I want to edit and get my novel ready. For what I’m not sure, I guess hope and faith that someone will want to read it and know how it ends is the goal. Thank you to the author of the last book I read who wrote of her writing passion and how it began for she created the need to record this little history of my writing…and why it took me so long to pour my wild brain onto paper/computer.