“Language alone protects us from the scariness of things with no names. Language alone is meditation.” Toni Morrison
When I was a child, my parents didn’t read to me. I didn’t have those Hallmark movie moments where my parents read to me each night, serenading me to sleep with the words of Shel Silverstein or Dr. Seuss. What they did was even better.
My mother had an extensive library with novels by Patricia Cornwall, Anne Rice, Toni Morrison; she loved the written word almost as much as she loved the feel of a pencil and a piece of paper in her hand, as much as she loved cooking Sunday dinner or tending to her roses. She let me explore these books and stretch my imagination’s limits so that by the time I was 12, I was reading Queen of the Damned on the school bus to and from school.
My father crafted stories from scratch, tales about a girl named Amanda-Boo who lived in the forest. She wore a dress made of vines and was friends with a group of talking forest animals. I soaked up the stories, the impetus for my love fantasy, while making dinner, while doing chores, before going to sleep. When I began creating stories of my own, my father would beam with pride when he read them, chicken scratch on a yellow legal pad.
No parents are perfect, but the best thing my parents did for me was foster my love of the written word. By the time I was in high school, I was writing crappy novellas with angsty girls lusting after emo boys. That love of the written word turned into a love for writing in its many forms – blogs about content marketing, website copy about a business’s differentiators, articles about politics and culture; fiction about love and revolution and anger and the human condition.
I’m on a journey to make my writing dreams come true. Won’t you join me?