The knowledge of my creativity escaped me until I traversed my junior year of high school. My family was a hard-working family that didn’t do any artsy things. As a child, I leaned toward dreaming and fantasy. I can’t tell you how many times I was told to get my head out of the clouds by my family, friends, and teachers. Yes, I was made fun of for my dreams and creative imagination. The two people who did accept my creativity were my mom and dad but they didn’t encourage it. How could they miss it when I would fill big bowls with water and put them around the room and dance around in scarves. At the time I was in love with the movie The Ten Commandments, the beautiful costumes of the women in the movie seemed to me in my childish world to be ornate flowing scarves with baubles. The water bowls were the pools in the palace. As an only child, I created my own fun and imagination became my friend.
At night my dreams were of the hallway at the end of the upstairs in my grandmother’s house where we lived. In the dream, the hallway had a secret door that opened into a magical secret playroom filled with toys and dolls. It was the best dream ever, one I wish I would have carried into adulthood to give me a respite from responsibility. In my junior year in high school, I took a creative writing class and fell in love with the magic of putting words into a story on a page. Over the years I always had diaries but writing a creative tale was different than writing about my actual life.
All these years later I wondered where my creativity came from. Yes, I believe it was a gift from God but in looking at my family that I was raised in, I didn’t see much creative fun. It was all hard work and down to earth reality.
I am purging, slowly, because in the future we will make a move to a smaller home. Priorities change and I don’t want to spend so much time taking care of the real estate. I want to let my creativity lead me to enjoy the gifts I’ve been given.
Part of the purging is going through old memorabilia my mom kept. She was a saver. Before she met my dad and during the time they dated, thirteen years, but that’s another story for another time, she was creative. I found creative letters, old crafts, pictures, a mother I never knew. She valued education being a teacher in country schools. Her kids loved her and they still kept in touch throughout her life. She made clever memory books much like what people are doing now. Crepe paper at that time was popular and the crafts she made were fun and innovative. My mom loved the school plays and directed them. Looking in her cedar chest I found a silver dress I forgot she made for me when I was in first grade for a play. It was made out of silver crepe paper and ribbon. My daughter wore it in her third-grade play too. At that time I wasn’t thinking about my mom’s creativity and now I see it.
My mom was stubborn. I am stubborn and occasionally someone tells me I’m just like my mom. They don’t always mean it as a compliment. I realize now I am like my mom. She gave me her creativity in my genes. I need to be careful in my old age that I don’t fall back into a pattern I was in and that is letting that creativity go while living in the real world, not taking the time to embrace it because some don’t value it. I think that’s what happened to my mom. In the midst of marriage, raising a child, running a business with my father, and becoming a caretaker to my grandmother and uncles, part of her was lost and it made her a little cranky. Looking back I can’t blame her.
I seem to embrace characters like that in my books. Granny is definitely feisty. She too lost part of her while living in her real world until she was elderly. When authors write I believe somewhere in their main characters is a part of their lives they haven’t addressed, kept hidden. I wonder if there is something inside ourselves that’s flawed and capable of doing rash things or even having evil feelings. We can’t write good characters without caring about them and knowing them inside out. Yet, we may not reveal their entire persona until late in a series because we’ve just discovered it, just like we discover each day a new facet inside of us if we let ourselves be open to the experience. Maybe it’s a personality trait kept hidden that we only let people know in our fictional world.
Happy dreaming and value whatever gift, no matter how different, that is inside of you.
A new book that’s a crossover between the Fuchsia Series and the Brilliant Series is coming soon so check out the links and read the series so you’ll be ready.
Book Links: Granny Hooks A Crook – https://www.books2read.com/u/4Eya0e
Available from Apple, Kobo, Nook, Scribd, 24S, Angus and Robertson