In which Theresa reflects on her childhood dreams

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When I was young, my little sister and I would make up stories and act them out in front of the living room curtains, pretending they were a stage. When I got older I wrote stories in school, and my teachers sometimes told me they thought I should be a writer when I grew up.

Reading was a first love. At night as a child, I would sneak a flashlight under the covers and keep reading after my parents told me, “Lights out.” It was a passion. There were so many good books. But I was most particularly fond of the magical books, the books that took you into a place of enchantment, where magic was real and where children – usually – discovered a long-lost world or helped free a land of the enslavement of an evil witch.  You may know these books yourself – L. Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz, C. S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia, Edward Eager’s Half-Magic. Madeline L’Engle’s A Wrinkle In Time. I was captivated by other books, by the adventuresome Tolkien’s The Hobbit and Lloyd Alexander’s The Chronicles of Prydain. When I became a parent I read many of these books aloud to my sons and my daughter, savoring again the delicious stories that unfolded in their pages.

Yet for many years afterward I had forgotten how it felt to lose oneself in the pages of a book. That new-book crackle of opening a book for the first time, the pebbly feel of its pages against your fingers as you turn them, the reassuring flip! at the end of a chapter when you bump up against the last-sentence cliff-hanger. The wistful sense of regret when you near the end of a book you don’t want to end, not quite yet. It wasn’t until just a few years ago that I recalled the wonderful sense of being on a long voyage that a book can take you on.

When I was young, I used to dream of creating new stories. It has taken a lifetime to learn how to enter those magical worlds I read about as a child and young adult. A lifetime of cultivating ideas into something new and intriguing, of imagining the characters who would inhabit strange and compelling worlds, of seeking just the right words to ignite the spark of storytelling. At last, stories that dwelled in the imagination of a child are becoming the tales that live on the printed page.

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Like any writer, I can tell you that the satisfaction of seeing an imagined world become something real in the mind of a reader is immense. To weave a tale that another person reads or hears is a great gift. Like any writer, I am delighted when my words reach the welcome ear of a reader. Like any writer, I find that the publication of a story of mine is a source of elation and of gratitude.

THANK YOU! for being that reader who has helped me understand more about my own writing, who has helped me learn the effect of my words and stories, and for being that reader who has inspired me by participating in our reading and writing community of bloggers.

What was your childhood dream?  Are you a teacher, a knitter, a poet, a photographer, an artist, a parent, a person out in the working world?  Whatever you are passionate about, whatever you strive to accomplish, there is a ripple of creativity that runs through your work, the same ripple of creativity that bubbles through the stories of a writer like myself. The human mind is capable of enormous things.

If my brief story of reading and writing has caught your interest, I’m delighted.  I’m always interested in hearing what you are passionate about or what you have invented. Who are your favorite authors? What are you reading lately? What author, living or deceased, would you most like to have a conversation with over dinner? I would love to know!

 

24 thoughts on “In which Theresa reflects on her childhood dreams

  1. I am not surprised that you liked to read when you were young – and that you dreamt of writing stories – ahhh
    and for me – I am not sure who I would want to meet author-wise
    but wish I could connect with my 6th grade teacher, Mr. C. (passed away 2005 – I think) but I would thank him for instilling love for writing and lit inside of me.
    and Mrs. George, high school lit teacher – who had the gift of making Shakespeare exciting – ahhhh

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yvette, what a wonderful testimony to the power of specific teachers to inspire us. I remember having a drama teacher in high school, Mr. Ketterer, who seemed to believe in me (as a playwright) when I wrote this little play about a flight attendant (my stepmom was one) on her first flight, being bolstered by helping a little girl who was scared. Not great literature, but it was wonderful to be seen as a dramatist. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. well your play sounds like it was super good- and just hearing it now makes me want to hear more – ha!
        I am embarrassed with what I wrote for some of my high school plays – (I was a drama major so this was part of my curriculum) and well – just high school romance stuff. duh – but where i was at I guess – well at 15 – much more mature by 17 (ha)
        and how many years was your mom a flight attendant – ?

        Like

  2. Writing also has become my passion. With a novella written exclusively for the sweetheart of my youth I managed to convince her to become my wife. Now blogging has become my creative outlet for writing. By the way I also was reading books with a flashlight when it was past my bedtime.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I was going to be a Rockette when I was young but then I decided I wanted to be a children’s advocate. Unfortunately, reality got in the way I drove a school bus for 31 years. I read passionately every book I could lie my hands many a night by a flashlight even after I married so I wouldn’t disturb anyone. I divorced, went to college and then reality intervened again. I improvised with the change in events and began writing full time. I used to doodle and write poems or short stories for fun when I was young. I journaled during the time my children were home and my college years.
    Writing is my life now, I love capturing my thoughts on a page and sharing with others.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow. Lyn, I read your message and I knew I wanted to take time to respond.

      You drove a school bus for 31 years? Wow. I love that you read, read, read. I love that you’re writing full time! I, too, had a digression in my 20s, I spent 8 years working in a family business owned by my then-husband, and it was agriculture, possibly the least apt field (haha) for me to work in. And the business was failing, so long long hours, no time off, very little money, and depressing most of the time. I finally came to my senses and left the marriage, went back to school to finish my undergraduate degree, and have made a new life after that. I wrote, starting in the ’80s, but I have had crippling writers block, didn’t understand back then how I might recapture my creativity, and so I went away and came back to writing multiple times over a couple of decades. Just last year I started full-time writing, and even though I still am challenged by creative blocks, I am getting better! Can I borrow your phrase, “I love capturing my thoughts on a page and sharing with others.” Me, too!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes you can indeed. I’m still an incessant reader, my house could pass for a library. I love the feel, smell and freedom to be wherever I want with a book 📚. I’m guilty of writing in the margins of all my writing books and when I come back to them I update my thoughts.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Theresa, I loved your post! Thanks for sharing this with us. When I was a kid, I wanted to be an astronaut, a writer, and a photographer. I read everything I could get my hands on. I knew I wanted to be a writer when I made up stories before I could write…and before I knew what a writer was. But on top of that dream, I secretly wanted to be Indiana Jones. I guess I’ve always been a word nerd. I’m in good company!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I couldn’t stop thinking, “I can relate to this” while reading your post, Theresa. Our childhood dreams come true in strange and unexpected ways sometimes, so we might fail to notice their realization, it occurred to me on several occasions. Like you, I dreamt of writing; like you, I had teachers and friends who occasionally encouraged me. I was also a realist, so I never thought I’d try to make such a dream come true, since it was a rather impractical one. Then time passed and technology evolved rapidly and voila… self-publishing is such a simple and accessible option for any of us who want to make our writing known. Sure, it’s not ideal and it’s not what we pictured as children, but it’s an option 😉 So one learns a dream can become reality in the form of a fulfilling hobby, not only as a successful career.

    Liked by 1 person

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