Hello World

17 Feb

I learned to read and write along with my classmates at the feet of the inimitable Mrs. Roberts. Once those lessons set in, I read everything I saw, often out loud. Seriously, once my mom or dad had to ask me to stop reading the street signs and billboards while we drove someplace. Many of my favorite childhood memories are tied to books I read or that were read to me.

Once I could write, I didn’t want to stop. When my father took me to his office on a Saturday morning, I would hole up in the supply closet with the new pencils, the pencil sharpener, and a fresh pad of paper. At 7 or 8 years old, I thought I’d landed in heaven as I scribbled stories on a pad in a quiet space, with my daddy just around the corner. I wrote such classics as “The Butterfly Home,” “The Talking Flower,” and “The Straight Line.” Through elementary and high school, I experimented with poetry, journaling, and theatrical writing, and thought about becoming a journalist. In middle school, I discovered the joy of staying up until all hours watching old movies on WOR, nibbling sandwiches, and immersing myself in classic Hollywood and beyond. Then I discovered a love of art, and later of foreign and independent films. I learned in high school and college that I could write about these things I loved.

I tried to do just that under the umbrella of academic writing, as a film scholar.  While I’ve had some limited success, I realized that I’ll never be an academic star, and I didn’t really want to be. So I stopped out of academics and worked in marketing for some time.

Then it happened: I dreamt one night that a little girl named Abigail had just one more thing to say to her mother before bedtime. She was sitting in a cardboard box that she imagined was a rocket ship. It was clear as day. It was the kind of dream my screenwriting teacher Julia Cameron would have had me pursue.

I told my husband. He liked Abigail immediately and wanted to get to know her. Eventually, we decided that I would leave my job and focus on writing children’s books. I wrote, submitted, got rejection letters, and started over. I found a supportive group of writers. I immersed myself in the genre.

Then, life changed my path again when our daughter was born with a congenital heart defect and I became mommy and medical manager. Oh, I continued to write, but I wrote about Sprout, her struggles and triumphs. I became a…..mommy blogger. I hate the term, but there it is.   I still blog as Sprout’s mom though her medical needs are few.

I have finally returned to finessing my children’s manuscripts, which I sincerely hope to publish someday.

In the meantime, I also write about my observations about culture–mostly media in all its forms–colored by parenthood, informed by academic training, and tainted by my tastes and sarcasm.

Once upon a time, I published an article on my favorite soap operas–I basically got to justify my addiction by crafting an academic critique. Here I hope to do the same, leaving behind the academese, of course, and creating critically engaged thinking about the stuff I just love to watch and read.

p.s. Abigail is still looking for a (publishing) home. She’s been joined by Mollie, Esther and Miles, and a slew of poems with wacky childish rhymes.

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