October 6, 2009
I was born and raised in Walnut Creek California. That is where I first discovered my love for the written word. Though it was maudlin and quite lovesick poetry at the time, it was still creative. Writing came naturally though I never thought of it as a talent, just a means to an end. My homework in college was well written and extremely creative…especially if I didn’t know the answer. I would simply continue to write and hope I hit on some small bit of important data.
After meeting the man of my dreams at work (work being code for ‘bar’) where I diligently and quite well I might add, sold fine beverages as a means to pay for my college tuition and the occasional meal, I found myself married and within five years the lucky owner of three beautiful children. Through those years the only writing tool held in my hand was a jam covered crayon, unless you count eyeliner, I have had to use that medium many times in lieu of the all illusive pencil.
Now living on the coast of California just south of San Francisco, we added one more little Maness to our brood and I cut my hair. No point in having long hair when there is absolutely no time to style it. The pretty nails went by the wayside too, along with the lingerie that kept getting me in trouble, bring on the flannel nighties.
Writing seemed to be a thing of the past, though my mind was still spinning tales, for each night I would make up bedtime stories for my children with them as the lead bunny, or head honcho hippo, etc. There was always a moral and lots of action. For my birthday and Mother’s Day I would ask my children to write a story. Any story. I got some real doozies, I tell you. My oldest, if I had paid any attention at all I would have known he was born a Marine, would always write stories of mercenaries and battles. My youngest always wrote of hero puppies. Second life? Or vet? I haven’t figured that one out yet.
Move to the country with the passel of kids, add 2 nephews, 1 niece, horses, pigs, cows, goats, bunnies, chickens, and whadaya know? I begin to write again. I can’t recall sleeping, but hey, sleep is over rated.
After writing down some funny stories for my children to read to their children some day, my husband asked what I was up to. He read a few pages and couldn’t stop laughing. “You did this? How did you remember all that? You really should publish this!” This from a man that barely says that much in a whole day, I talk enough for both of us and then some. I knew I was on to something. A few more years pass and a few kids move on and move out and I now have time to pursue this dream. Not only does it allow my creative juices to flow but when I create a character I put a smidge of each and every child I have had into the characters, so I have my children with me always. If one is in a foreign land fighting the battle on terrorism, or one is out fighting fires, one is headed off to college, and one is itching to move on, I can open my work in progress and see them come alive right there, in the room with me.
With motherhood being the best job I ever could have applied for (and conveniently not been denied because of lack of experience), writing takes a comfy second place. Without the incredible differences in my children’s personalities and their own perspectives on life I don’t believe I would be able to grasp so many different characters and their personalities. But I also need to mention my friend Maggie here, not to be confused with Mattie, but one can draw that parallel line. Unbeknownst to her she has been great fodder for further character formation.
I hope this lends you some insight into the fun and exciting journey to my odd and humorous outlook on life