Continuing the theme of what influenced our writing from childhood, I’d like to make a confession: I am, and always have been, a 100% certified head-in-the-clouds Dreamer. Just ask my Dad. But how did I get this way? Are some people born with the propensity to believe idealistic notions? Or did we find our rose-colored glasses somewhere on that proverbial yellow brick road of life? I would propose the stories we subscribe to as a child, greatly influence who we become and what we write.
Like many of you, my childhood was less than ideal. So, stories that swept me away to a different time and place became somewhat of an obsession. First, it was the Disney Fairytales.
|My Royal Hottie|
I didn't think that was too much to ask from life.
It’s no surprise that from the time I could dress myself, I was running around in princess dresses and tiaras. Some may have seen this and thought, “What a cute little thing,” but in my mind, I was fighting dragons.
When I was a little older, my attention turned to stories of escapism: THE WIZARD OF OZ, WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, and THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE. I devoured the films, and locked myself in my room to comb through the books searching for clues to how I might find these enchanted lands.
But all those hours of research, of wishing and praying to fly over the rainbow, left me feeling defeated and alone. Every one of those characters ended up right back where they started, anyway. My rose-colored glasses began to grow dim.
That’s when I began to create my own stories…for my Barbie dolls. They were epic tales that would take days, and multiple set and wardrobe changes, to act out. The Barbie townhouse became everything from a witch’s lair to a secret spy headquarters. My room, draped with colorful fabrics and Barbie shoes, transformed into whatever world I could dream up.
I kept reading, of course. Filling my ravenous hunger for stories with S.E. Hinton, Judy Blume, and any novel I could smuggle off my mom’s bookshelf. Eventually the princess dresses and Barbie dolls were packed away, but I never stopped believing in my heart that who I could become was only limited by my imagination.
So, did I find a utopian land or grow up to be a warrior princess?
No, my darlings, but I do write about them. J