Before launching into the main subject of today’s blog, I wanted to fill my knitting readers in on where I am at with my hand knit wrap / throw (official title still undetermined, but I’ve listed it on Ravelry in my projects as “firefly wrap“). I finished knitting the main body of the piece a couple of weeks back and since have been working on the border. Initially I was going to knit the border in white, but I didn’t like the contrast so I started it over again (after knitting one entire side) in that “Biscuit” color I used to sell. I like this color combination much better, and I’m glad I started over because I realized I want to miter the corners as I go, rather than knitting four separate border pieces.
I will be finished with it before Christmas, even with the holiday activities that will engulf much of our time over the new few weeks.
Now, for what I most wanted to write about today …
When I was in my twenties, a young mother of two taking care of our home and the children, I was terribly impatient to write stories.
My imagination is one that runs wild, and has from early childhood. Many things I imagined as a child are as real and tangible in memory as the “real” world shared with others.
One of my vivid imaginings was that of my own personal Leprechaun living in a hole in our backyard. When I peered in that little hole (about the size of a post hole) I could see warm golden light shining in from a “side” window down in the ground. The light allowed me to see his shadow as he stood just out of my direct sight, over to the side at the entrance of a little tunnel I imagined there.
For me, he was there as a fact, as real as anything else in the environment. When I recall him and the warm glow of light in the little hole, the mental image is still quite clear — perhaps even more so than the scenes and objects of real life from that time.
Over the years characters sprang into being, story ideas evolved and brewed but none of them were released into the world as life kept me busy doing other things. Thus, the characters have gathered up into quite a multitude. My mind, the land of my imagination, has become quite crowded and busy because I was not writing and letting any of that creative energy out.
A couple of years back a voice started saying to me, “It’s time you start writing your stories.” I heard the voice, but various aspects of life seemed to halt my cooperation. The voice, however, continued and has been quite persistent.
About a year and a half ago, my husband gave me a Kindle for my birthday. Oh, how I fell in love with that device. I named her Clementine. Honestly, for me my Kindle was the most wonderful electronic device ever invented, ever possessed. Mine is not a fancy Kindle, just a Kindle with a keyboard — no Fire involved.
I could read, any time I wanted to, wherever I was. With three dictionaries loaded on it, I could look up pretty much any word I wanted to from any book I was reading easily and quickly.
I could carry hundreds of books around with me, available to access instantly no matter where in the world I was, what time of day or night. If I woke in the night, unable to get back to sleep … Clementine was close to hand and I could read until I fell asleep again.
As I traveled several times between New York and Colorado over the past year, usually consumed in grief about my father, Clementine was there to distract me and help me get through those long flights.
Beyond that, Kindle opened up for me a world of possibilities regarding writing and publishing because so many writers are bringing their books directly to the public via Kindle and other eBook publishing outlets. The world of Kindle also made it possible for me to honor my father by publishing, on Kindle, I The Wind, his book of poetry and his inspirational short story, Timini’s Secret Adventure.
Kindle self-publishing opens the door for me to not only begin writing my many stories in earnest but also to continue publishing works of my father’s even now that he has passed and thus make sure people get to benefit from the writings he left behind, even though he has moved on. I can do that, I can do it myself regardless of publishers and editors and literary agents. I can bring the things I write and publish directly to you without having to get approval from someone, somewhere else.
I can do these things, and I can bring them to you the readers who have found me via my blog … I can at least do that much. And, since I have a few thousand readers, it will be something even if that is as far as it goes.
Encouraged because of Kindle, a few months back I started writing one of my more recent story ideas. I didn’t get very far because that idea, though it will be plenty of fun whenever I do get around to writing it, had not “cooked” enough in my imagination to materialize correctly in written form just yet.
Then the sadness of the summer events took hold of me, and I did not have the heart to write for quite some time.
Three weeks ago, I sat down and typed up some thoughts on why I want to write, and why I want to write fiction in particular. I did this because I realized what was stopping me from getting on with the business of writing fiction was that my mind was too clogged with too many ideas of stories I could write, too many characters running around in that vast universe of “me” from all different time periods and realities, doing different things and carrying on in competition with each other. I was having a great deal of trouble picking just one and carrying forward with it.
So I sat down and wrote down my thoughts about why I desire to write. Why do I want to publish, too.
The bottom line is this: I would like to help create a better world. I would like to remind you and others, and even myself at times, that this place where we are is not exactly what we think it is, there is much about this place that is merely an apparency because we all think it is so real.
There is the life that is created around us, a world we see and experience with each other. Some of it is good, some of it is bad, and lots of things are going on.
But there is another world that can surround us, both inside and out. There is the world each of us is capable of creating and seeing on our own and sharing with those closest to us. That world is full of magic, and joy, and peace, and adventure, and winning, and toiling, and accomplishment. We are all capable of creating the life we want to life and see, rather than being stuck with the life that seems to grow up around us.
I want to remind people of that simple fact. I believe that is a worthwhile purpose.
I am many things. I am a mother, a wife, a cook and a baker. I am a fine artist and can create beautiful paintings in oil and watercolor that make people take pause. I am a knitter, and a designer, and a publisher of knitting patterns. I am a business woman, a somewhat sometimes web designer. I sing, I dance (not very well, but it makes me happy). I am a minister in my own way. I am a friend, a grandmother, a sister, a daughter, a cousin. I am a photographer, and a press release writer. I have even become a little bit of a farmer of sorts capable of growing pumpkins, cabbages, kale, and old-fashioned flowers.
I am, however, more than anything else, a writer of words and a storyteller. That is what is at my core, in my heart and soul. My desire of desires is that I through my written stories I might the world by helping individual people remember their ability to be and create magic in their own lives.
As soon as I wrote those thoughts down, I started writing the example of one character from a book I have in mind to write. As I wrote some of my thoughts regarding that character and how she relates to my objectives as a writer … I … just … started … writing … my … first … novel.
And, I have not stopped since.
I’ve now written more than 25,000 words and have quite a story evolving under my fingertips. I get up at 5:00 each morning and have two to three hours to write before other things start happening around the house that would have distracted me before. Also, my husband has made it possible for me to ease my focus on business so that more of my mind is available for writing this, my first novel.
Writing is also the best therapy for the grief of losing my father. When I am writing, I don’t feel as if I lost him at all, I feel instead that he is with me more than ever when I am writing.
My time has come.
If you, my blog readers, would like to know about the progress of my novel and something about the story as I am working my way through it … I will be happy to share along the way. Of course, I don’t want to give too much of the story away because hopefully some of you will want to read the book and not have the story spoiled ahead of time.
Know this, you have all encouraged me and helped me make my way through the many steps and crossings of the path that has led me here, and I could not be more grateful.
Stay tuned …
Happiness and warmth to you and yours in the coming holidays,
Sadly, my Kindle … sweet little Clementine, suffered a serious injury recently and I can read on her no more. With a tight budget this holiday season, I know that not even Santa will be bringing Clementine back to me any time soon. Sigh.