Wednesday, May 25, 2011

narratus - perfect passive participle of narro ("narrate, recount")

Storytelling is in my blood. My clever and beautiful mother used to tell me intriguing adventures before bedtime.  Her blue eyes would sparkle as she would make up amazing stories on the fly with my stuffed teddy bear, Smokey (Only YOU can prevent forest fires!) narrating.  She would make his stubby little arms gesture this way and that as the adventurers followed the map and wound their way to an exciting conclusion - or I fell asleep, whichever came first. 

On the weekends, my dashing fireman father would snuggle me close and read to me in his wonderful, deep voice.  To this day, whenever I pick up a children's storybook, I am taken back to sitting on his lap, staring up into his sky-blue eyes as he reads, the scent of his aftershave close on the air... 

Like them, I have blue eyes and a love affair with books and storytelling. Even when I was very small, I told stories too, using stuffed toys and dolls to anyone who would listen: friends, parents, my six siblings and it was even better when they'd tell the stories right along with me!  Back then, it didn't matter if they made a lot of sense; just taking the journey was exciting and full of laughter.   

When I learned to read and to write, I would tell to anyone who would listen in any form – poems, pictures, music. I've been sketching since I was very young, never knowing if the artist or the author in me would win out. I love to sing, but I have no training. I pretend to play the piano and the ukulele (that my marvelous husband made for me) and sometimes the guitar but it always turns into a silly song that winds up being a story.

I believe I was born to write.  I have believed it all through high school, through marrying my husband and having three terrific children.  I think I'll be sure of it until the day I go home.  I've told my children stories in the same way my mother told me and they've become avid readers and tellers of tales.  This God-given art, this love for stories is in my daughter who writes her own remarkable books.  Writing is artwork. It involves the same sweat, the same blood, and - I think - many more tears.  With words I have created some characters over whom I've wept and for whom I've ached. Some I hope that soon, you too, will know and love as I do. 

While I've written many words in the past 40 years, like Thoreau, they've all been 'without legs' so far. With the advent of e-readers and new publishing technology, I believe that is all about to change.  What an amazing time to be a writer!

I kept Smokey all these years.  From time to time he still tells me secret stories.  He only gestures adequately now, his sight is dim, but when he gets out his map and leads me on an adventure, his imagination is no less lustrous. I hope you enjoy this adventure we take together, whether you are brought to deep thought or only laughter.  Thanks for stopping by.