Hmm, a little bit about me…
Let’s see. What shall I say about Amber? (Oops! There I go again, doing that thing that I said I wouldn’t do. Third person.)
Ok, start over.
Let’s see. What shall I say about myself?
I love to read. I have what is arguably too many pets. I am an animal lover (as evidenced by my “too many” pets). I love movies. I am a bit of a foodie. Tech is something that I have a love/hate relationship with: I love my gadgets, but there are times when my brain can’t quite grasp what it is that I am trying to do, and Twitter is a foreign beast to me that I am attempting to make friends with. Goodreads helps me keep track of what I’m reading, what I’ve read, and what I want to read. Instagram is fun, Pinterest is addicting, and Polyvore allows me to put together bugout bags, and zombie survival gear galore! I wonder what their search analytics think when someone types in “crossbow”?
Science Fiction and Fantasy were my genres of choice growing up, plus all the “classic” literature and poetry that a child who loves to read is expected to read. I ate up the writings of Lucy Maud Montgomery, Louisa May Alcott, and Emily Dickinson. The kids who were in book series’ such as “The Babysitters Club,” “The Boxcar Children,” and “The Saddle Club” held ranks with Anne of Green Gables, Mary Lennox, and Rose Campbell. Titles like “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret” and “Beezus and Ramona” graced my bookshelves alongside “Black Beauty,” “A Wrinkle in Time,” and “The Phantom Tollbooth.”
“The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle” caused me to want to go to sea, a dream that fit well with volunteering aboard the Balclutha at the San Francisco Maritime Museum at Hyde Street Pier beginning at age thirteen. There, I made lasting friendships, learned to tar the rigging, earned the nickname of “Bubbles,” and first went aloft in a bosuns chair. Volunteering at “The Pier” led to an opportunity to sail aboard the Californian, a replica of the 1847 Revenue Cutter C.W. Lawrence one summer. During those nine days, I learned how to stand watch, do an engine check, and use a sextant.
“My Side of the Mountain” created the first stirrings within my soul to want to live off the earth, detached from the hubbub of daily city life, while “The Hobbit” inspired me to go off on an adventure of greatest import; a burglar of dragons and jewels decidedly a worthy profession!
“The Ordinary Princess” showed me how everyone is extraordinary. “Where the Wild Things Are” let me know that, no matter what, it’s always good to come home. “Good Night Moon” reminded me of the warm embrace of a parent, and “Winnie the Pooh” illustrated the adventures possible in our imagination.
My dad’s copy of Piers Anthony’s “Heaven Cent” was the first “big book” I read. At the age of eight, with that childish hubris of “I can do anything,” I didn’t let the words I didn’t know stop me. The books sucked me in with their punny themes of “road hog” and “milk thistle.” At the tender age of ten, I embarked on reading “War and Peace.” That massive tome however did stop me. I still have it, that copy of one of Tolstoy’s greatest masterpieces, unfinished. While I know I could easily read it now, thankfully my vocabulary has grown, there is a sort of friendly rivalry between us. A stalemate if you will. I know the day will come when I take it down from it’s shelf and we will reconvene our battle of words, but, for now, I think we are both content with our distant friendship we have, quietly observing each other in our daily lives.
When I was twelve I attended a Montessori school where the English class I was in took a unique approach to reading. Instead of a standard reading list, we each got to chose a book for our group to read, every one in a different genre. The first book was nominated by our teacher, and so we read “Dragonsong” by Anne McCaffrey. I devoured it, reading it in one sitting. The next day after school I went to my home away from home, the bookstore, where I eagerly picked up the other two books in the Harper Hall Trilogy, “Dragonsinger” and “Dragondrums.” This would be the start of a life long love affair with Anne McCaffrey’s writings and all the worlds she created. It lead me to the frozen planet of Petaybee in “The Powers that Be,” and the life at that planets core. Before there was Pitch Perfect with the Barden Bellas singing their hearts out, Ms. McCaffrey introduced me the Crystal Singers. Miners and cutters of crystal on the restricted planet of Ballybran, where perfect pitch led to a form of immortality and the possibility of riches, at a price. And her book “The Rowan” allowed me to imagine what life could be like in a world full of psychics.
When it came time that year for our class to write a short story, it was Anne McCaffrey’s books that gave me the feeling that I could do it. An assignment that was only supposed to be three to four handwritten pages long ended up being thirty-seven. No, it wasn’t a masterpiece. While I hadn’t written much since grade school, where we did the obligatory “journal of a young person, from their perspective, during their historical time period” in history class, I had still known that I wanted to be a writer. That story, written in seventh grade, reminded me how much I wanted to write. It is still in my box of “rework and rewrite,” the characters a part of me, not wanting to be silenced.
Writing is something that I have always wanted to do. No, seriously. I know that people often say that, even if it isn’t necessarily true. With me though, it actually is. Well, I guess that I need to clarify. Strictly speaking, I didn’t always want to write. What I wanted to do was tell stories.
When I was little, before writing was a main means of communication, I loved to make up stories. I would draw pictures that told those tales; horses that talked, girls that studied dinosaurs, animals that had tea parties. These were all the things that I wanted to do, and so I made them come to life on the pages before me with the tools at my disposal: paper and crayon. Now, I try to bring life to my fables through the written word. Penned illustrations of adventures, mysteries, cataclysms, and romances. All in all, I think it safe to say that I, as do many others, have a close tie with books. Through them I have been to places I could never otherwise go, and thanks to them I have had real life experiences that I treasure.
Although it has been many years since I last wrote something more than a shopping list or, at best, jotted down story ideas, I am embarking once more on this literary journey. An adventure of words, ideas, memories and poems. After all that so many authors and their words did for me, I now hope to provide some form of inspiration to minds, young and old, through the tales that I have to offer. So, welcome to my page…a glimpse into my mind and my worlds. I hope we become fast friends.
Let the journey begin!
For anyone who is interested…
Here is my Goodreads Childhood Favorites list of all the books mentioned in this post (and more!).
And here is my Goodreads Sci-Fi Favorites, including the small sampling mentioned here.
I would love to connect and see what you are reading. After all, you can never have too many books on your “To Read” list!
Fair winds and following seas my literary travelers!