I have loved writing since I was a child. I still have my very first diary. It reads like a list of chores and activities with drips of emotion oozing out between the lines. I remember how much I looked forward to writing at the end of every day. It was my secret place to share my thoughts about whose hand I held at skating or to complain about the (almost cool) new outfit my mother convinced me to buy for school. I had told her about the jeans called Landlubber. They had a crab on the back pocket and I just had to have a pair. We had to drive three and half hours to the big city to buy any special school clothes that weren't in the Sears catalogue. Landlubbers were definitely not in the Sears catalogue. Trips to the city were a big deal. I loved every minute from the time we left our house early in the morning to our return late at night. I'm guessing we didn't stay over to save money, but we always got to have dinner in a restaurant and pick up donuts to take home with us. The malls themselves were pure entertainment for me. The sights, the sounds, the smells - a smorgasbord for the senses. So many people and I didn't know any of them!! Being from a town of 2000 people you mostly knew, this was a big deal. "These ones are half the price," my mother said, holding some jeans up and pointing at the back pocket. "We can buy two pairs!" she exclaimed, trying to convince me that I was really getting a great deal. She was really, really good at that by the time I came long - the last of four children. "Spider, crab, what's the difference. No one will notice," she assured me. All was forgotten once we were in the car, bellies stuffed from the buffet, bodyminds slipping in and out of slumber, the sweet smell of city-baked goods wafting through the car all the way home. I would be too tired to write in my diary that night, but I would have an extra long entry the next.
I stopped writing sometime in my teens, except for poetry in times of emotional upheaval. A good dark and stormy poem was my go-to form of expression when my world was rocked upside down. It still is. As a teen-adult teetering on 20, I was introduced to "journaling" and quickly realized that I could still have a diary!! "Oh no," the workshop leader admonished, "it's not a diary, it's a journal." Secretly, it was my diary and I began to write again. I was more of a binge writer in those days. Someone would give me a journal as a gift, I'd write an opening entry, "Today was a difficult day. This seems to be a time in my life where I am being challenged from every side. I will use this journal to sort and sift through the chaos of my life." I would begin, something like that...every time. Several days or weeks later, the writing stopped. A year or more later, the cover of a journal in a shop would grab my attention and I'd have to buy it! I have an entire bin full of half-written diary-journals. Some of them have various years in them due to not wanting to waste paper when I was inspired to write, so "I'm going to have a baby!" shares the same journal as "I think I might be starting menopause." And, of course, all my journals have a healthy heaping of new year's resolutions. I have loose leaf paper writings, poems written on napkins(sounds cliche, but I do that), school notebooks with notes for an exam, procrastination doodles and the first chapters of several books. Small pocket worthy notebooks crammed with ideas, short poems and funny things that my children said, are stuffed into the corners of the bin. The bin itself might be considered a metaphor for my life. Hmmm, must write that idea down somewhere. If I am a real writer can I write it on a napkin? My mother's words of wisdom reassure me, "Napkin, paper, what's the difference. No one will notice." Suddenly I'm smelling her homemade donuts and fresh baked bread and know that all is well. I am a writer.