I have always been a dreamer, a real life Walter Mitty of Thurber fame. So much so that my early recollections of childhood all begin with the same parental admonition, "goddamn it son, stop daydreaming and pay attention!" I believe that I was five when I first remember hearing those words, or words close to those. What my parents missed was that I WAS paying attention, so much so, that my brain was recording everything. And, to my great surprise, I had been blessed with the keen ability to recall vast amounts of it. Add that to a propensity to fantasize and you have the makings of a storyteller.
Throughout my life I have called upon that "talent" to get me into and out of trouble. I was always capable of telling a whopper or two while growing up. Sometimes for gain, sometimes for fame, always for the shear fun I had at never knowing where I was going until I got there. Eventually I began writing things down, short stories or cartoons to entertain myself, but never to share with anyone else. Heaven forbid someone read what I wrote, they would surely think me lame. The original George McFly!
Then one day, I stepped off of my self imposed ledge and shared with a co-worker a short story I'd written . A girl, of course, someone I had developed a crush on at the tender age of forty-four. And wouldn't your know it, she liked it, was actually impressed. Now what was I going to do? So, I shared some more and the next thing you know she is encouraging me to write more, to get published, how could she help, who should we call, how do we go about getting an agent?
WAIT, let me think a second! What had I done, all I wanted to do was get her attention, get her to smile at me. Now the cat was out of the bag, and more people were reading my stuff, asking for more "reading material." It got out of hand, but, it also opened my mind to the possibility that maybe I could do this writing thing. Maybe I could?
Next post...the journey begins...