Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A gift to children: memoir 2

one of our MANY jugs of pencils
My brother and I could see whales from our bedroom window, or at least we imagined we could. We lived with our little sister and parents two blocks from the ocean in Manhattan Beach, California. In the 1950s, empty sand lots surrounded our bungalow.

     With windows open to the sound of waves, our home was pleasantly cluttered with books, magazines, and newspapers, pencils and notepads. Shelves of encyclopedias and novels framed our fireplace. Ski posters from Sun Valley and Switzerland were haphazardly nailed into walls, giving the ambiance of a vacation home. Sand from our treks to the beach dusted the floors in between sporadic sweepings. Mom and Dad read to us, took us to the library, and when I said I wanted to write a story all by myself, they listened with adoring interest.
     "That is wonderful, honey. Keep going," they'd say. Undoubtedly my strung-together sentences about cats or sailing ships were out-there, but they made me believe I was capable. Capable of creating a story that someone would want to hear, even if only by my family. 
A gift to children is parents who appreciate the written word, and mine certainly did. I'm grateful to them. I hope you've enjoyed this excerpt from BLUE SKIES: ONE AUTHOR'S JOURNEY, coming this Fall. (p.s. Today is my brother's birthday. He's a terrific 4th-grade teacher so Happy Birthday, Mr. Gregory ... I hope you have extra fun with your students today!)

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