I have always wanted to be a writer. Probably because I was number eight out of ten kids, plus a half brother, plus a step-brother, and a half sister and a step-sister. (Yes, we were Catholic.)
Anyway with that mob, it was hard to get a word in edgewise, though Lord knows I tried. There is an old family picture somewhere with all of us in the yard. As I was one of the youngest at the time, I was right in front--with one of my brothers with his hand over my mouth.
Of course, being quiet, forcibly or not, didn't keep me from thinking. I was one of the milkman's children. No, my dad wasn't a milkman, I wasn't adopted, and my mother didn't have an affair. But my mother and father both had brown hair, and I and three of my siblings had red hair. As did the man who delivered our milk. So when people asked us where we got the hair, the family joke was that we were the milkman's kids. I remember trying to puzzle that one out and failing.
It turns out my mother's Irish grandfather had red hair and we redheads were just one of those rare genetic rolls of the dice that you see in large families. God knows how old I was before I figured it out. Children with a parent with an odd sense of humor can get confused sometimes, and I think I spent my entire early childhood permanently in that state. God knows I never told anyone what I thought.
So writing became, early on, a way for me to express myself. Poems, stories, made up explanations for words I didn't know. I still have some of it. Hopefully, it will never see the light of day. But my mystery Safe Beginnings, hopefully, reflects some of what I learned writing all those years. And maybe just a little of my family's sense of humor.
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