First, a quote from ME! about my relationship with writing and my muse:
I think I would describe my relationship with writing as inviting an old beloved lover back into my life at this point. We are going through some growing pains lately after being separated for at least a decade. I would like to work towards marriage with this lover because she has already helped me to become a better person and, despite both our flaws, she is worth fighting for! I think the only thing holding me back from marriage to her is the fear of the really rough times…what if we separate again? What if she leaves me…or I, her? I think we need some serious tips on conflict resolution and communication if this will become a lifetime commitment….
For my next trick…another interview question..yay!!!
“Who was your first mentor in writing or the first writers you admired and wanted to imitate—in one way or another?”
After giving this question some much-needed thought…I think my love affair for the written word and writers started in fourth grade….thanks to my teacher, Mrs. Connie Bjerke. She introduced the class to the wonders of Roald Dahl (especially the BFG, The Witches, Matilda, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.) I also fell in love with “Magical Melons” and “Half Magic”….”Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret” by Judy Blume (of course also all her books starring Fudge), the Boxcar Children……I tell you, this teacher would read to us every day and instantly we would be transported into a foreign land…one that might eat you for lunch…where you have the ability to befriend a giant…commiserate with Ramona about younger brother antics and older sister “dumbness”….run away with a group of children and share their adventures…the possibilities were endless!
Here, within a small fourth-grade classroom, I met my muse for the first time…she was with me during all those adventures….my mind started to allow for my imagination to start growing.
I must also thank a movie for introducing me to my muse: The Neverending Story (1984) believe it or not! I first watched the movie on VHS when I was young enough to thoroughly believe the wolf (the harbinger of the Nothing) was searching for me and when he caught me I would disappear as well…(he still scares me…). But I was honestly there, alongside Bastian in my imagination as he called for the warrior, Atreyou……when he called out the Princess’ new name into the storm as the Nothing swallowed up all.
Empress: It was the only way to get in touch with an earthling.
Atreyu: But I didn’t get in touch with an earthling!
Empress: Yes, you did. He has suffered with you. He went through everything you went through; and now, he has come here with you. He is very close…listening to every word, we say…
I believe it was the bookstore owner who said it best…”You’re books are safe. While you’re reading them, you get to become Tarzan or Robinson Crusoe….Have you ever been Captain Nemo, trapped inside your submarine while the giant squid was attacking you? Weren’t you afraid you couldn’t escape?”