"This is MY dream and I will decide where it goes from here." - Alice, "Alice in Wonderland"
I have never been satisfied with the ordinariness of life. When I hike in the forest, I am always on alert for that rabbit hole. I look for the fairies floating upwards toward the sky on the misty clouds at the foot of the waterfalls. I hope that if I round that corner on the trail quick enough, I will catch the wood elf before it has time to disappear just outside of my subconscious again. I believe there is magic in the woods, magic in the trees and anything is possible. So why do I limit myself so much in my real, ordinary out of the forest life at times? Force of habit, I think. Starting in kindergarten, they try to make us color in the lines, stop eating paste and glue the pictures on the paper where THEY want them, not where we want them. I had to make an "All About Me" book for my kinder class and not much of it was true. I made up family members - added a sister because I had only brothers. I made up pets - not normal pets like the rest of the class, I had a catepillar named "Inci". I said that my favorite thing to do was to swing from the bar in my closet while dressed in my squirrel outfit. I didn't have a squirrel outfit and my father would have "blistered my bottom" for swinging on that bar though it was always so tempting. My mother was embarrassed by my stories. My father always found them amusing. Although I don't think anyone liked my show and tell story when I claimed that my mom had given me my Barbie because she was having an affair with the man up the street and was pregnant with his baby. My mother was mortified when the teacher asked her "when is the baby due?" as she picked me up that afternoon. I'm not sure my teacher believed her when she told her that none of it was true. Why would a 5 year old make up a story that dramatic? Well, I had to follow James O'Connor and, though I can't remember what he brought with him, I remember everyone thinking it was the coolest toy ever. I was under pressure to up the ante on my Barbie. Why my 5 year old mind thought that telling the kids that my mom was having sex with the man up the street would somehow make my Barbie cooler is beyond me. I do know that Grandma was told never to watch her soap operas when she babysat me after that. (Grandma still did. It just became our little secret.) After kindergarten, I started slowly losing my fearlessness when it came to being creative. I think the last creative story I told was in the second grade when I tried to convince my friend Karmyn that there was a ghost carnival you could get to through my closet with all kinds of fun rides and unlimited cotton candy but only I could go there. After that, I stuck to paper and shared my stories with very few...which leads me to "Alice in Wonderland."
I want to be like Alice. Too many times in my life, I have let other people tell me which path to take, where to go, who I am, who I am not and haven't stood up to shout, "This is MY dream and I will decide where it goes from here!" I have allowed my path to be turned, my quest to be predetermined. Though I am now at a point in my life where I know who I am and where I am going, I still struggle with this in my writing. Too many times I try to rewrite while I'm still in the first draft. I second guess myself constantly. That little voice inside me starts to creep in - you know the one, it tells you that your idea isn't good enough, your writing isn't good enough, no one would be interested in your story. I want to become Alice in that moment and tell myself that this is MY dream and I will decide where it goes from here. I can be fearless and mad as a hatter. I can be the queen's champion and slay that jabborwocky. My story can go whichever way I want it to once I fall down that hole. And with that...I am off to write!
I am an Humane Education teacher & writer living in Burbank, California. I left television production almost a decade ago to pursue my passion - animals. Along the way, I snagged myself a super handsome, extremely patient and very supportive husband. We rescued three cats - Ol' One Eye Pip, Eowyn the Snow Leopard and Wednesday the Butt. We also ended up with an American Staffordshire Terrier pup, Lily. I co-founded my own non-profit (Paws and Learn Humane Education Center) and spend three days a week in the schools educating kids about kindess to animals, dog bite prevention, city wildlife, pet overpopulation and responsible pet ownership. I love my job, but I also love to write. I spend my spare time writing and daydreaming. I love the outdoors and enjoy hikes with my hubby, friends and our dogs! Life is what we make of it and I am making the most of mine.