I look at the pile of “would haves” and “should haves” that was my younger life and realize that I turned to writing as a way to ease the pain and the wrong turns I took. In a sense, my writing has been my therapy. It’s a much better therapy than talking to people who earn a living from that task. I find myself making stuff up when I didn’t want to talk about the things they wanted to ask me about. Which is why I can put the MSU after my name.
As long ago as I can remember, I wanted to be a mother. Anywhere from 3 to 12 children would have been okay with me. Never mind that it took a lot of years for me to realize just how those children would be produced. And also that it is a fact that one needs to prepare for the life one wants years in advance or accept the consequences. I could not produce a baby on my own and luckily had the joy and pain of raising my stepchildren instead. I have a 50-50 success/failure rate there.
In writing fiction, I can have orphans, large families, small families, single parents, same-sex parents, whatever is my joy and need at the time. I can name the parents and kids and give them hair color and eye color and skin color that makes their world work. I love this part of the creative process.
In high school, my goal was to be a teacher. Then a guidance counselor told me that Zero Population Growth was the way of the future and teachers would not be needed. I wish I could go back in time to visit Mr. F and smack him a few times. However, to be honest, if I had really wanted to be a teacher, nothing would have stopped me. So lucky for him, I can let that grievance go.
And lucky for me, I can be a teacher in my stories. I can be the kind of teacher who is cool but also in touch with the problems of her class. Who has enough money and time to provide all the things needed in the class and also has a fulfilling personal life? Total fiction and she would have to be an alien or something.
I wanted to be a veterinarian. Yup, I wrote a story about a vet who married a witch and when he started drinking to excess, she turned him into a dog. He can only return to human form when he sobers up. That’s a very cruel thing to do to a small terrier. This was a side story in a Bowman’s Inn adventure. I hope someday to go back and finish that up. I have no idea how it works out, but as it’s a romance, there has to be a happily ever after somewhere.
Of course, I can’t go through this whole blog without mentioning my sweet pup who left me way too soon. Therapy is desperately needed in this area, the grief is overwhelming when I am tired or I am reminded of her. Writing that grief into a story should about drain the worst of it away. And if I can locate another pup similar to her, that will help more than anything else. Maybe I should write a short story about that.
Writers can be very messed up folks if we don’t have an outlet for some of our missed opportunities. Thank you for sticking with me as I channel mine. And thanks for reading. I’ll be back on Sunday.