Monday, June 29, 2009
I think I must have been born with the desire to be a writer. One of my earliest memories is of watching my father read and wishing with a longing so real it knotted my stomach that I could read because I knew I had to learn to read before I could write. Because of that desire, I learned to read before I went to school and as soon as I had a few “Dick and Jane” words at my written command, I began writing, illustrating, collating, and stapling together my own books and going door to door selling them. Most people said, “No, thank you.” But there were two older ladies on the street who would buy my books.
Aunt Nora, as we called her, would reach in her apron pocket and bring out a nickel for my book. Mrs. Torrey, up the street a ways, would tell me that she would love so much to buy my book but she just didn’t have any money. But she was so sincere and complimentary that I would give her the book which she always read and raved about.
I only wish these two beautiful women were still alive so I could tell them how very, very much their kind gesture has meant to me. Writing is hard. Selling what you write is even harder. Before I sold my first short story, I think I had enough rejection slips to completely cover every wall in my den. That amount of rejection is daunting to say the least. But as each rejection letter arrived, I’d remember Mrs. Torrey and Aunt Nora’s faces and their kind words and their enthusiasm over my “great talent” and I’d keep on trying.
I’m sure they didn’t even think about what they had done after I left. But to me their kindness partially shaped my life. It’s made me think a lot about the little things we do and how they can touch someone else without us even knowing.
I just hope I can be an Aunt Nora or a Mrs. Torrey in someone else’s life.