From as early as I can remember, I was sitting on my dad’s lap listening to his version of the “Big Bad Wolf” and being drawn into every suspenseful line. He never read from an actual book which made every rendition new and exciting. The common thread each time was the way he delivered the cliffhanger: “and suddenly…” Then cue the dramatic ending! I was hooked.
As a young child, I was shy, creative, and oddly analytical. I would often find a quiet corner of the classroom and read a book, or spend introspective hours at home imagining fantastical narratives. Though my book collection wasn’t enormous as a child, I always looked forward to story time, and trips to the library. Reading was a big part of my childhood, and in retrospect, the gateway to my passion for writing.
I remember being a pre-teen and writing my own version of the “Babysitters Club”. That would surely give me dibs in the neighbourhood for a top dollar babysitting job, right!? A few years later, I was perfecting my Grade 8 valedictorian speech…complete with references to the infamous Jerry Maguire monologue. And I quote: “SHOW ME [the money]…MY SUMMER VACATION”! I was quite proud of my grand finale.
Excerpt from my Grade 8 valedictorian speech:
“Friends: the essential key to our social life. Through thick and thin, it was our friends who helped us through the roughest of times this year. No matter what the consequences, they were always there for us. Not judging us because of the clothes we wore, or the popularity we had or didn’t have, but because of our inner beauty. Every one of us, graduates, are different. That’s what makes us so individual and so beautiful.”
Fast-forward to high school where I wrote “Pete the Pudgy Mouse” in English class. The tale of a chubby mouse who could never fit through the mouse hole, but through the trials of being chased by his human counterparts, shed the pounds and fit through the wall at the end of the story. Clearly not the right message, but perhaps a glimpse into the peer pressures of my teenage years.
Passing notes became a regular occurrence in my high school days, with the occasional poem about my latest crush. This is what I call the “poem period”. Rhymes flowed naturally and easily, and I began to find a knack for this style of writing. I remember writing a poem for my University literature class about an empty canvas suddenly being filled with brush strokes - a metaphor for a single girl filling her heart once she fell in love. I vividly recall a peer reviewing it and commenting back: “Great poem, but you don’t need anyone to paint your canvas; you paint it yourself!” Again, another glimpse into my life at that impressionable age.
I took on a few freelance writing jobs with my University newspaper, The Gazette. I remember writing a piece on the band, Sam Roberts, who was my boyfriend’s favourite band at the time. The task seemed simple: attend a concert, write an article, and gain some brownie points with the boyfriend. I achieved all of the above, and my boyfriend is now my husband!
Now as an adult, I find myself sending emails with a clever pun, writing party invitations with a creative theme, and giving champagne toasts with an inevitable rhyme. The truth is, I’ve been a writer from the start. As a mom of two little boys, my passion has been reignited as I watch their faces light up during story time. My journey to writing a series of children’s picture books is fully inspired by my kids. I find the rhymes flowing out of me once more, (also thanks to “Baby Shark” on repeat I’m sure)!
In true writer fashion, cheers to the next chapter of life! See what I did there ;)