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To be frank, the why can be summed up with one word, and that one word is a who. Mom.

You see, my mother was one of those mom’s who encouraged, to the fullest extent of the law, her children, if she thought her children could make something of themselves. And even if she didn’t really think they could make a life of it, but if it made them happy. And I truly believe it made her happy to encourage us and cheer us on, and root for us.

Take my brother, for example. My brother, the second oldest in the family and the second son, was a football player. He was, I believe, on the first football team at our elementary school. Now, when my biography gets written in 115 years, don’t quote me. But that’s how I remember it. Both brothers played basketball for a minute, but Second really took to football like no body’s business.

And even though she knew that he could get seriously injured doing it, and she knew that if he did she couldn’t legally race onto the field and pummel the ever-loving nonsense out of the boy who dared to tackle her player, she thoroughly enjoyed cheering him and the rest of the team on from the bleachers. This did have a lot to do with the fact that she made friends with the other moms, but that’s not what we’re talking about here.

She loved to cheer her children on. When the Oldest was the first to graduate high school, she was thrilled. Anytime we did anything good, she was happy for us, and encouraged us.

She is also the reason why I stuck with the education major in college. Sophomore year I wanted to change my major to creative writing. I also had a point where I wanted to drop out, take a few semesters off, and join the circus get a job. But that’s not what we’re discussing here either.

“Tear Drops Frozen In Time”

When I was in elementary school, I’m not sure what grade (it was a LONG time ago) I wrote a story. “Duh, Crystal” is what you are probably thinking as you roll your eyes and consider scrolling on. But if you stick with me, I will get to the point. I’m not sure this was my first ever story. I’m not even sure how much I wrote. But I can tell you what it was about and how it began. It was written in a notebook, not spiral bound, and the loose sheets were tucked into a folder with my school’s mascot on them.

Now, in that grade, in my state, we did writing portfolios as an end-of-year assessment of our knowledge. These portfolios usually included various types of writing, including fiction pieces. That year, I remember a teacher, who wasn’t usually at our school, there helping us with those writing portfolios. I remember spending a lot of time in what passed as a computer lab in a rural Kentucky elementary school in the early 90s and that woman being there.

It was around this time that I wrote “Tear Drops”. And I remember either myself or Mom mentioning that I should take my story to school and let that teacher read it. Now keep in mind the story was not finished, and had it been, it would have been a LONG one. Because I have always been long winded.

Thinking about the story now, I am remembering other stories I wrote, and wishing I’d kept copies of all of them.

Also, honey, I asked for a frickin’ TYPEWRITER for Christmas one year. Second (the brother) kept trying to throw me off the scent when I guess that the biggish box under the tree was my typewriter. Man, I miss that clickity clack sometimes.

Back to the point. My mom was my biggest fan, always. And she was the first and for a long time only person I nervously handed my stories over to for them to be read. And when she read that one, she said she loved it and it would be a great story.

And, as I said, I can’t remember whose idea it was for me to take that story to school and share with this woman I did not really know, who I assume I thought was a bigwig when it came to writing. Because I shared it with her and she too seemed to love the story. And she did something that was probably bad for me in the long run. She told me that she knew some people in publishing and said that she would tell them about my story.

You do not, under any circumstances tell a child, especially one who longs for acceptance and praise, that you’re going to do something that will make them dream. Because that kid, me, will take that thing and make it HER ENTIRE PERSONALITY FOR THE REST OF HER LIFE.

I let a stranger make me believe I was going to be a published author as a child.

But listen, dear readers, because I am not the only one who was offended when that mystery lady failed to make me a famous author before puberty. Because who do you think was the first person who I ran right home to and told about this silly lady in the computer room who is gonna talk to her book friends?

Yup. Da Momma.

Eventually, portfolio writing season came to an end and that lady disappeared from my school like my paycheck after the bills are paid. I never saw her again, until one fateful evening, where we were, ironically, in line at waiting to pay our way in to a high school football game (where my brother was playing, we only went when he was a player). I’m not sure how much time had passed between the two meetings, but I’m not lying when I say my mother wanted to ask her about it.

I remember telling her that the woman probably wouldn’t even remember all that, and to forget about it.

Unfortunately

It was sometime later when it came to pass that the story in question, “Tear Drops Frozen in Time” went missing. It went missing because it got placed into storage that ended up probably being put in long term storage (literally a crawl space in a decrepit building behind our house). It was placed there because I should have been paying more attention to what was going where.

Sadly, though, my mom blamed herself for it going missing, and its likely eventual burning in a trash pile later on. I don’t care what I told her and how many times I tried to tell her not to worry about it, but she blamed herself for it for years. And if I could have asked her about it on her death bed, I’m sure she would have still blamed herself, even decades later.

In conclusion, it is her fault. Her fault not for the story going missing, but for that story setting me on this pointless uphill path of wanting to be a writer. I blame her for that, and that is all, when it comes to the story. Her faith and hope and absolute enthusiasm that we could do great things. And you know, I wouldn’t change a thing.

Except that story going missing. I would fix that bit.

Bonus Content: “Tear Drops” A Synopsis.

Like I said, it has been multiple decades, since I wrote the story, but I can give you the gist of what it was about. The story was centered those glass teardrop shaped ornaments that usually hang off chandeliers and lamps. I don’t know for sure where I got it, but I know where I left it and that’s yet another story for another time. Okay, it’s not that big a story, when I was young and I hyperfused on one thing I would tend to pack that thing around with me wherever I went. This time, I took the glass tear drop to my uncle’s house for the weekend. All of us kids went, and they had two little girls younger than us. We were playing in an old van and I had it wrapped up in a tissue or handkerchief and I tucked it in the cubby in the door and forgot it there. Never went back to that house either, because they moved.

Any who, “Tear Drops Frozen in Time” was going to be about an adopted girl who, one day on her way home from school, obviously while carrying around a teardrop shaped crystal, sees the light from the sun change. Shimmering lights (like what you’d see when sun comes through crystals, like a prism, or rainbows are all over the ground when monsters (?) like she’s never seen before, come out of the light and kidnap her.

But also, in another world, there are two women who look a great deal alike (twins?). Except one is clearly evil and has the other good woman locked up. There’s this great sphere with shapes in it. Some of the spaces are empty and some are not. One space is teardrop shaped. These women, who are sisters it turns out, argue.

The evil woman wants to capture this girl because she has the teardrop and the good one, who wants out to stop her evil sister, is SHOCKER the girl’s MOTHER! The girl is actually from this other world and the teardrops are powerful crystals that can do many things, including but not limited to traveling between worlds. The mother sent the girl to the mortal world/our world/ boring old frumpy earth to protect her and the teardrop she carries everywhere was a gift to help protect her.

And that’s all I’ve got for you, my dudes.