I almost forgot to post today! That’s because it’s Christmas day, so


It has been a lovely quiet Christmas, with me and Brian, Aunt Carleen and the critters. Lovely and quiet is exactly what I’ve needed, and that’s what I got., so I’m a happy camper.

I haven’t done a lot this weekend, just played on Facebook and did a little work on the story I will be sending for critique to the SCBWI Conference.

So, let me talk a little about writing and drawing:

I have always loved to write: Stories, poems, essays.

I have always loved to draw: Anything I could see.Anything I could imagine.

When I was little, Mama and Daddy always provided me with paper on which to write and draw. If we ran out of paper, there were always paper towels and paper bags. I’ve even drawn on toilet paper. It ain’t easy, but it can be done. Grandpa and Grandma Gates had a little country store about 10 miles west of Madera. They always gave me the ends of the butcher paper roll. It was usually a little crumpled, but paper was paper as far as I was concerned.

When writing, I had to be careful how I disposed of the things I wasn’t happy with. In the beginning, I just crumpled them up and threw them in the trash. But Mama was proud of everything I wrote. She monitored the garbage cans, and the next time we had company, she would proudly produce my crinkly substandard stories and poems, passing them around for all to see.

I learned to rip them up.

I liked to look at things and draw them. I remember being in kindergarten. I was coloring a squirrel and thinking about how a squirrel’s fur went this way and that way, all messy and fluffy. So that’s the way I colored it.

But my teacher came up behind me, took my coloring hand in hers, and said, “We color from side to side, like this.”

It did not look like a squirrel’s tail to me. I did what she told me, but I didn’t like it.

That’s kind of the story of my school life, and my life in general. I often did what I was told, because that was the path of least resistance, but when I was on my own, I did it the way I wanted.

Now that I’m all grown up I don’t bother with doing what I’m told.