I’m a dabbler. A little of this and a little of that. Music, photography, and writing. Always the writing, but never enough time. Life keeps getting in the way. Stretched too thin.
When I was in elementary school, there was a ten-block area where I was allowed to explore on my own. I would tell my mother I was going for a ride and then head out on my bicycle.
I had a few favorite routes–down streets to admire the homes, or to the Dairy Queen for a soft-serve ice cream cone–but the #1 trip was to the drugstore where I would climb up on a stool at the lunch counter and order a cherry phosphate for fifteen cents. Then I would walk across the parking lot to the white brick building next door. There were doctors’ offices on the first and second floors, but I was only interested in the business in the basement. I’d walk down a short flight of steps to visit the Atheneum Bookstore.
I must confess that I never bought a book there. I probably never had enough money with me do buy more than that phosphate. But there were comfortable chairs, and pillows on the floor. The proprietors always smiled and welcomed me and then left me alone. I could pull a book from the shelves, settle down on a pillow, and read, undisturbed.
My love for books started with my mother, who introduced my to her favorite authors and enrolled me in a childrens’ Classic Books book club: Heidi, Black Beauty, Little Men, Little Women, and (my favorite) The Peterkin Papers sat on the shelves in my bedroom.
But it was the Atheneum Bookstore where I could explore on my own, with no one steering me towards any particular book. I discovered authors and their voices. I understood the power of the written word. I delighted in the words of humorists, and the poets, and the novelists.
I discovered that the daily interruptions are fertile fields for material if we look at them in the right way.
And so I emulate and experiment. Practice and re-write.
I’m a dabbler, and I soldier on.
(And yes, my dog really did eat a lightbulb.)
All content Copyright Kate Lester 2014