I fell in love with writing as a small child–an only child who loved reading, writing, and retelling stories. My mother, aunts, and older cousins were often times my audience. I’d assemble them a few times a week to listen to my latest masterpiece — a word I had seen only once in my short lifetime in the form of written feedback from Mrs. LeBlanc, my third grade teacher. It was then that I learned to love feedback and applause. Back then my space for writing these masterpieces was a small bedroom filled with books, an old rocking chair, a twin bed, a re-purposed refrigerator box turned toy chest, and walls draped with stuffed animals and my artwork. I drew inspiration from that small room — a box whose walls could only contain me and my ideas for a short while. They were destined to fly from my mind and wriggle through the small hole in my screen door to places I’d only seen on the globe in my room.
Today, my space is a little different. I have a device for every room — thanks to my husband who has an affinity for tech tools. I don’t have a dedicated space, but I often find myself sitting at the kitchen table (as I am now), nibbling on breakfast or a snack (as I am now), and sharing what comes naturally. The lesson in all this is that your dreams are always with you — whether you’re in an ideal setting in the mountains or a modest shotgun house on West Jeff Davis in my hometown in Louisiana.
When I return to LA for Thanksgiving this year, I will visit my old neighborhood as I do every time I go home. I’ll probably take a stroll past the old house–my humble beginnings– a source of so much joy and love. It is my prayer that a little girl or boy who sleeps in that tiny bedroom will also create masterpieces that will one day sprout wings and fly as mine are doing today.