This a blog about my journey as a writer. I'll update daily.Enjoy!
|Prompt: Can you think of any characters who make your town, your state, or your country interesting? Can you talk about their personalities and what makes them stand out, in your opinion? Can you use them as characters in your stories?
My step-dad Dean. We first met when he was assigned to supervise when my birth father would have his visits. I was six years old watching this cop tell my real father that his behavior was not going to be accepted. At the time, I had no idea that Dean had prior dealings with my Raymond. I did know from the looks between them that this cop was one that my real father feared. It was the only time I felt I did not have to worry about my mom. We met up again when me and my mom moved into the Marshall Hotel when I was twelve. He had left the police force but had went into security work. I felt just as safe as I had years before. It was at this time that he and my mom got married. It was Daddy Dean that I looked up to. I need to explain, By that time I had become a girl that was far from sweet and innocent. I did what I wanted when I wanted. My mom had a problem with both alcohol and men. I raised myself mostly until Dean came back into our lives. One day, I had taken off after a fight with my mom. I don't remember what the fight was about but I do remember what happened when Daddy Dean found me. I thought I was in for some bruising and went into fight mode. Instead he asked if I wanted to pick up some soda and ice cream for mom's birthday. I was stun but said sure. I had thought for sure that my mom had sent him looking because of the fight. I think I even asked if she had. After we picked up the stuff for mom's party. He sat me down and asked why I had ran. One question lead to another until he said, "Bird, I have known your family even before you were born. I know your mom's problems and your father did not help matters with his abuse.." I yelled, "He Is Not My Father! I Hate Him! Fathers don't say to a judge They don't want her but don't want her mother to have her either!" I think by that time I was crying. Daddy Dean just held me as he said, "The judge had hoped you would not understand my father's words. It was your parent's own words that had made the judge send me. I was not just there to protect you from your father who I had dealt with before along with his brother Charles. They used to get drunk and fight with your grandparents. Your grandmother Luella always called me." I had not met my real father's mother as she had died a couple years before I was born. I got interested in learning about her and so asked him if he would tell me about her. He said, "Sure but she would not be please that you are disrespecting your mother like you have been. Your grandmother was a very lovely and quiet woman who would not tolerate disrespect in her home. Not from her husband or her sons. Your mother has her problems but as your grandmother would say She is still your mother and deserves your respect. Same with your father. He has done a lot of bad things, they both have but you still respect them. Bird, they had to make hard choices and not all the right ones. Now can you promise me that you will try to give your mom respect? If you can do that, I think you are going to find that things with your mom are changing?" I nodded as I said, "For you and grandma I will try Dad."
Daddy Dean started taking me on walks and we would talk for hours about what he had done in his life time, which was a lot. One day when I was sixteen he asked what I thought of Egypt. I told him I was interested in the ancient culture and the Sphinx. He asked how my grades were. I handed him my report card which was lacking in several areas. He smiled as he said, "Make you a deal Bird, You bring these grades up at least one grade and you can go with me this summer. You have half a school year to complete your half of the deal. What do you think, is it a deal?" I nodded too thrilled to talk. I went straight to my room and started doing my homework. Later I found out that my school had called the same day as he had gotten a call from an old friend who was needing somebody to help with a theory he had about a new site in Egypt. The school of course had called about my skipping school and not turning in homework or even schoolwork. He had not told my mom about my skipping and instead took me for a walk and asked why I was afraid of school. He knew I loved to learn as I was always filled with questions. So why was it I could learn from him and yet fear asking my teachers. I shrugged my shoulders as I said, "They probably would tell me the same thing mom does when I am too dumb to answer the probably out." He sat down on a bench and pointed to the seat next to him,"Bird, You are far from dumb! So no more putting yourself down. Okay?" I nodded as I said, "Mom just points to the table and says figure it out. They just don't seem to understand that is the problem. I can't figure it out, I have tried. The teachers talk for a half an hour but by the time it comes to answer the questions, the facts are gone." He smiled as he asked for that day's assignment. I guess he realized what my mom had been trying to do cause he took one of the problems and asked how I could relate that to what we were seeing. I looked around and shrugged. He then walked over to the pond and said, "It is science. You like throwing rocks in ponds, right?" I nodded still not understand where he was going. He picked up two rocks about the sizes shown in my book. It was a word problem, which I hated. He handed me the rocks, then walked back to the bench as he said, "Figure it out Bird! As your mom has tried to tell you. Your not dumb in fact you are very smart, you just learn differently. I won't give you the answer cause only you know how you can learn though I have an idea as does your mom." By the time we left the park, I had all my homework done. I was pleased when for the first time in years I got no lower than a C anywhere on my final report card. I spent that summer in Egypt learning. Years later I used the knowledge I learned while there to write Tarik Sadaki as well as his oldest brother Khalid. You will see a lot of me in Tia Andreas but I was thinking of my daddy Dean when I write Tarik
PS. When we got back, he had me write a report in any form I choose about our trip. Back then I hated english but loved writing poetry. He said the report was for his friend back in Egypt. So I spent my final week before school began again, using my diary notes to write everything that happened during our stay from my point of view. I handed it to him two days before I went back to school. A week later my English teacher asked me to see her after class. I did and was surprised to see her hand me my Egypt report saying, "Very well done First draft. I made some comments to where you had some problems. You have the rest of the year to use what we learn in class to edit this story. By the way, I know from your dad that English is not one of your favorite classes but it was not mine either. If your dad can teach me to love writing. I am pretty sure we both can teach you especially since you seem to take after him. By the way, I will tell you something he told our class at the university. He said, "First drafts are never meant to be prefect. That is what the Final Draft is for. Between the first draft and final draft that is where editing and fine turning comes in." I smiled as it seemed this teacher was going to be different. She looked at the door and said, "We seen what you can do in a week, now let's see what you can do in a year with my help. " My daddy Dean smiled as he asked if I was ready to go home. I nodded and asked, "You really know Ms. Wikerson?" He nodded as he said, "She was one of my best students besides you, Bird. Her grandfather was the one that paid for that Eygpt trip. So want to read your first English grade for the year or do you want to show your mother sight unseen?" I looked at my report or story as Ms. Wilkerson called it. In Big Letters at the Top of the first page "B-" "Possibly an A by End of Term" "Needs Tweaking and Some Spelling and Grammar Fixes" I was grinning from ear to ear as I handed it to my dad saying, "I want to be a writer Dad, like you?" He smiled as he said, "Bird as I am always telling you, You can be anything you put your mind to. That includes A Writer.It might just take you more drafts. You only fail when you give up."