I've been busy writing a sequel, but I think my book that's coming out might be painfully short. So I am thinking I may need these few stories to plump it up when my editor sees the actual word count.
A very long time ago a friend of mine had a daughter who was a journalist. She said of my masterpiece novel (not published) that “She's not a real writer. She's just a story-teller.” I shrank in size from that remark. I allowed her to define my abilities.
A harmless joke brought all that self-doubt back. Every rejection slip, every insult just piled on me all over again. Why? I have been winning awards on my writing since I was in 2nd grade.
You know to my people (Native Americans) the story-teller is sacred. So why my ego gets so deflated by one remark made another lifetime ago is beyond me. If it were not for the story-tellers who would remember their ancestry, lore, legends and oral histories? This I know yet still it hurts.
So I will tell you of another story, my own personal stock. When I was in 3rd grade I had an art teacher Mrs. Armada. I don't know why but she just hated me. One day she asked us all to draw a picture of what we did over the weekend. I drew a bright raincoat for myself and a huge snoopy umbrella. I showed myself jumping in a puddle as that had been my weekend.
She had us all show our work and then stood me up in front of the class (again) and said to all.... Angel drew herself playing in the rain and Kirsten drew herself playing in the sun. Is it possible that it rained at Angel's but not at Kirsten’s?
The whole class answered no and began to laugh (as usual) as Mrs. Armada announced that I would never learn to draw because I was stupid.
It upset me so much, that angry repetition every week in art class until I reached 6th grade and moved to the next school... that I literally could not stop drawing. I won every art contest I ever entered just about. I have art work and poetry that has been to the Vietnam Wall and is archived to go into the Vet's museum when it is built.
I am only blogging about it to you because well...
Do you think I should thank her. Or is it more of a "Hey Mrs. Armada... Nanny nanny boo boo sort of thing?
That's my side of it,