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My cousin, Bernadette, (left) and me at my house. I think this was after Christmas 1985. Notice my red watch! That was new for Christmas. I want to say it was a Swatch, but I can't be certain.

My cousin, Bernadette, (left) and me at my house. I think this was after Christmas 1985. Notice my red watch! That was new for Christmas. I want to say it was a Swatch, but I can’t be certain.

I loved receiving crafty, drawing-type of things at Christmas. Here’s what Bernadette and I were working on:

I loved this with all my heart.

I loved this with all my heart.

I spent hours with that kit, hours and hours. I would draw the rooms and then spend time coloring them in different schemes. See the load of colored pencils on the table in the first picture? I loved doing anything involving coloring. I wasn’t very good at drawing things myself, but I liked coloring in shapes and scenes already provided to me.

I find this to be a good metaphor for my writing. I’m not a fiction writer; I find it extremely difficult to make up anything. I wouldn’t say I ever had a good imagination. Just like I could not draw something from out of the blue, I could not make up a story from nothing. But give me facts, a ready-made story, or an outline that I could color, and I could do something with that and make it my own.

Another thing I spent hours with:

073108fashionplates

I’m so glad that there’s a vintage set floating around in the family yet. I play Fashion Plates with my niece, Eve, and I think I’m more excited than she is to bust them out!

Eve playing with the Fashion Plates earlier this year.

Eve playing with the Fashion Plates earlier this year.

Even though I can’t draw, or paint, or sculpt, or do anything remotely visually artistic, I’ve had a lifelong love affair with art. I’ve started to jot down several memories that relate to art in my life and who knows? I may have an essay collection brewing.

I spent much, much more time as a kid coloring, drawing, tracing, and making things than I ever did writing. I am not one of those writers who can say, “I was always writing stories” or “I always wanted to be a writer when I grew up.” I don’t remember doing much writing on my own, though when it was an assignment for school I enjoyed it.

Will someone get me a coloring book for Christmas!?

 

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