When I was 14, one of my Christmas gifts was a five-year diary. I wrote in it faithfully from New Year’s Day, 1955, until I graduated from high school in 1958.
I still have that diary. It is battered now, the pencil-written entries slowly fading away, but the entries in ink are there, as clear as ever:
Karen, Patsy and I rode with Billy Byassee to the play party tonight. Mother and Daddy would have a FIT if they knew! The Arlington Boys were in the Hut tonight. Patsy has a date with Mousey for Saturday night and I have a date with Keith. There’s no telling what Shirley will say…he’s supposed to be going steady with her!!! I just love Elvis’s new song, "Don’t Be Cruel!"
My mother also kept a diary which she later transferred to her computer. It chronicles almost 70 years of her life, the life of her family. Had she not taken the time from her backbreaking schedule each night to record our comings and goings, it would all have slowly faded away like the penciled entries in my diary. Our life story will be here long after she is gone, after we are all gone. There is no substitute for the written word.
Although I have been writing for years, I didn’t get serious about attempting to publish my work until a little over a year ago. The response has been overwhelming. In addition to the links to my published works here, I have two more short stories coming out in print this year, one in the United Kingdom and one in France. Other literary magazines have expressed interest in more stories.
For quite sometime now, I have been working on a novel which spans two decades. It is on hold for now; I am too busy working on short stories. Some are set in the present, but many focus on the past—the delight and wonder of childhood, the exciting and confusing teenage years, first love, leaving home—those pivotal moments in life that you don’t know are pivotal. Until you are looking back.
Although we live in a different world today, I believe those intense feelings and emotions are universal, whether you grew up in the fifties, sixties, or beyond, and if you find a bit of yourself in one of my stories, I will have accomplished my goal with the written word.
All words and pictures © 2008 Brenda G. Wooley