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Muses of a Budding Writer
October 14, 2015
I am a vivid person. From the time I could remember, my memories have played a huge role in my development. Certain scents trigger memories. The feel of crisp air on my face takes me back to my childhood in Canada. The soft, lingering smell of jasmine on the breeze, alongside other floral and woodsy scents, connect me to a woman I never had the chance to call Mother. The aroma of sawdust and tobacco instantly remind me of my paternal uncle, Big George, who helped raise me from a little girl.
The first snow fall draws up memories of walking down the snow-covered roads to visit relatives in our small town. Shoveling that snow reminds me of watching Dad clear the snow from our driveway. He would then come in to a cozy house to a cup of hot soup I had prepared for him. I warmly recall being rewarded with Dad’s rosy, uplifted cheeks as he smiled at me.
I live life and feel it with my whole being: the good, the bad and all the times in between. I have experienced heartbreak, happiness, injustices, anger, jealousy – every emotion with profound clarity. I have found there is a lesson to be learned from even the most miniscule event in life.
From a young age, I was creatively different than my peers. Even my dreams would overflow in brilliant detail, providing wonderful stories to share. This creativity was part of my identity. My teachers loved it.
It was no surprise when my former fifth grade teacher, Gail Goldrup, and I connected on Facebook in January 2015. Ms. Goldrup was the first teacher I formed an emotional bond with, and I looked to her for guidance, as a child would naturally look to her mother. From posts, pictures and long-winded messages, my former teacher gained insight into the adult I had become. That is when she suggested I write a book.
One of the first memories she shared with me as we rekindled our friendship was a brief, heartfelt note that I had left for her at the end of the school year. “To the best teacher in the world (Mrs. Keffer) – You are always my number one teacher and always will be. When you were teaching me, you made me know I was alive. I wish you can teach us again. Yours truly, Vicky Meawasige.” Seeing that little piece of my past touched me. Tears welled in my eyes. I realized that she helped transform that timid girl into a strong, opinionated young lady, one not afraid to fight for what she believed in.
My former teacher saw my potential and encouraged me to write. Initially, I laughed at the idea. I was a stay-at-home mom with no real story to share. Of course, Ms. Goldrup did not accept that reply. Am I ever happy she didn’t!
The notion of writing a book lingered in my mind. As days passed, and I reflected on significant events in my life, story began to emerge. I saw wisdom through hardships, inspiration to conquer, and the comfort in knowing that things do get better with time.
I was surprised to discover that writing breathed life into my soul. Re-living memories caused healing to begin. I finally understood grief and dealt with it each and every day I wrote.
On one occasion, while soaking in the tub after a revelatory day of writing, I had an epiphany. Just as a body takes time to grow, so a great book takes time to write. I’ve come to realize the profoundness of the saying, “It’s my baby.” In the budding stages of this project, I developed a bone structure, the skeleton framework, the basis of the story. After the skeleton came the “guts” and muscle: character development to keep readers engaged and captivated. Shortly thereafter, the skin formed. The outer layers of the story needed to convey meaning in a visually appealing way. A strong story also needs a good heart, a thought-provoking mind, a deep and resonating soul to help readers become one with the story.
It is readers who breathe life into a story. Through relatable characters and real-life experiences, a story becomes personal and offers wisdom to those who embrace it. That is what I want this book to do.
As a first-time writer, I found myself over-analyzing the words I chose to tell my story, re-wording whole sections to improve the flow or feel of it. I experienced growth within my writing, vast improvements made with ensuing chapters. I began to realize I was not the same person I was when I first put my thoughts on paper. My “voice” grew through this learning process, and I was actually becoming a budding writer!
I also noticed changes to my own character: starting as a mere child, growing into an uncertain teenager, then into a very naïve adult, gaining wisdom with each stage. I observed that I was changing every day. Now I look forward to the person I will become.
Throughout the writing process, my story was nameless. No title. Perhaps it is because it didn’t read like a book. It felt more like a journal: plain babble to anyone but its author. I struggled with doubts about continuing this project, but I received encouragement by those who knew of my secret writing.
I had entertained the idea of “The Birth of” or “The Path of” in the title. I hoped to include the term “warrior,” yet I wanted to distinguish my work from other book titles on the market. I was searching for something more meaningful.
Then it hit me. Blue. I have always been drawn to the color blue. In fact, one hue of blue emerged as predominant throughout my life: turquoise. Turquoise is the color I wear every day when I go to work (company shirt). Turquoise is the color I wear when I leave in the morning for my daily workouts. Turquoise. This shade of blue continued to be an integral part of my daily life, and I needed to understand why.
Here’s what I learned after a little research. Turquoise is a healing stone to my people, Native Americans. It is perhaps the oldest stone in man’s history, this talisman of kings, shamans and warriors. Turquoise is a stone of protection, strong and weathered by the forces of many outside elements, yet soothing to the touch. It is healing to the eye, as if it were carved from the heavens and placed here on earth. This uniqueness of blue, often a blue-green hue, makes the wearer of the color feel happy and uplifted. Its positive energy radiates inwardly as well as outwardly.
Inwardly, turquoise is believed to relieve exhaustion, depression and panic attacks, bringing balance and focus to the wearer. It helps one recognize the causes of happiness and unhappiness, and to master them both. The delicate cream or brown designs etched into the blueness are distinctive to the stone and add to its beauty, much like the scars I bear externally and internally (battle wounds). What’s more is that turquoise is believed to enhance physical and psychic immune systems, helping with the absorption of nutrients, detoxification of the body, as well as strengthening the body to fight off viral infections. Overall, turquoise is a most efficient healer, providing solace for the spirit and well-being for the body.
So here it is. “The Path of a Turquoise Warrior” was conceived to offer comfort, strength and peace. Life is hard, but healing can happen.
Sit back, grab a box of tissues and feel the read.