Who I think I am.
Answering that “Who Am I?” question is always awkward. Because telling you who I think I am isn’t really helpful, is it? Well, I’ll try.
I grew up in Texas and currently live in Texas but do not feel like I belong in Texas. I feel like I belong in some county on the west coast of Ireland. Maybe I’ll go there to stay someday. Or Scotland. I think I’d like Scotland. Though my previous experience in cloudy climes wasn’t great.
I’m the daughter of a beekeeper and a painter. I’m the sister of three of the most fascinating, creative boys on the planet, and one who died before he even made it to second grade.
I’m a creativity evangelist. I believe that art will save us and that artists are the most important people in the world and that we are ALL artists. I’m a bit of a pest about it. I even moderate a FB group of creatives trying to just do their thing.
I work full=time at Texas Tech as the Assistant Director of Marketing for eLearning. I like it. It’s a good job. I get to use my skills as an editor, web developer, project manager, and well-honed critiquer-of-all-the-things to help people find educational options. Good benefits. Dope office, as my friend called it. Love my co-workers, even the ones who don’t love me because I criticize their stuff. But it’s not writing. It’s not particularly creative. I long for a more creative life. Obviously: that’s why we’re here. This is me, doing my creative thing.
I’m a recovering perfectionist so I just do the best I can and remember that we are all connected and all living creatures deserve to have decent lives, too.
Anyway, as the Eleventh Doctor said: “We’re all different people all through our lives and that’s okay, that’s good. You’ve got to keep moving so long as you remember all the people that you used to be.”
So for now, I try to remember the people I used to be. And hope that who I am now honors them a little bit.
I also write speculative fiction. I’m obsessed with how our senses can carry us through time. Smell that bread baking and feel my Granny right next to me. Hear bluegrass music and there’s my mom and dad, dancing in the kitchen. Pull an old quilt over my chin and there I am, sorting out the pieces with Granny. See a baby kitten and I’m back in my small bedroom on Christmas Day, throwing that baby doll to the ground and sneaking kittens into my brand new baby doll carriage. Taste frozen custard and it’s summer 1976 and I’m in the rear seat of a station wagon, still wet from the swimming pool.
Our senses can take us back in time to heal our grief but they can also save our sanity by rooting us in the here and now. Instead of worrying about my big project at work that I have to face tomorrow and deal with how it’s way behind schedule, I can sit quietly and enjoy how the little grey cat feels against my forearm. Smell the incense candle. Taste the coffee. Listen to the soundtracks. I’m here, now, in this place and time and life is good. I don’t have to regret all the things I’ve said and done and ruminate about all the people I’ve let down and all the ways I’ve sincerely and completely failed. Right now, hands on keyboard, cat on forearm, coffee in cup, candle burning, soundtracks playing, right now is all I can handle, or need to handle.
So let’s take this obsession with our senses and how they intersect with time and write a big, fat series of novels about it, shall we?