(Incidentally, how many non-Oregonians know Salem is our capital? Most assume it's Portland, including whoever decided this city should have no commercial airport or TV networks of its own. It has vineyards, though, so what else do you need?)
With Mother's Day coming up this Sunday and my mom hovering around offering to feed me every five minutes, I've been thinking about some of the ways she fostered my creativity.
My parents never bought me coloring books as a kid. This was partly because my lack of patience and artistic talent meant I viewed coloring books as something to be completed in under two minutes, but there were other reasons.
"I didn't want you to feel like you had to stay in the lines," my mom told me later. "I always gave you blank paper so you could be as creative as you wanted."
This did have its drawbacks, like the time my brother and I got in trouble for drawing dirty pictures (though even our mom admits they were creative ones).
When I was older and had to do an art project on THE ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN, my mom didn't bat an eyelash when I used modeling clay to create anatomically correct figures of Huck and Jim floating naked on a raft. And she was prepared to defend me to anyone who raised an eyebrow. "It's right there in the book," she agreed. "Not a stitch of clothes on."
These days, I rely on both my parents to proof my manuscripts when I need fresh eyes outside my pool of critique partners and beta readers. Considering the risque nature of some of my scenes, this isn't as awkward as you might think.
"There's a typo on page 112 in the third paragraph of the phone sex scene," my mom informed me on a recent read-through of a manuscript. "I think you meant 'thrust' instead of 'trust.'"
So how about you, dear readers? How did your mother foster your creativity as an author? Give her a shout-out in the comments.
Now if you'll excuse me, I need to see if mom has a better word for "purple-headed warrior."