I’m gearing up for another weekend of grappling with my manuscript. Sunday is also Mother’s day. I can largely thank or blame my mother, depending on how I feel about my book in progress, for my presence in a graduate program for creative writing.
In my earliest memories, books were important. I don’t recall any birthday or Christmas that didn’t include the gift of a book. I was probably ten before I had any inkling that the coolest thing in the world wasn’t going to the library and checking out all the books they’d let me have. Through my childhood, and even when I became at least adultish with a family of my own, a great day with my mom was meandering around a bookstore and then having a chocolate soda.
I was sorting through books the other day and opened up the copy of Tale of Two Cities my mom gave me when I was twelve. The pages are yellowed with age. The cover is partially gnawed from a puppy I had many years ago. Inside, she wrote “It is the best of times. Much love, Mom.”
My mother loves books and infused that love in me. It is a lifelong gift I think about often when I read something that awes me or on the rare occasion when I write a sentence that I’m proud of. I recall, when I was very young, her letting me check out all the sword and sorcery books I wanted but also encouraging me to meet Huck Finn and Scout (whom I later named my daughter after). I thought about that a few weeks ago when I was recommending books to her and wanting to give the same wonderful gift back.
I’m Darren, and I’m a writer…because of my mom.