I recently found myself once again identifying with Laura, although this time it was with the author not the character. I was blown away when I learned that her adventure as a writer began when she was in her forties and she got her start by writing columns about rural life for a couple of publications in Missouri. I was even more inspired by the fact that she was sixty-five when her first book Little House in the Big Woods was published. I never would have guessed that the “real” Laura was a late bloomer. I also nearly spit my coffee out all over the keyboard when I read that her daughter Rose was her editor and collaborator.
It reminded me of my relationship with my daughter (and editor) Katie and our good natured banter and email exchanges; not only does she help me wade through the mysteries of when to use a semi colon and not a comma, she also provides me with great suggestions and isn’t afraid to let me know when a piece needs some “fine tuning” or in some cases “fine tunaing.”
I still enjoy living new experiences and adventures vicariously through characters created by my favorite authors, but these days I’m also creating a few of my own. I’d been thinking about taking a drawing class for a couple of months but I hadn’t done anything past bookmarking the site and waffling about whether or not it would be a good decision.
I finally got up the nerve to register for the beginning drawing class. I provided my information, took a deep breath, clicked the submit registration button, and then didn’t know whether to be disappointed or relieved by the message on the screen. “We’re sorry, the class is sold out.” I reached for the phone.
“Hello, I just tried registering for the beginning drawing class but it’s sold out. Can you tell me when the next one will be?” I asked.
“We don’t have it scheduled yet, but there is room in the Intermediate/Advanced drawing class,” she replied.
“Oh…ummm…no, I couldn’t possibly do that. I haven’t drawn in more than twenty years and that was just one class. I think I should wait for the next session for beginners.”
“It’s like riding a bike, once you’ve done it, all you have to do is get back in the saddle and the rest will come. Maybe this is opportunity knocking, we only have three people registered and we’re going to have to cancel it if we don’t get one more. I really think you’ll like it,” she coaxed.
Two weeks later I found myself driving up the narrow drive toward the nineteenth century farmhouse that the Artists of Yardley call home. I perched on my stool in front of the easel and tried not to hyperventilate while the instructor held up the image we were supposed to reproduce. After more than a few false starts and lots of calming encouragement from the teacher I settled down and just drew.
The subject matter for the first lesson was a Sunflower in full bloom, it somehow fits doesn’t it?