As a child, my family often called me Robinella. My young mind didn’t know that it meant “little Robin” – I could only ponder the name’s similarity to Cinderella and perhaps even, her story. Yet unlike my “sister” Cinder, I didn’t have a wicked step-mother or narcissistic step-sisters. I knew there would be no fairy godmother and no magic wand to deliver me from my lonely childhood. But I did discover that magic was real, and it lay inside the covers of books.
I traveled to distant universes, fought battles for throne and kingdom, solved crimes, climbed mountains, and sailed across the sea – often whilst laying on the mossy carpet beneath a shady tree, my black-haired dog, Raven, close by my side. I found solace, companionship, adventure, and even love, by escaping into the imaginary worlds of fiction. Like many other writers before me, books were my best friend and sometimes, my mentor.
Decades later, I found a silver lining buried in the dark clouds of my youth. The spectrum of emotions drawn from challenging situations provided me a rich vortex of creative expression. Perceptions were transformed with a depth of new understanding – joy is all the more sweet after suffering from its absence; laughter more precious after a maelstrom of tears.
As far back as I can remember, I yearned to write tall tales for the sheer pleasure of putting words to paper. Later as an adult, I wanted to create fiction that would give folks a reprieve from their own daily concerns, sharing a satisfying journey into the realm of imagination.
Then the Wheel of Life turned once again and I find myself standing at the crossroads. I’ve said goodbye to dear family friends who are now resting beyond the veil, and goodbye to a satisfying career that allowed me to provide for my children.
So what will the “next chapter” bring?
Perhaps I’ll dust off my crystal ball for a hint. But I think for now, it’s time to write. And if even one person finds sanctuary inside the pages of my stories, and is moved to shed a tear, chuckle, or smile with satisfaction – then it’s a fairy tale come true.