Tuesday, April 11, 2017

“A Toe-dipping Experience”

You’ve see this (I know you have), either in movies or in real life: a person approaches the edge of a body of water, and instead of jumping right in, they … dip their toe to get a sense of the temperature and determine whether to splash, or ease in, or just turn around and leave water-play to everyone else. That’s what this perspective-writing-through-blogging thing has become for me.

I haven’t decided to leave the water-play to others, but rather to ease in (a toe, a foot, an ankle, the other toe, the other foot …)
This ‘toe-dipping’ is sort of how my love for writing took off. While my classmates bemoaned it, I rather liked my English-Lit classes and the writing assignments that went with it. I secretly enjoyed the post-reading discussions of characters and setting and symbolism, while (mildly) complaining about them aloud (as all sophomores in high school were bound to do). Remember Cliff’s Notes? Yeah, those little yellow books could be spotted in many a locker, but the teacher always, always found a way to have questions not covered in those books, resulting in lengthy silences among the group after the question posed. I avoided answering questions many times even when I knew the answer, just to fit in and not be ‘labeled.’ Ahh, the pitfalls of peer pressure …

Nevertheless, my love for reading and those English-Lit assignments also fed my desire to write. Ahh … the advantages of peer pressure.

My 'toe-dipping' with the written word outside of academic instruction started with personal essays about life events, interspersed with poetry. It wasn’t until adulthood that I went the toe-foot-ankle-leg-body route and decided to write a novel. The water was quite chilly at first, but I’ve been wading around for a bit now, and things are starting to warm up …