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Nostalgia as a Reason to Write

Updated: Jul 29


I grew up in what was then, a small town in Virginia. The doors were always open to a friend’s home, and at any given locale, there was a plethora of 70’s style-snacks like Space Sticks, Snack Packs, 7-Up and Sun Tea {with a straw of course}. My best friends and I spent hours outdoors, running after, or from, the bigger boys on our block, playing kick-the-can with whoever joined the game, and ding-dong-ditching our completely suspecting neighbors. When our youthful bodies tired, we set out for the soft moss underneath the apple tree in Old McMurtry’s side yard to figure out at whose home we would sleepover. This was our religion, especially during the Summer months. There was never a moment when I thought that happiness would end. To this day, the memories of my life in my favorite small town are exclusive to, and synonymous with, true joy. …and always worthy of reminiscing.


I lived in that small town from kindergarten through tenth grade. Each summertime smile or wintertime wonder shaped my life as an adult, and more particularly, as a Mother. My Mom, and the Mothers of my friends, were beautiful women. Their homes were abundant in southern charm, as were their mannerisms of affection and grace. When I became a Mom to my two boys, who are now strong, young men, I affectionally sought to provide a childhood experience full of beauty, happiness and adventure for them, as well. Beyond the material boy toys like pedal-powered go-karts, Big Wheels, tire swings and tree houses, elements of their contentment developed through reading. The childhood classics evolved into their classics; we didn’t care, as long as those stories were their stories.


The innocence of my children was sincere, and correspondingly, nostalgia commanded space in my heart and mind. I wrote about “main street” experiences, and those of the untraveled paths. I have journals full of minimally scribed sentences and verse, slightly pathetic poetry and prose, and awful attempts at artwork, either by my children or myself, for the wishful endeavor of creating some sort of children’s book based on children’s art {smile here}. Our combined artistic talent was, and still is, depictive of the basic stick figure.


Reading and writing became social teaching tools in our home, for all of us. Eventually, our art-form matured and displayed a potential purpose. By the Light of the Night, our first children’s book, penned by me and illustrated by the uber-talented Nicole Myers, literally emerged from a childhood shadow, and made GIANT leaps towards becoming a published, literary reality.


From my perspective, By the Light of the Night is childhood. Symbolism and metaphor sprinkle nostalgia on the illustrations and content, {hopefully} encouraging the reader to remember their childhood relationship with imagination.


Love ~


Catherine

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