To keep himself busy in the cold months Dad sorts the “family treasures” my mother once stored on shelves or in drawers throughout the house. In the detritus cascading from open closet doors he finds unopened boxes of 140 envelopes he will never use before he dies, family snapshots layered through a JC Penney shoebox, countless blank notepads and scrapbooks Mom did not live long enough to fill.
When he thinks I might make use of something, he sets it on a pile for my perusal. I own the 140 envelopes now, a lot of notepads. My daughter claimed the scrapbook.
Among the commodities of obvious utility lie the documents of our family’s quotidian history that preserve memories I have mostly forgotten. This week I flipped through a folder of these documents and saw “The Easterbunny Came to town” for the first time in several decades. I imagine I wrote the page turning tale in second grade. Not plural turning, singular, a solitary page flips to eight lonely lines atop of a second piece of paper. I spelled some words right, legible, general neatness on the coloring page. I bet I was proud. Mom might have been. She kept it after all.
Surrounding my story stack results of my California Achievement Tests, some elementary report cards, a few blue ribbons for the 50 meter dash and softball throw. I remember thinking I could accomplish just about anything I wanted when I was young. I felt like the big egg of life waited to crack “just for me.”
Then I tried to be an adult writer.
I no longer own a box of crayons to pretty the page or have an adoring fan like my mother to egg me on. I crash against the blank page, the imperfect phrase and obscurity.
Publishing demands the pressure of persistence to form even the smallest crack. For thirteen years I wrote, revised, demolished and polished only to bounce my skull off the thick shell of rejection, but not today.
Today, I opened a crack.
A new online literary magazine featured my first published piece. Read my creative non-fiction piece “First Kiss” at Montana Mouthful (1st Edition) in their inaugural edition. My feature is on page 41 of their issue and my biography on page 50. Leave comments, help me share it far and wide. This shell needs even more pressure. Consider purchasing a copy of this beautiful print issue to thank this group that assisted me in achieving a lifetime dream. I am definitely proud this time around and I know my Mom would be too.