"The only way to do great work is to love what you do" (stolen from a Colin Smith comment)
My son used to call lights "Ha." We'd walk through a supermarket, and he'd point up and say, "Ha. Ha." And I'd say, "Yes, it's a light. And that's a light." He's now reasonably well-spoken. The writing part...we're working on that.
For Christmas one year I wanted to give my mother a book of 10 of my (unpublished) short stories, none of which was over 2,500 words. I printed the stories, page by page, on 5" x 8" paper. I illustrated each story with pictures I found online. I created front and back covers and a title spine. The book had a table of contents and a short author bio with a picture of me when I was three, a picture my mother had taken. I meticulously stacked the pages and glued the spine by hand. Then I pressed them underneath weights and let the book dry on the radiator for 24 hours. I did the spine and covers next, and then it was back on the radiator for several more days. I was very proud with the finished product. Before I mailed the book to her, my mother had a heart attack, so I gave it to her in the hospital. Her face lit up when she unwrapped it. Unfortunately, she thought I was giving her a published book of my stories. When I said no, and told her what I had done, her face fell. I thought reading the stories would take her mind off of her health for a while. I never asked her what she thought of my stories, or even if she had read them. The weeks went by with no comment from her; needless to say, I was anxious to know. Out of the ten stories, she made just one comment on a story about a woman who chose desperate measures when faced being blackmailed by a truly revolting man: "Well! I was shocked that you wrote about a woman prostituting herself. Where on earth would you ever get such an idea?" Prostituting herself wasn't even the worst thing the woman did, but that didn't bother my mother. Only the prostitution.That was my mother's last Christmas. She died of cancer 9 months to the day after her heart attack. I have the book now, and I still laugh when I think of her comment.
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