Monday, February 13, 2012

Monday Musings: From The House Of My Faddah



This is on my newest coffee cup.




I was born, yonder, in the house of my Faddah. Wait, wrong origins. Sorry, I was channeling Tony Curtis’ character Myles, in The Black Shield of Falworth.

Still, it’s not too far removed from my origins as a storyteller. My father was a fabulous storyteller, as many Celtics can be. He would have made an excellent warrior bard. He entertained his children and wife with stories on many an evening. Hot summer nights we’d sit outside and do round robin stories with each of us taking turns. The story might have started as a dream Dad had, or something he saw from his travels, and he’d embellish it with details. Dad told his stories in installments. While Dad worked he’s be thinking up the next installment for us. We loved it.

The apple didn’t fall far from the tree. As kids, my brothers and I would also make up stories to act out in—‘let’s pretend’. We took turns making up adventures to play pretend and they, too, lasted days. A living adventure series. We couldn’t wait to get outside for the next adventure—which worked great for mama because we had to do our chores before we were free to play. Ah, waiting was agony for us!

My parents encouraged the free reign of imagination. There were many times Dad and Mom would get rid of the TV set, entirely—not a TV to be found at our house. Instead we were encourage to listen to or play music and we had tons of books to read, we are all good artists and crafters, great singers, and good conversationalists. And, we all can tell stories. J  

As long as I can remember, I’ve told stories. My mom still has some drawing from when I was 4 and 5—think comic book style—of stories I made up. Then came Barbies and more stories, only Barbie was rarely allowed to be a princess, mostly, she and the GI Joes (Gads, do you remember how wimpy looking Ken was?), were taking part in some kick ass adventure of discovery and danger.

I don’t think I consciously thought of writing as a career, but I did win contests as a kid for poetry and stories I did and some were even published. Any project I had in school had as much time spent on the creative words as the nuts and bolts of the project. I had teachers who encouraged me to develop my skills, but painting pictures with words was as natural as breathing for me. I figured everyone could do it and why were they making such big deal about it—until I got older.

College was the first time I actually considered writing. That was about the time I was taking some clinical psych courses that involved detailed journal entries of children and adults I dealt with. I always got A’s on that, not only for the applied technical content but also for telling a compelling story on each of my clients. Always, there had to be a story at the heart. My professors would always add on the comment page that I should really consider writing because I could paint pictures with words. About that time I was also working part-time with radio and newspapers writing up articles and in radio doing the scripts for commercials. Every job I’ve had used my writing skills. It’s something I’m good at.

I have various notebooks filled with stories and several complete novels written. They were fun to write—it was always something I did on the side and it fed my creative side just as much as music and art do. Frankly, my life was so full I simply didn’t have time to pursue publication for fiction. I had a demanding high power job that consumed most of my time and utilized much of my creativity. I hardly had any inspiration left over, although I still wrote fiction. 

I moved from the San Francisco area, settled in Missouri, to be near my family. I left behind the corporate world for a different sort of life. Fulfilling dreams of being a mom and ranching, raising hay, vegetables, creating flower gardens, horses and Great Danes.  My life is still full, fulfilling, but in a different way. Much of my storytelling was channeled towards my son, but still...I found myself thinking much more about my writing.  There are a lot of stories out here beyond the back forty.

Friends and a few family members who had read my stories urged (okay, browbeat) me to move forward with it. Finally, I decided to enter one of my stories in a contest a few years ago (2007). I placed at the top 25%. I decided to query them. Got some positive feedback and joined a writing group which I’m still part of. All this showed me just how much I didn’t know about this business of writing. For me, that was unacceptable. The need to know has always a driving force for me. Knowledge of a path always gives me confidence to continue to walk it and if I get knocked down, the ability to dust off the dirt of the pratfall, stick a bandage on the boo-boos and move on.

I’ve spent the last few years learning about my craft. I’ve read and reviewed books to learn current market expectations, did judging gigs, experiment with various promotion platforms, and gained name recognition. In 2009 I created my blog. For me, it’s never been a race for followers (although I love them) but sharing other writers’ journeys, what they’ve faced and overcome. What they’re still overcoming despite their successes.

What’s next? That’s still work in progress and is still evolving. Definitely more writing, and the editing what I’ve already written and more querying.

From the house of my father to who I am today has been a living story. I’ve enjoyed it all.    

32 comments:

Jo said...

Interesting Sia. I always wrote poetry as a youngster and always thought I would write a book. However, blogging is as far as I will ever get. I enjoy it. I hope you find you can successfully publish one of your books in the near future. Not an easy business to pursue, but you have lots of other things to fall back on which is a good thing.

Carol L. said...

A beautiful story Sia. I wish you every dream come true with your writing. Thanks for sharing your memories and life.
Carol L
Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

welcome to my world of poetry said...

A great story, I hope your dream comes true.

Yvonne.

welcome to my world of poetry said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Matthew MacNish said...

Hi Sia. Just stopping by as one of the Origins co-hosts, and am now your newest follower. Nice to meet you!

~Sia McKye~ said...

Thanks, Matt! There are some good stories out there. I've been reading quite a few.

Dana Fredsti said...

Lovely post, Sia!

nutschell said...

Hi Sia!
I'm dropping by from the origins blogfest. I love how your dad's stories got you into writing.

your newest follower,
Nutschell
www.thewritingnut.com

Scarlett said...

Sia! YOU are Wonderful!

LOVE your space ~ would like to take home your little Scottish warrior. I'd call him Jamie! Guessing you are an 'Outlander' fan. If not, I highly suggest you get right on that! Awesomeness.

I live in Missouri (Kentucky Irish ~ born and raised, mostly, but I'm here for now raising a family on a small farm... with our horses, dogs, cats, chickens, bunnies, etc.). We're in the Washington/Union area, just outside of St. Louis. Good to see a *neighbor* here on the Fest!

You have such a full, well-rounded writing history. Cannot wait to learn more about you!

Heather Day Gilbert said...

Love this story (and the music in your background!). I'd totally forgotten that my dad told us stories on car trips, many of which I tell my kids today. Yes, we must be old bard-like souls (I'm a Viking bard! yeah!).

Nice to meet you via the blogfest!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

No TV? The horror!!!!!
Keep writing and querying and don't give up.

Rick Daley said...

As a parent I can only hope I give my kids a great a gift as your father gave you!

DL Hammons said...

What a wonderful enviroment to grow up in. How could you NOT become a writer! Thank you for sharing your ORIGIN with us today!! :)

Tara Tyler said...

great beginning story! looks like you have an awesome support system!

Ashley Nixon said...

One of my characters names is Sia! I'm hearing a lot of people having wonderful parents who encourage their writing and tell stories! I love it! How wonderful!

J.L. Campbell said...

I guess you took your time and found your way to where you want to be as a writer. Enjoying the journey is important.

J.L. Campbell said...

I guess you took your time and found your way to where you want to be as a writer. Enjoying the journey is important.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Heather, I'm glad I reminded you of your Dad's stories. Glad to meet a Viking Bard!

Alex, We survived just fine. Dad would pile us all (you do know I come from a litter of 9, right?)into the car and we'd go to the drive in theater, eat popcorn and watch movies. Thank you, I've never been one to give up on something I want.

Stephen Tremp said...

We give the kids a five day sabbatical from the TV and they can sing and practice piano and write and read. Just not watch TV. Its a great family time together.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Rick Part of it is the desire to be the best father you can. Each of us has so many good things to share with our children. Things only we can give. Making good memories is a gift. :-)

DL it was a great way to grow up, even if there were times we kids questioned it. I have lots of great memories...

~Sia McKye~ said...

Absolutely, Steve. I think a sabbatical from electronics is a great idea. Family time is precious and not always easy to come by in our busy world.

My mom used to call the TV the idiot box and said she didn't want us to grow up idiots, lol!

~Sia McKye~ said...

Ashley, really? I've never met another Sia that wasn't an acronym for something. :-)It's actually my nick name. My brothers could never get their tongue around my given name of Sylvia (which I never particularly like and I don't care if there a lovely poem written about the name-as I told my parents more than once) so I became Sia and it's part of middle name. Hopefully, your Sia is cool and not not a hatchet murderer or something, lol!

Tara I really do have an awesome support system. :-) I'm not much of a joiner--mainly because I don't have the time--but I love my writing group!

Mz Campbell the journey has been fun. :-)

~Sia McKye~ said...

Scarlette How wonderful to meet another back 40 writer. I have bunnies and chickens along with the horses, cats, dogs, various teens dashing in and out with my son. It's a good life.

You're only a couple of hours from me. My sis lives in Saint Charles.I'm about 30 minutes South of Rolla.

Being Celtic is grand. And yes, I have read Outlander.

Looking forward to getting to know you as well!

Scarlett said...

Your name steps off of my tongue as, 'See-ya'! *grin*

We have family and friends in St. Charles, and we're heading out to Rolla next weekend for a Science Olympiad competition, held at the university, that our oldest and youngest are competing in this year.

Got teenagers? We do! *Big Smile*

A good life it is!

~Sia McKye~ said...

Yep, and that's exactly how you say it. :-)

My son is 17. I had a foster daughter and son, who are now living with their father, she's 16 and he's 14.They've not lived with me for about three years, altho I stay in touch. But, as you know, if you have teens, the house becomes a teen magnet. I'd much rather them all here than "out there" at least I know what they're doing. My son has a good group of friends.

We have plans next weekend or I'd make it point to come up to Rolla. Maybe next time. Are you part of RWA? I know they have a chapter in St Louis, but I've not been for some time. Too sick last year to manage it. *shrugs. Doing much better this year.

We back back 40 writers have to stick together. *grin*

Scarlett said...

Our oldest son just turned 18. We also have a daughter, almost 16 and our youngest son, 13.

We rarely see a dull moment around here, these days! Kids are in and out of the house like flies. My husband agree ~ we much prefer the kids always feel like they can bring their friends with them, than wish they were always somewhere else.

That's sweet of you, Sia! I'm not a member of RWA, though I did check out their Facebook page when you mentioned them. It looks like they meet once a month an hour east of our home. We're used to the trek into the St. Louis area. Family is pretty spread out.

I've only recently begun to take my writing more seriously. No, scratch that. I've only recently MADE the time to follow my writing dreams! Joining a group like RWA feels quite daunting to me.

Shah Wharton said...

Lovely post Sia. I'm here to return you blogfest visit and I'm glad to do so. Although, I found it difficult to concentrate on your writing with the hunk on the right begging to be admired. :) X

Tonya Kappes said...

Beautiful story, Sia! Isn't it funny how our past really does impact our writing career. For me, I've learned my work ethic from my father. His drive to keep going and going when people try to knock you down. His drive was and still is amazing to me.

M Pepper Langlinais said...

Nice! I hadn't even considered the family connection until reading your post; my grandfather was also a storyteller and poet, so maybe I get some of it from him . . . Alas, he could also draw, and no matter how many classes I take, that's one thing I cannot seem to learn to do!

Melissa Sugar said...

What a lovely story. I hope that all of your dream come true. I am a new follower from the Origins blogfest.

Jackie Jordan said...

Great story! The family that writes together, or tells stories, is a solid one indeed. But, I would have had to sneak in my room some how. LOL I really wish I knew how to embed music, as you have done. I'm so primitive, I still have my manual typewriter in my room for comfort. I can't sleep without it nearby ...

Jeremy Bates said...

Wonderful story just keep on writing you inspired us.:)