I was a storyteller before I knew I was a storyteller.
When I was a girl, I had a CD of cheesy Celtic traditionals that I’d play while trying to fall asleep. When I wasn’t on my belly on the carpet, reading by the beam of light from the space at the bottom of the door, I’d lay in the dark, dreaming up detailed stories in my head to go with the music – foxes in their burrows, epic sword battles between rival warrior princesses, the last harrowing days of Atlantis, packs of wolves on the hunt, a couple locked in the throes of passion.
I didn’t even think writing these stories down was an option. They were just fantasies, distractions. Besides, I was a competitive singer, and spent my days inhabiting other, better stories. In the space of one hour, I could be a woman hopelessly waiting for her seafaring husband to come home, an elderly cat mourning the loss of her youth and beauty, and Evita Peron begging Argentina not to cry for her.
The one time I did dip my toes into writing my honest thoughts and experiences down, my junior high language arts teacher took one read-through and immediately suggested to my parents that I seek counselling. That shut me up pretty quickly.