Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Dream On


Please welcome my guest author, Michele Drier. Not only is she a prolific and talented author, she is the president of the Guppies (Going to be Published or Great Unpublished) sub-group of Sisters in Crime. Find her at http://www.micheledrier.com/
 
Your turn, Michele:


A couple of weeks ago, Judy wrote a blog about a dream catcher. This made me look at a piece that’s been hanging on my office wall for better than ten years.

I don’t know if this would officially be called a dream catcher. It’s a piece my mother did in an Art I class she took in college...in the late 1970s when she was in her mid-fifties.

My mother was an actress. She found her passion in high school in San Ramon, California, when that area was almost all farms. She was born in San Francisco and lived in the Bay Area until she moved to Humboldt County, in the far north of California, when she was in her forties.

She hated the weather (way too much rain), hated being so far from San Francisco (about 300 miles) but loved the chances she took to learn and to find her forte.

Going back to school as an adult gave her challenges beyond being a wife, mother and secretary, the big three in the 1950s. She kept with it and received her BA in 1970, the same year my youngest sister graduated from high school.

This was the time that my mother let her great passion bloom. She became one of the best-known little theater actors in the North Coast region, was cast in several films shot there, was a member of the Screen Actors Guild, and eventually earned an MFA in film.

It was difficult going to college at the same time as one’s mother, particularly when she kept making the Dean’s List and was offered a year’s study in Italy.

My mother taught me many lessons, from tying my shoes to telling time, but the most important one was to stay curious. She’d drop the dish towel and call us to come out and look at the sunset—a thing I do with my grandchildren, now. At the height of the Cold War, she’d start dinner table fights with positive comments about Russia and communism. She wasn’t a communist, but she wanted us to develop our own beliefs by using our minds to learn and sift and choose.

Today is the sixth anniversary of my mother’s death, but she’s with me every day. I look at a picture I took of her at the top of the Montmartre Steps as I’m writing. I pass a portrait of her and my eldest granddaughter every time I walk down the hall.

And I glance up at her dream catcher—her assemblage piece—several times a day, not consciously registering, but knowing she’s cheering me on.

I need to remember to keep focusing on the dream.

****

Michele Drier was born in Santa Cruz and is a fifth generation Californian. She’s lived and worked all over the state, calling both Southern and Northern California home.  During her career in journalism—as a reporter and editor at daily newspapers—she won awards for producing investigative series.

She writes the Amy Hobbes Newspaper mysteries and the six-book Kandesky Vampire Chronicles paranormal romance series and has just published her eighth book, SNAP: Happily Ever After? She’s working on the seventh book in the series, SNAP: White Nights, scheduled for publication in early 2014.

 

 

7 comments:

Kaye George said...

My mother inspired me, too, Michele. She always wanted to write and even told me some plots she had dreamed up. But she never did go through with it. She did fulfill her dream of being a nurse, even though she got turned down for years because she had had rheumatic fever as a child and the admissions people thought her heart wasn't strong enough. We're lucky to have had the moms we did!

Maryann Miller said...

What a lovely story. I enjoy reading about what and who inspires people. I think each of us take some inspiration from our parents - unless they were disconnected parents. My mother was uneducated, but she loved to read and loved to go to movies. I'm sure my interest in story took root way back then when we saw a film together.

Michele Drier said...

Thanks Kaye and Maryann. I just hope I've been able to instill some of this in my own daughter, as well. Gifts from our mothers are the best gifts of all!
And thanks, Judy, for hosting me!

Linda T. said...

Thanks for sharing such wonderful memories. What an inspiring role model. Your mother followed her creative dreams, even with a few twists and turns along the way.

Polly Iyer said...

What great memories, and what an interesting mother. My mother was quite the opposite--afraid of doing anything but work in a factory. I often wish she had more confidence in herself to embark on something new and different, but she was a child of the beginning of the century and couldn't see beyond one day at a time. I always thought it was such a shame. Maybe that's why I'm not like her in that way. But I am in many other ways. Lovely post, Michele.

Judy Alter said...

Polly, my mom was a child of the turn of the century too and yet she branched out, tried the arts, joined Great Book Clubs, etc. It was the Depression that scarred her--she as ever after a hoarder of bits and scraps. I notice every day I become more my mother--especially when I open my mouth to my children. And my house looks like her house--comfortable but far from a designer's dream.

Judy Alter said...

Polly, my mom was a child of the turn of the century too and yet she branched out, tried the arts, joined Great Book Clubs, etc. It was the Depression that scarred her--she as ever after a hoarder of bits and scraps. I notice every day I become more my mother--especially when I open my mouth to my children. And my house looks like her house--comfortable but far from a designer's dream.