Clarice from Storybook Woods

Hmmm … creative battle scares. I have so many I could write a book on the subject! Like the time when I was eight and decided to make my sick mother a cake to cheer her up. I dumped the box mix, in the mixer and set it on high. Turned to go grease the cake pan but I kept feeling something cold against my neck. Finally I looked around to find cake batter splattered everywhere. I think there was even some on the ceiling. My poor mother had to drag herself out of bed to clean the kitchen. I do not think she felt very loved or pampered that day. Then there was the time I thought adding some flour to the frosting (to thicken it) was a good idea or how in junior high I got kicked out of home-ec. cooking class after two weeks. I think the last straw for the teacher was when I used salt instead of sugar in the recipe. The interesting thing about getting kicked out of home-ec. was I was already helping my mother cook for her dinner parties. I hated hanging out with the kids in the back yard and having hot dogs. I discovered if I helped cook and serve, I could avoid the obnoxious boys and the hot dogs :- )

It is kind of embarrassing to admit I was kicked out of home-ec. since I write and blog about cooking. I was kicked out basically because I do not learn like everyone else. Most people start with the basics and build their way up but I start with the complicated stuff and work backwards. I could make chicken Kiev (which is a lot of work) by the time I was 16 but did not learn how to properly hardboiled egg until I was 30. I think the reason why I do better with complicated is it forces my dyslexic, slightly ADD brain to focus and slow down. Plus, if I do not care about something, I tend to not give it much focus. My whole childhood was about not fitting in and finding my way of doing things. Which is not like most people!

Whenever I tried to do things the ‘logical’ way, it never turned out. When I did it my harebrained way, it was rocken. Over time I learned to listen to my gut and trust it. The good thing about all that criticism, was I developed a thick skin and a strong intuition. I can feel when I am heading in the right direction with my creativity. I have learned to be brave and trust my vision. Being brave is a big part of being successful, so is making mistakes. Believe me, I have made many more flops, than successes. I have had to tear apart my work, put it back together only to tear it apart again. I think one of my strengths, is I am hardheaded. When I have a vision, I cannot stop thinking about it. I cannot sleep. I cannot let it go until I have worked it out.

When I wrote my novel I had no clue what I was doing. I did things the hard way, like I usually do but then I learned a lot that way. I kept at it, moving forward with the book. Finally one day I had a novel worth reading, well … I hope it is worth reading. It would have been so easy to tell myself not to write because I would look like an idiot. Actually I did tell myself that but then I ignored myself. I am dyslexic. Dyslexics do not write books! I knew nothing about how to write or self-publish. Basically I was/am clueless.

Really though you only have two choices, you can let your fear stop you or let your dreams push you. I always keep moving forward, listening to my gut and battling each problem as they come along. When Gina asked me if I would like to contribute, I thought her concept ‘Lessons From Battle Scars’ an interesting way of looking at success. Since I am a pretty creative person, I tend to look at success in a creative format. Success to me means to me being able bringing to life ones dreams but in order to make your dreams come true, you have to have some battle scars!