by L.B. Dunbar
Coming June 2, 2015!
Coming June 2, 2015!
I've been waiting for love. I've watched my closest family find their perfect match, and it's made me realize my current boyfriend is not mine. When a stranger comes to town, I'm intrigued, but not ready to give up my newfound freedom. A whirlwind of events throws us into each other's path, where I eventually discover I'm the teacher of his youngest sister. Concerned about Amaryllis' reading, I take on the role of mentor to her. Soon I learn a lesson or two from big brother, Leon Ramirez. In a push and pull, we struggle as we each have demons in our past.
A smart girl would never stay in a bad relationship.
A gang member could never want more from his life.
Stereotypes remain false words.
As I learn to fight for love, I find that words do matter.
Sometimes they can hurt more than sticks and stones.
I’d like to say I was always a writer. I’d also like to say that I wrote every day of my life since a child. That I took the teaching advice I give my former students because writing every day improves your writing. I’d like to say I have my ten-thousand hours that makes me a proficient writer. But I can’t say any of those things. I did dream of writing the “Great American Novel” until one day a friend said: Why does it have to be great? Why can’t it just be good and tell a story?
As a teenager, I wrote your typical love-angst poetry that did occasionally win me an award and honor me with addressing my senior high school class at our Baccalaureate Mass. I didn’t keep a journal because I was too afraid my mom would find it in the mattress where I kept my copy of Judy Blume’s Forever that I wasn’t allowed to read as a twelve year old.
I can say that books have been my life. I’m a reader. I loved to read the day I discovered “The Three Bears” as a first grader, and ever since then, the written word has been my friend. Books were an escape for me. An adventure to the unknown. A love affair I’d never know. I could be lost for hours in a book.
So why writing now? I had a story to tell. It haunted me from the moment I decided if I just wrote it down it would go away. But it didn’t. Three years after writing the first draft, a sign (yes, I believe in them) told me to fix up that draft and work the process to have it published. That’s what I did. But one story let to another, and another, and another. Then a new idea came into my head and a new storyline was created.
I was accused (that’s the correct word) of having an overactive imagination as a child, as if that was a bad thing. I’ve also been accused of having the personality of a Jack Russell terrier, full of energy, unable to relax, and always one step ahead. What can I say other than I have stories to tell and I think you’ll like them. If you don’t, that’s okay. We all have our book boyfriends. We all have our favorites. Whatever you do, though, take time for yourself and read a book.