Snooty ghosts hovered around old houses along the winding road to the Inn that brought passers by to inviting nooks and crannies. Inside the lobby of the Inn, starched people laughed and sipped cold beverages. Outside, a veranda displayed a view of the water with a faraway mountain watermark in the hazy pale sky. The dim library housed well-aged books, and as I entered the room the wood floor creaked like an ornery granny reprimanding me for not being more ladylike in my footsteps. The shelves were filled with titles from a time that only those beyond had experienced. Alone in the room with just the hundreds of us, I felt that I was about to be entrusted with their secrets. I ran my finger along their spines and stopped at the title, Now Or Never, or, The Adventures of Bobby Bright by Oliver Optic*.
After I removed the book, it, too, creaked as I opened it, and revealed a perfume of a century gone. I carefully turned the pages and read the beginning of the preface, dated 1856:
“The story contained in this volume is a record of youthful struggles, not only in the world without, but in the world within; and the success of the little hero is not merely a gathering up of wealth and honors, but a triumph over the temptations that beset the pilgrim on the plain of life. The attainment of worldly prosperity is not the truest victory; and the author has endeavored to make the interest of his story depend more on the hero’s devotion to principles than on his success in business.”
My kind of guy, I thought. Feeling like I was about to make a new friend, I held the book carefully, walked out onto the veranda and stepped into a dream.
From a circa 1940s vintage Black Point Inn promotional brochure in my collection.
I wrote that in my journal in the early 1990s and it was based upon the Black Point Inn at Prouts Neck, Scarborough before the relatively recent renovation and when they still enforced a dress code.
Moving back to the title of this post and the book which was one of my first antiquarian books I’ve ever owned, purchased at a yard sale at the time, the sentiment is relevant and timely.
I have a half finished novel I wrote over a decade ago along with other unfinished writing projects. I have outlines of things I haven’t yet started to write. Why? Some of it is ADD-ish, yes.
Some of my spiral bound handwritten journals I kept throughout my twenties.
Before I got into photography as a hobby in high school** where I printed my black and white photos from my FG-20 Nikon in my school’s darkroom, I wrote. I’ve been writing for pleasure and to illustrate my views of life since a very young age but most of it has never been seen.
I’m a sensitive writer which generally is not a very glamorous or lucrative vocation which is why I abandoned it for many years before treating it like a side gig. When I’m not writing I experience a deep void which is why I started my blog. It’s that simple yet it’s taken me a long time to embrace that because I once thought maturity meant leaving that part of myself behind. I’m saying that “aloud” here to the world for my own sake. I’m turning fifty-one this month and really, the time is now to be true to my craft which feels more like a calling.
What this means for me in 2019 is that I’m going to close certain chapters in my business life to dedicate more time to writing, whether here or publishing, and in multiple genres.
Rather than making this a resolution, it’s more like surrendering to what comes naturally when I don’t get in my way. My faith has taught me that when I demean the gifts given to me I’m not honoring God. I used to think: Who am I to write? Now I know: Who am I not to write nor share the spiritual gifts I’ve been given?
*A pseudonym for William Taylor Adams, a noted academic, author, and a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives.
**In my first-ever resume I included that fact that I belonged to an “adult” photography club with the emphasis on adult to mean that it was a bunch of literal adults that allowed a kid in. It wasn’t that kind of club, ha! I didn’t even catch that until recently!