Building Blocks (When I grow up I want to be a…)

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Time molds vivid memories from one’s past into the building blocks of one’s writing…

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“When I grow up I want to be a…”

I believe one’s life story should be like a good novel; with twists and turns, mystery behind the door, and not just applause, but some oohs and aahs along the way.

How do your dreams of ‘when I grow up I want to be a…’ influence your writing?  Note I wrote ‘how do’, and not ‘how did.’  I believe we never stop ‘growing up’; we just turn another page in a wonderful novel.  Here is a piece of my ‘when I grow up I want to be a…’ that influences my development of characters.

At age 8 I told the entire world  — well, at least the part I knew — that I wanted to be a Texas Ranger, just like Parker and Lauter on my favorite TV show Tales of The Texas Rangers.  The 1955-58 TV show may have been in black and white, but the dream in this eight-year-old’s heart was in full living color.  The television version of the original radio show had some episodes set in the 1950s and other episodes set in the 1800s in a traditional western genre.  In each show, Texas Rangers Parker and Lauter were involved with chases and shoot-outs.  They rode horses, yippee, and drove a fast police car with a flashing light, yippee; and it helped that eight-year-old Steve could outdraw the best that TV had to offer.

Tales of the Texas Rangers.  Willard Parker as Ranger Jace Pearson and Harry Lauter as Ranger Clayton Morgan.

Tales of the Texas Rangers.
Willard Parker as Ranger Jace Pearson and Harry Lauter as Ranger Clayton Morgan.

Then, in October 1956 my dream of a storybook adulthood was shattered by a wiseass butcher; no pun intended, he actually was a, nasty to children, butcher who worked in a large grocery store.  As I stood in front of the meat case, he said in a disdainful voice, “Steven, don’t you know you have to be BORN in Texas to be a Texas Ranger!”  His sick humor (?) was lost on a nine-year-old.  I was shattered…devastated… traumatized; my life’s ambition, my dream of going out into the real world, was…was, destroyed.

Nevertheless, I eventually moved on in the realm of ‘what I want to be when I grow up,’ and, despite other changes in direction in this novel called life, I can not complain.  Think about your ‘building blocks’; we can not write without them.

Tales of the Texas Rangers Intro and closing.

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