When I was a kid, I always wanted to be John-Boy Walton. Man, that guy could write! Each week, I would tune into the show, and along with the rest of my family, I would watch, totally captivated by the antics and adventures of this quaint southern American family.
Although there were many characters on the show, such as Jason, Jim-Bob, and Ben, my favorite was John-Boy. This was one talented family. Jason was the musician, and he could really belt out the tunes. Jim-Bob was mechanically inclined, and Ben was the entrepreneur of the family, and of course, John-Boy, who strived to be a writer.
I used to check out the local library looking for his books. Sadly enough, Old John-Boy was a fictional character, and had no books published. I wonder if Richard Thomas had any writing talent? When I was a kid, I found his mailing address on the back of a fan magazine, and wrote him a letter. I still remember what I wrote:
“Dear Mr. John Boy;
I watch you write every week. I see that you finally got your book published, and I was wondering if you could send me a copy. I will get mom to pay you for it. Yours truly, Teddy”
I never received a response.
Nonetheless, I think it was John-Boy who helped influence my love for the written word. I would read books like most people ate dinner, savagely attacking books and often reading them from front to back in a day or two. When I didn’t have anything to read, I wrote my own stuff, and read that.
Writing became an escape for me. Despite being the skinny kid everyone beat up, the characters in my little books were strong and fearless. I only wish I had kept those books, but being a kid, I thought that writing my own books was foolish, and I ended up destroying them when I was done reading them.
When I got older, I used write down everything. If I spent a day with my grandfather in his hay fields, I wrote down my reflections of how I felt that day, and how he must have felt working the fields faithfully each day. When my dad and I went fishing, he would often find me sitting on an old rotten log, fishing rod threw in the bushes, with pen in hand instead. At school, I would resort to spending time in the back of the library with a notepad, instead of playing outside with the other kids. Even now, as an adult, I write every time I get a minute to myself.
I have never published anything. I guess part of the reason is that I do not know the steps that are involved in getting a book published; the other part being that I don’t write for profit, I write for therapy and relaxation. Those words spend hours pounding around in my head before I write them down and they leave my mind…sounds crazy but that is how I feel when I write.
So if Mr. John-Boy is out there reading this blog, I am still waiting for that book. I will take a Kindle copy if you have it handy.
Yours Truly, SightsnBytes