One of the things I had on my bucket list was to write. From fifth grade English onward, when creative writing was assigned, I relished the task. Of course in those days writing was done in composition books with leaky ball point pens and eventually on peck and poke typewriters replete with smeary erasures. But I always enjoyed the process of writing my thoughts and observations, of creating scenes for the reader to help them see what I saw and feel what I felt.
Having been a sick child, I was naturally inclined toward being an observer, a watcher, a listener. Surrounded by doctors and nurses I learned to read their body language, notice their behaviors toward me and toward one another, read them. I absorbed myself, even entertained myself observing things in the world around me. Noticing even the smallest detail about a person’s expression revealed much about their true feelings and beliefs. I became interested in this process of noticing things. Although I was too young to reach many conclusions about all this and was years away from developing any insight or constructing any formulations about either myself or others, the groundwork was laid. All of this watching, listening and eventually thinking inclined me toward my chosen profession but it also dovetailed with my interest in doing some serious writing.
Through the years as a psychotherapist, there were many times when I’d look across at a patient and think, this is a story that needs to be told. These tragedies and these truths, they need to be shared with others and I’d tuck those stories away somewhere. It is from that wealth of knowledge, my in-depth understanding of human struggle and frailty, of success and recovery that many of my ideas derive. It is out of respect for their lives and their travels that I write and out of their souls come the essence of the characters I develop.