by Julie, who thought about turning the heat on this past weekend!
I’m delighted to welcome Ginger Bolton back to the blog! Ginger has a new book–BEYOND A REASONABLE DONUT came out May 25. She was also inspired by our “8” conversations last month–specifically about being eight years old.
THE QUESTION THEY ALWAYS ASKED
by Ginger Bolton
Do adults still ask this nearly every time they see a small relative? “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
By second grade, I had heard it many times.
What did I know besides my hazy idea of what the adults I knew were doing when they were grown up?
Kids were (and are) kept busy with various forms of the arts. I had tried a few of them, so that’s what I knew about. Well, more or less . . ..
My so-called tap-dancing on the tile hearth in the living room, while satisfyingly clattering, was not something I pictured myself doing as a grownup.
The music teacher did not invite me to join the second grade chorus. I was devastated. I begged for, and received, piano lessons. That didn’t work well.
My worst grades were due to my inability to color within the lines.
Aha. Finally, we were getting closer to something I could, I thought, do. At the end of the year, I was given a minor part in a play put on in the high school’s cavernous gymnasium for the entire school plus our extended families. I had two lines to speak! And I spoke them. I was told afterward that no one could hear me.
I had learned to print and spell (well, mostly.) That meant I could do something that I thought was really fun—write. I started with a poem that I proudly passed around to the aunts and uncles at a family gathering. They laughed. I had meant the poem to be serious. It was about my kitten. I did not have a kitten and did not know much about kittens. Or about anything else. I thought the aunts and uncles laughed because I had used the contraction for “he will,” and they mistook “he’ll” for “hell.” Years later I realized that the line that amused them was “Then he’ll have kittens.”
However, the Big Thing that happened in second grade was finding out that books didn’t just appear. People wrote them. They put their pencils down on the paper and painstakingly drew each letter and spelled each word and created these wondrous worlds for other people, like me for instance, to enjoy. I discarded my previous career ambitions. I no longer aimed to be a cowgirl or astronaut. The aunts and uncles laughed at my desire to write books. Long after they were gone, I did it.
What were some of your earliest dream careers?
Ginger Bolton writes the Deputy Donut mysteries—coffee, donuts, cops, danger, and one curious cat. As Janet Bolin, Ginger wrote the Agatha-nominated Threadville Mysteries—murder and mayhem in a village of crafty shops.
BEYOND A REASONABLE DONUT came out May 25, and DECK THE DONUTS comes out October 26.