As a young teenager, I had long loved reading, but my love for writing came a little later. I fell in love with writing when I read Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. Years later, my favorite scene was recreated in a motion picture in 1994 featuring Winona Ryder. In the scene, Jo is in a room full of men in a boarding house. The men are surprised and humored by her intelligent responses during their discussion. One of the men, Mr. Mayor, tells her she should have been a lawyer. She responds, “I should have been a great many things, Mr. Mayor.”
Miss Alcott lived in the 19th century and her characters reflect the restrictions on women at that time. Although I lived a hundred years later, I too had limitations. Sure, there were women in the 1960s and 1970s who broke the barriers. But they had the financial support of their families, or at least, an extraordinary talent, intellect and courage. I had none of these. As a child, I grew up wanting to be a stewardess or a model like the Barbie dolls we all played with. But since I never reached the lofty height requirements for either career, I soon knew both occupations were out for me. So I settled on being a secretary.
But back to Louisa May Alcott, she made a place for herself in literature when she wrote, Little Women, a fictionalized story about herself and her sisters. Earlier in her career, she, like her character, Jo, had written sensationalized stories that had been published under a masculine pseudonym, these early stories had no depth to them and lacked any quality that would make them memorable. It wasn’t until they wrote fiction based on their own lives, that both Miss Alcott and her character, Jo, finally became successful.
Looking back now, I don’t regret any part of my life, even the mistakes and failures. They all made me who I am today. My children have brought me an incredible joy and fulfillment that I really doubted existed before I became a mother. But they are now going on to successes of their own and it is time to find out if I have the courage and talent to become a writer after all. It took me many years to figure out what to write about, but then I found the answer, once again, it was in Little Women. Professor Bhaer tells Jo, “You must write from life, from the depths of your soul.” And so, that is what I have endeavored to do.
Here is my new website which will combine my blog posts from RaisingDrama with sample chapters from The Tin Box Secret. Through discussions with all of you, I will keep you apprised of my progress along the road to becoming a published author.
I leave you now with one final quote from my beloved, Little Women. Professor Bhaer: “Jo, there is more to you than this. If you have the courage to write it.”
http://www.theresadodaro.com Author of The Tin Box Trilogy