The designation “drama queen” wasn’t around in the ’50’s and ’60’s, but it would have been a good description of me as a kid.
As I’ve written on Write Thinking, I had a vivid imagination in my childhood, and I loved to perform. I took ballet lessons for seven years, three of them as a soloist, and several years of piano lessons. I learned to play the flute (long forgotten). I was horse crazy and eventually saved up enough money to buy my first horse when I was 15. In Junior High, I got involved with drama club.
Back up a bit: I was ten, in the fifth grade, when the storyteller in me discovered the fun of entertaining others with words. I spun a tale about how my mom was born on a covered wagon coming west. Even in grade school I loved studying history, and here in southern Idaho a person can still see the ruts from the wagon wheels in the Oregon Trail. That made it easy to slip into that place in my imagination to weave my tale. I had no idea that down the road I would write many stories set in the Old West.
I became what I call a compulsive writer. I can’t recall ever thinking, “I want to be a writer when I grow up.” I just wrote. Wrote and wrote and wrote. On scraps of paper and on binder covers and in tiny diaries with those itsy-bitsy sized keys. When I wasn’t reading a book or pretending to be a horse or entertaining in one form or another or fantasizing in my head, I usually was writing something. It was part of my every day world.