have always been a lover of words. Looking back, I realize I've had
many strong female role models in my life that have guided me along
the way, and inspired the creative fire within me.
mom tells me I could recite the alphabet from memory at 18 months.
She showed me the beauty of words using a wooden alphabet magnet
puzzle. Together we explored the sounds and shapes of letters. I
wanted to speak them, write them, and read them without ceasing.
Words offered entry into other worlds, and were the catalyst for my
imagination to run wild.
From a very young age, I was requesting books on writing and teaching myself how to write letters in block print and cursive. Our first elementary school hand writing assignment was to provide the teacher with a sample of our penmanship. I offered her three options: printed letters, "proper" handwriting (as taught in the books I had filled up at home in the summertime), and my handwriting (adapted to suit my creative style). She just stared at me.
the joy of the handwritten word
future writing career was also shaped by the matriarch of the Pratt
family, my grandmother. We used to sit at her kitchen table playing
Scrabble. My favourite part was the sound the letters made as I shook
them vigorously in the case. Her favourite part was challenging me to
look past the obvious three letter answers.
My grandmother was also
one of my first spiritual advisers, though I didn't realize it at the
time. A devout Catholic, she took us to Mass on the days she babysat
us, and taught us about the power of prayer. I still remember
watching her pray as we drove to church in her tiny brown hatchback
(the Peanut). I believe she was fully trusting God to make the
corners on the South Taylor Hill for her as we made our way to town
and she moved through her daily devotions.
she passed, my family found dozens of journals, all filled with her
thoughts and prayers. She took great care of each of us through her
words, her belief in the Word, and her faith.
with my grandmother, July 2008
school I discovered libraries, a new kind of heaven. When other young
girls were playing house, I was playing "library". My
library checkout cards were painstakingly hand drawn, cut out on
small papers and inserted into each book between the front cover and
first page. Out of reverence, I couldn't bring myself to ever deface
a book, or I would have glued the checkout cards right into those
books. As it was, they were always falling out, floating to the floor
whenever I moved my collection.
I got older, I continued to explore new worlds through school
libraries. In high school, through the enthusiasm and genius approach
of my Grade 11 English teacher, Ms. Mitchell, I came to know and love
Shakespeare. His use of language transcended the realm of “normal”
and brought a new appreciation for eloquent descriptions. My passion
for words took on new forms, through theatre, singing, and learning
other languages as well. In university I studied English and Spanish
language and literature, and eventually took my love of language
to a new level with a Master of Arts in Professional Communication.
words and music onstage, Cabaret, October 2011
I've moved through these ages and stages in my life, words have
always been a constant. My faith has meandered over the years.
Sometimes I've gotten lost in this big, loud world. I haven't always
turned to God first. It's only as an adult that I've finally made my
way back to God's hearth, to sit at His feet and learn from His Word.
Now I find myself steeped in the call to write, and my faith in God has
become the launch point for my work and words. I am ever thankful
for the opportunities God's given me to learn from so many strong
women over the years. They saw the spark within me, and fanned the
flames, allowing me to grow into the writer I am becoming today.