Sunday, December 6, 2009

Words Become Honey

I remember sitting in my 5th grade class when the teacher asked us to compose a short story. She may as well have told me I could skip ahead 6 grades--this was how giddy, and ecstatic it made me. With little legs swinging joyously under the desk, I set about to capture in words the onslaught of imagery that filled my head onto paper. My imagination took a flying, soaring, roaring delicious leap, with chapters, and chapters of adventures for my characters to fulfill. In my mind's eye, I saw an entire book in vivid movie form not "just" a short story.

Somehow I missed the part where she told us we had only an hour to achieve the writing task. When she told us to pass our papers forward, I nearly fainted. It was like I had drawn an elaborate picture, and then had my crayons abruptly taken away before I could finish coloring it. I got a D. Not because of my writing, but because I didn't turn in a complete story with a beginning, middle, and conclusion. [insert a BIG sigh here] I was crushed but not entirely squashed. I went home and continued to work on it anyway. That's when I first discovered my passion for writing. I've been chasing it with a butterfly net full of paper and pens ever since.

Three years later, at age 13, I wrote my first song. It was 1965 a year after the Beatle's Invasion. The kids in my class told our teacher I'd written a song, and much to my surprise, she asked me to get up in front of the classroom, and sing it for everybody. Shyness nearly robbed me of that moment of glory but wobbly kneed, and with a weak voice, I did it. The kids loved it but I'm sure the teacher had to bite her lip to keep from laughing. For me it was a taste of honey I've hungered for ever since.

Beatle boots and a surfer haircut
That's what I like
Tight pants and a leather jacket
Riding on a motor bike

There was more to the song I just don't remember it. I'm surprised I remember that much of it. I even remember the melody, and could sing it to you some 44 years later. But don't ask me what I ate for breakfast yesterday. I'd be hard pressed to tell you.

That's me in the picture performing at a beauty pageant in SO CA in 1970 at age 17. I wrote, and sang a song I composed. The next day, the newspaper headline said, "New Queen Can't Read Or Write Music But She Can Compose". I received my first standing ovation, and won the competition which led me to compete in the next leg to the Miss California pageant. I didn't win that next pageant but a new dream of writing simmered under my rhinestone crown, and filled my mouth with honey once again.

That dream never left me, and I did indeed grow up to become a singer-songwriter with nearly 25 years under my belt of singing professionally. I've recorded three projects/albums and toured nationwide. You can check out my photo journal here that highlights my bands, and documents my steps along the way. Out of that journey I realized writing in all forms was like medicine to my soul. Seven of my short stories have been published and my forthcoming book, "Six Days to Haight-Ashbury" is as good as it's gets for a girl who's favorite song is Over the Rainbow.

"Six Days To Haight-Ashbury"

A young girl sticks her thumb out to find the Summer of Love

Lille Diane's forthcoming book chronicles one of the most colorful times in history during the last century--the magical sixties. In 1967 the California freeways were lined with hippies seeking ways to tune out, and turn on to freedom from the establishment. Like 100,000's of young people, Lille stuck her thumb out on a freeway on ramp to find peace, and love in San Francisco's historical Haight-Ashbury district. Those six days became a lifetime to a 16 year old girl.

"Riveting, and real!" readers say. Take a trip back in time to see what all the fuss was about, and to find out what she was running from.....

To read an excerpt click HERE.

My blog Woodstock Lily has given me yet another outlet to use writing but this time as a healing balm. After a bad auto accident in May 2008 I was diagnosed with PTSD, post traumatic stress disorder. I'm using writing, art, photography and blogging to help me jump back into life again.

Thank you, Kathy, for inviting me to be a part of this writer's group. I feel like swinging my child heart's skinny legs under my desk, and humming a tune loudly for all the world to hear. That's how happy I am to be a part of this. Thank you fellow writers, for I know inspiration will drip like honey from each one of you. How exciting to have a place to come together, to meet, to grow, and to cheer each other on. I'll stop by to visit your blogs or websites, too. Now I know ya'll are dying to ask me.... go ahead.... ask me to sing that song I wrote in the 5th grade... you know you wanna.


Katherine Jenkins said...

I love it Woodstock Lily and I want to know more...can you put some music on here?

Heather Conroy said...

Yeah I wanna! What an interesting lady you are-Love the pic! Actually I can hear the song when I look at your picture!

Sharnanigans said...

I wanna too!!!! Wow - love your story. So happy to be in this group of fascinating, unique people!!

Marilyn said...

Lilie...swing those legs away!

Lille Diane said...

Thanks, everyone for the warm, toasty welcome! Let's see what we can do about some tunes... meanwhile, I'm swinging my legs like a 5th grader. Better than burping like one.... hehe

Lily Robinson said...

We do have so much in common... but your life is like mine to the tenth power! I'll have to dig out the old song folder and hum you a tune, but you first...