Dawn Colclasure's Blog

Author and poet Dawn Colclasure

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Books that were for or inspired by my mother

Sometimes, a person can really influence a writer. There are so many things that inspire me as a writer. That is only natural for ANYONE who is a writer: Events, people and ideas can inspire us to write.

And, usually, we’ll dedicate that thing to the person who inspired the idea. My kids are the ones who inspired me to write about my experiences as a deaf parent, so I dedicated my book on deaf parenting to them.

But it usually goes that it’s just one book that’s dedicated to the person. In my case, however, my mother was involved somehow or another with 3 of my books.

The first book was my novel, November’s Child.  

This story was based on a dream experience that I had, but also one BIG dream where the whole “dream story” was one story and the title for it “November’s Child” was actually in that dream. I did want to turn my dream experience into a novel but I wasn’t sure how. My sister, Elizabeth, helped me piece it together and turn it into a story. (It was my sister’s idea to make two characters Druids and a character’s Druidic name actually came from a dream.) I gave the novel the same title it had in the dream. And, of course, I dedicated it to my mother because, at that time, she was the only “November’s child” in the family. (Sometime after her death, my niece, Kandice, got that honor. She was born on my mother’s birthday.) And, anyway, my mom was a really big supporter of my writing. She was always encouraging me to write and she supported this book, too.

Sadly, November’s Child later went out of print. However, it was brought back to life as a new story with a new title: Shadow of Samhain

 Losing my mother was a very devastating experience for me. I cried for days. It was really hard after she passed. And there were times long after her death I would just lose it and cry for hours. Coping with the grief of losing my mother was very, very hard in the beginning and sometimes I still cry. But shortly after her death, I was just inconsolable. One source of comfort I found in my grief, however, was through my dog. It’s no mystery how animals can help us heal from loss. I know of stories in which animals have helped people struggling with grief. And my dog was indeed a source of comfort – there for hugs and just to be by my side as I wept. I also felt a source of strength from my spirit animal, the wolf. Somehow or another, turning to the wolf during this low point of my life helped me to heal. Then one day, I woke up with a story in my head. That story became the children’s book, Wolf Whispers. I am still surprised I managed to write something while I was grieving the death of my mother, but, really, it was like something had control over me. The idea came to me all in one piece and I just sat down and wrote the story from beginning to end. I must say, the story offered me comfort, too. It reminded me how animals can help people to heal during the loss of a loved one.

The one true book that was actually inspired by my mother, though, was my poetry book, Wandering Soul. I wrote that poem, and others in the book, while my mother was still alive. She is the wandering soul behind the poem “Wandering Soul.” The book was dedicated to her memory. 

My mother may continue to influence me in my writing somehow or another. I wrote a poem “Today Is Her Birthday” shortly after her death when it was her birthday and I was not able to call her and talk to her. (It’s going into a poetry book I’m writing that is a collection of poems about grieving.) She has been gone for 3 years but sometimes she is still “showing up” in my writing here and there. She visits my dreams every once in a while (as does my dad) and I think about her every day. She will always be in my heart, and not just my writing. Happy Heavenly Birthday, Mom.

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