Oh, no. My storytelling genius isn’t me. My strong desire to tell stories hit me early in life, mainly because of this woman, my great-grandmother, Jeanette Pardo Stidham, my Mumo.
She wove amazing tales of her upbringing with her father, Leon Pardo, a Baptist Missionary who had the family travel all over Texas, Cuba, and Louisiana during his attempts to convert so many.
Her mother, Charlotte DuVall, had always been shrouded in mystery. She and her sister, Naomi, arrived in New York City in 1884 with only a photograph pinned to my great-great grandmother’s clothes as a form of ID. She and her sister were left in the care of strangers, the Davis’s. The bio family never arrived or the Davis’s left NYC with the children before they returned. It’s been a dead end on the family tree, but has always been a wealth of interesting assumptions to what the real stories were.
As I grew up, I heard multiple stories from not only my Mumo, but additionally grandparents, parents along with the numerous aunts and uncles (who’d also grown up on her storytelling) were always amazing sources of information and incredible stories. These ranged from where exactly the tooth fairy puts all those teeth to the Santa elf who hides in the air conditioning vents and watches us all year, to the mythological creatures that hang out under our beds.
Needless to say, I had a very well rounded education in how to spin a yarn and probably a very warped sense of what normal was…is.
Being a native Texan, grand stories weren’t the only staple of my upbringing. Fishing, both fresh and salt water occupied a great deal of my weekends. So if there’s a Zombie Apocalypse, I can feed my family, which makes me feel good.
At the young age of nine, I penned a play about Nessie from the monster’s point of view. I remember my mother typing the script on a typewriter with carbon copy paper so I’d have multiple copies. My friends helped me act my first adventure into theater and seemed to think it was at marginally cool, but the writing bug had bitten.
Since then, I’ve written constantly, whether it was in a journal, diary, in my notebooks at school, or on my computer.
Many times, I wrote during class when I should have been listening to the instructor.
In my adult years, I learned to be a waitress, bartender, bill collector, bank teller, Blockbuster Video clerk, and dishwasher all before I earned my degree in nursing. Then I spent the next ten years in the adult ICU’s and adult and pediatric trauma units. As if I didn’t have anything else to do, I went to massage therapy school to learn to better care for my ICU patients, many of whom suffered bed sores and back pain due to their extensive times in bed. (Yes, I’m coming up with a hero who’s a massage therapist.)
After that certification, I still didn’t think I had enough knowledge. In an attempt to educate myself right out of the general dating pool, I returned to school to earn my journalism degree. It was while I worked as a Level 1 pediatric trauma nurse at Children’s Medical Center of Dallas, I met my husband, one super smart guy in his own right.
Now I hope to share my fiction and non-fiction story telling techniques with our children and with anyone who wants to read or hear it or simply those who are trapped in an elevator with me for an extensive period of time.
HOW TO CONTACT ME:
I’d love to hear from you so give me a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org
Interested in being a guest blogger or being part of a giveaway?
Want a character to have their own story? Let me know.
I’d love to hear from you!