wendy hale davis
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looking backward...


i've always loved books...

I've always loved books. And cats. When I was born, TVs were just appearing in homes. My Dad worried that if we had a TV I wouldn't learn how to read, or to read well, or to love books as fiercely as he did. So he decided we would have no TV. (This was back in the days of Father Knows Best, a show, of course, I never watched!)

To make up for this horrible deprivation, my Dad read to me an hour at least every night. He had a bad back and spent a lot of his time in a recliner, and when I'd had my bath, and got my pjs on, I'd pile into his lap with whatever we were reading -- mostly books he'd read as a kid -- and Birthday, our cat.

Here we are reading The Hobbit, one of my favorites. Other books I loved as a kid were: The Phantom Tollbooth, Alice in Wonderland, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Scaramouche and Tros of Samothrace.

I also loved all novels illustrated by N.C. Wyeth. My Dad and Aunt Anne had a bunch of these because their father's publisher was Scribners, and Wyeth did a lot of work for them illustrating children's books. This was one of my earliest artist influences.

More bio

early books

I got my first blank book when I was five or six. Dad edited a textbook and they sent him a blank book that was a sample of the paper and binding. Dad gave it to me and I began a novel, then a play, and then spent the rest of it scribbling.

I didn't keep a journal again until around the time I started college. At some point I burned it -- in the grill on the patio -- and its sucessor because I felt they were too infantile.

My first husband, Jim, kept a journal. He took it with him on our 'dates' and spent the evenings writing and drawing in it. I pretty much had to keep a journal in self defense. The first one of these was called Greensickle. For some reason I was trying to writed left handed in it. It is filled with bad drawings and class notes. I still have it and rebound it in 1995.

Over the intervening years, I have written some forty odd journals. Several have been lost: two in a house fire in 1972, one when I lived on the reservation and one at a Willie Nelson/Grateful Dead Fourth of July picnic in 1978 in Kansas City.

After years of sporadic scribbling, I finally got 'serious' about keeping a journal in 1992 with 'Intentional Journal.'