Ask me what I am, and I’ll tell you I am a storyteller. That hasn’t changed over the years.
When I was just a child, my mother had to wait patiently for an answer to what she believed a simple question.
“Why did the principal of the kindergarten call saying you were very persuasive?”
A big word for a four year old, but I simply told her that, “When my teacher asked me to invite the other class to join us for a snack, I mimicked their birds voices, showed her the pink flower petals, and the picnic table. By the time I had finished, the entire school was outside. I guess the teachers thought it was a good idea too.”
At fifteen, when my older sister and I went out for a drive in Miami Beach, our new home, we arrived home past midnight. My sister sent me in with my version of the night. My mom listened with experienced skills, trusting my view. I explained that arriving late wasn’t accurate. We had made good time considering how my sister had driven up the exit ramp on the freeway in the wrong direction, and I had to slip below the seat to push on the pedal as my sister went into reverse, backing off the ramp. You see she was so upset that her leg was shaking and couldn’t find the pedal. And then when we turned right off Collins Avenue—the parking lot was the beach and the tires to our car got stuck. “Good thing Harriet called the tow truck, and had me explain to him that we had no money to pay.” My story kept us from being punished that night and has reminded me that the true story is in the “spin.”
For a time I made my living crunching numbers, a bookkeeper for forty companies. I read between the lines of numbers to discover fraud, rainy day sales, sloppy methods of ordering, waste of materials, and discontent. Patterns spoke to me with stories behind figures, truth that exposed characters, settings, and plots. Honest owners took my advice as I was their editor, their conscience. Dishonest owners fired me.
Each morning begins the same. I wake early and make my latte, prepare to work. I write quick notes to my husband who remains asleep. First thoughts jotted down before the critic’s analysis. A flittering feeling attached to words, future lines in a poem, chapter, or discussion. Non-sense, with heart and brain synced with the aromas of a new day.
My mother passed away last year. To her I was the “little bird.” How fitting that a hummingbird feeder hangs in front of my kitchen sink. Each rapid flutter of their wings reminds of stories not yet experienced or told. Love never ends and neither do stories. The more I see, the more people I meet, the more places I go, I still begin the same. I spin facts to gain perspective, to share stories.
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Author Bio: Abbe Rolnick grew up in the suburbs of Baltimore, Maryland. Her first major cultural jolt occurred at age 15 when her family moved to Miami Beach, Florida. In order to find perspective, she climbed the only non-palm tree at her condo-complex and wrote what she observed. Here history came alive with her exposure to the Cuban culture. This introduction to the Latino Culture proved fortuitous. At Boston University she met her first husband, a native of Puerto Rico. Her first novel, RIVER OF ANGELS, stems from her experiences during her stay in Puerto Rico.
Stateside, she capitalized on the knowledge she gained as an independent bookstore owner and worked for one of the finest bookstores, Village Books, in Bellingham, WA. More recently she opened a healthy foods cafe.
COLOR OF LIES, her second novel, brings the reader to the Pacific Northwest where she presently resides. Here she blends stories from island life with characters in Skagit Valley.
Her short stories and travel pieces have appeared in magazines. Swinging Doors won honorary mention by Writer’s Digest. Her next novel, FOUNDING STONES, will be the third in the series, continuing the stories of characters from the two previous novels, introducing new themes that connect Skagit Valley to the larger world.
Her recent experiences with her husband’s cancer inspired, COCOON OF CANCER: AN INVITATION TO LOVE DEEPLY. Presently she resides with her husband on twenty acres in Skagit Valley, Washington.
A story teller, in the noblest sense! Thanks for sharing this.
Noble— must me humbled.