I’ve always wanted to be writer. I had a penchant for passing notes (some of you will remember?!) in elementary/primary school and, also as an only child (my brother came along when I was 12) I consumed books and my circle of friends increased significantly with my pals Harriet the Spy, Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield, to name a few.
I loved English, History and Creative Writing at my the inner city high school I attended. I was very lucky to go to a good school with dedicated teachers. This love of the written word and the encouragement from my peers and mentors continued with me into college and then onto University of Michigan, where I took a few journalism courses and creative writing courses, in hopes I could someday pursue career doing what I loved- writing.
I was sure that I wanted to be a writer/journalist. When I was 19, I took a break from University and moved to Hamburg and got a job working at a large publishing house who produced a variety of titles- everything from tabloid fodder to “serious” political commentary magazines. I had found my calling. I wanted to be a journalist like the people I observed. These people were cool. They were smart. They talked and wrote about ideas, culture, politics, entertaining, fashion, gossip and much more- all with humour, conviction and eloquence. I was lucky enough at that time to also write and edit for one of their titles, a magazine called Oskar’s, which was a bilingual magazine aimed at high school exchange students in Germany and the USA. I remember writing about how to survive the year abroad, compiling a list of language “do’s and dont’s” and writing about curious trends from far away exotic lands: I am talking about silver shoes, green jeans (never not fashionable in Euroland) and techno music. Writing and becoming published made be feel accomplished. I felt grown up and I felt I was making a connection, even if in a small way, with a larger group of people across the world through writing.
Fast forward 20+ years and, perhaps expectedly, I never did become a writer. I do write a lot for work, but rarely do I get to write for pleasure. I am now a 42 year-old American woman from West Michigan living in the UK. I work in a vibrant, fast-moving and imperfect city and am lucky, but also often exasperated, to be working in the arts and culture sector. I have three young children. I am Chair of a small gallery dedicated to supporting artists in the region and I try to stay involved in my community as much as possible. This all means there is little time to do much else than the aforementioned. There is little time to reflect or to write.
So, of course, I am starting a blog! I am taking back some time for me and starting to write- something I once very much loved to do.
Who knows where it may take me? This blog has been bubbling under for while. Expect rants/raves, wonderment/exasperation, plaudits/complaints. Expect philosophical questions coupled with recipes for food and disaster. Expect odes to music, booze, Netflix, books, podcasts and films. Expect tales of parenting highs and lows. Expect an exploration of love, friendship and marriage and relationship complexities. Expect discussion around our weight loss/confidence battles, depression/grief, agony/ecstasy, goals/achievements, boxers/brief, etc. etc.
I hereby announce Ma Fratelli- These Years. This is my blog for me and I hope you like it, but I won’t be offended if you don’t. The past 20+ years have gone by so quickly and I know the next 20 will too. “These Years” are important and often they can pass by without note. Here’s my record. I’m writing again, if only for me.