The Big Top! Nostalgia (part 3)

circus tent           I grew up in an era when ‘the Big Top’ meant huge canvas tents, sawdust, the smell of animal dung and the ‘side-show’ of freaks. Barkers calling out to you in whiskey, smoke- ruined voices. Step right this way,  see the tallest man, the fattest woman, the calf with two heads, the strongest man in the world…..See the eighth wonder of the world.”  And for ten cents you could see it all.  This was long before the circus was housed in the ‘civic center’ or the ‘Super Dome’.

You drove out-of-town to the cleared pastures of some farmer.  Even before you paid your fare and entered you caught the excitement when you saw the colorful trucks and trailers parked off to the side, circus wagonpromising wild animals and the man on the flying trapeze.

Every year my Dad would buy me a chameleon lizard on a string with a tiny safety-pin so I could wear it home.  It was like any other pet; I loved it dearly.  One year a drunken friend  (Irish household, remember) of my Dad’s killed my little pet.  I was heartbroken.

But to this day I remember those happy days.  “The Circus Was Coming To Town!!”

CirqueThe first time I ever saw Cirque du’ Soleil was in 1990.  A large tent had been erected in the parking lot at a Mall  in Orange County, CA.
Never having lost my love of the circus we detoured over to see what it was all about. A French circus? No one had ever heard of this now world-famous circus.  Even in those early days the show was spectacular!  The audience had never seen anything like it.  This was a circus but infinitely BETTER!!Cirque.costumes

Years later I wrote the “Fragrance of Life“©  (poetry) and I share an excerpt with you here:

Steaming manure in fresh straw,
roasted peanuts filled the air
pink, spun, sugary sweet

the pungent animals stalk the cage
Sawdust under old canvas glows like
burnished gold
in a shaft of wintry sun light

The Big Top!
Childhood rushes back

‘What’s she trying to tell me?’, you ask.  Just this:  a good place to begin, to start the art of writing is to go back to your own experiences.  Use something (like my circus memories) you lived through and write a story around it.  It will come across as honest and true because you started with truth.

Start your month off right!! DON’T MISS UPCOMING BLOGS. A NEW SERIES, “The Writer’s Corner” INTERVIEWS with other best-selling AUTHORS!

I have had a wonderful response from other authors and plan on featuring an interview once a month . I have invited such luminaries as: Ann Purser, Susan Elia MacNeal, Mark Childress, Robert McCammon, Rhys Bowen, Dean Koontz, Sheryl Woods, Jo-Ann Mapson, Jeffrey Deaver, Elizabeth Gilbert, Amber Winckler, Walter Mosley, Natasha Solomons, Nora Roberts, and many others.

So come along with me; we shall sneak into these writers’ special places, be a fly on the wall and watch them create!

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