I grew up in a household that was poor in creativity. While I do remember a time when I was very young that we had music in the house and I had simple books, my parents invited friends over for dinner and there was a element of joy. Then, something happened when our family made a move just after I turned seven and all that disappeared. We were a military family, so we moved all the time – I attended 10 schools before graduating high school – but that particular move was crucial in that music, singing, having friends over for dinner all stopped and never started up again. I never had another birthday party and Christmas was dismal.
Of course, all my friends were military brats. My neighbor’s dad’s made the same amount of money that my dad made. Yet, many of my friends took ballet lessons, horseback riding lessons, piano lessons and owned art supplies, while I was told we can’t afford it. When my dad retired and I was told I was on my own (at 19), I decided to experiment with different art forms and that changed my life. Artistic expression is fun. I tried dance classes first. I wasn’t a natural. I then took guitar lessons, but I was left-handed and too undisciplined. I studied photography and did my own developing, which was a lot of fun, but expensive. I took acting classes and that sort of paid off.
It was when I took my first fiction writing class, that I realized how much control I had over that – it didn’t involve my body, wasn’t expensive, and I could do it anywhere. In order to support myself while becoming a writer, I decided to teach writing. I hadn’t published anything or taught anywhere before, so this is where the acting classes helped out. I didn’t misrepresent my past, no lying, but I did act as if I could teach and got hired to teach fiction-writing at the Informal Classes program at a major university. Many of my students published for the first time, and two years later, I was one of sixty teachers invited to be part of a PBS program called “A Writer’s Exchange.”
Life kind of works out like that. The things we just do for fun turn out to be the easiest and most successful. So here I am still becoming a writer.
I bought a pair of tap shoes a year ago, thinking I might try to learn tap dancing, but I’ve given them away. I do a lot of kindergarten-style artwork these days. I can remember gluing macaroni to boxes in grade school and spraying painting it gold. What I do now is a little more sophisticated because I use Swarovski crystals and I create patterns, but it’s not complicated.
I still write everyday and I am working on a novel that involves the development of what seems like paranormal abilities in my heroine. This is the hardest story I’ve ever written because I’m trying to keep it so realistic that it might even be a bit scary.
After that, I’d like to take a cruise around the world. Please wish me luck with that.
It’s the Great Depression and 19-year-old Annie Huckaby is almost resigned to marriage with Tom. He works at a coal mine during the week, leaving Annie to take care of the house and their infant son. Tom’s Native American friend Jim takes care of the farm. Her best friend, Twila, visits every day and helps Annie make a little money selling eggs to the café on the highway. And there’s church on Sunday. Annie’s not always alone, but most times she feels like it…until one afternoon a peddler named Jake Stern steps onto the porch, tips his hat, and starts a world of trouble.
She already hated being married to Tom after less than a year of it. Hated the three-room pine house with its bare floors and windows. She’d gone home once to her mama’s house trying to get out of it, but her mama told her, “a good woman don’t go off on her husband” and that Annie’s job was to be especially pleasing to Tom so that he wouldn’t get foul-tempered. (page 4)
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Alana Cash is an award-winning author and filmmaker who used to spend summers on her grandparents farm at the foot of the Ozark Mountains in Arkansas. When she was ten, a red-headed stranger rode up on horseback asking her grandfather if there were horses needing to be broken. The cowboy wore spurs and a cowboy hat and was pretty exciting. Decades later, Alana wondered if any of the women living in that farming community got a crush on that wandering cowboy, and intending to write a short story about that romantic day, Alana ended up writing the novel TOM’S WIFE.
Alana will be awarding the winner's choice of a Screenprinted Camisole - "What Happens in the Bedroom Stays in the Bedroom" or a Brass Nuts T-Shirt - screenprinted "Brass" with 2 brass hex-nuts sewn to collar, to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour. (US ONLY)