I did learn from my father that he was an affectionate and tender man because I still feel the warmth of his love. Even though it has already been a lifetime of not having him in my life, I know that he loved me. When I was younger I used to see him as a god who could do no wrong. Then I grew up and I had to accept the reality that my father was a sinner just like me.
My sister Salome shared a story with me that helped me to see him more realistically; she said that he had purchased a new toilet for our house and he brought it in to the house then he left because he had to go run an errand. Meanwhile he warned all of us to stay away from it until he returned. Salome could not resist and her curiousity finally triumphed over her will to obey Papa’s command. She lifted the top to the water tank and following the natural course of events, the heavy lid fell from her small awkward hands and it broke right in half. Then all the older kids tried as best as they could to prop the lid back in its place so that Papa would not notice it when he returned. When he returned, the first thing he did was to work on installing the toilet; as he looked in disbelief at the broken top the look on his face showed that he was about to fly off the handle. He lined all of us up and determined to find out who the culprit was that had disobeyed his order. We all stood quietly looking at our bare feet not wanting to give our peer away. One by one, he would look us in the eye and ask,
“Tu hiciste esto?” “Did you do this?” He went on down the line,growing hotter by the second until he reached Salome. When he looked in her face,Salome’s knees were knocking so hard her body language told on her before Papa had the chance to pry the truth out of her. The minute they made eye contact, Salome broke rank and ran for her life; she made Papa chase her all over the place and when he finally caught her,she told me in her own words,
” I got the whipping of a life time.”
Eva Santiago copyright 2009 Authorhouse
I just wanted to share some info about my writing journey with my readers.
I graduated from high school in San Antonio Tx in 1987; John Marshall High School is my alma mater.
I attended college in Atlanta Georgia; first I went to A.I.A and then I graduated from The American College for the Applied Arts with a B.A. in Fashion and Business.
I came to the US from Colombia when I was 6 and I had to learn English. Once I learned to communicate in English I started my life long love affair with words,sentences,paragraphs,pen and paper.
As a young child I had no one to confide in so I discovered that writing was a powerful tool for me;it helped me process my feelings and once I wrote things down I felt better. Writing also became my trusted friend because I could say anything in my journals and never be corrected or reprimanded by my superiors.
I loved reading as a child also and I would steal away to my bedroom; where I would travel to far away places through the books I was reading. When I was bored in my classes at school, I would read a book and tune out the teacher. Surprisingly I was able to keep all of my marks up.
In the 6th grade I had a wonderful teacher who encouraged me to write. As a class assignment she had us write poems and without telling any of us,she entered some of them in a local library poetry contest. I was amazed when one day she gave me a note that told me to go to the local library to receive a certificate for the poem I had written. I never forgot that feeling and I thank this teacher for having pointed out my gift to me.
Once I reached high school,in the 11th grade my English teacher from the year before approached me and asked me to submit a poem for the annual school anthology. Yet again I was shocked that she would come to me. So I wrote a poem about love and a few months later I saw my work published and I beamed inside.
During my senior year I joined the yearbook staff for my school and I loved writing articles for the different sections of the book. When I received my own copy at the end of the year, I was so happy to have participated in putting that book together for my last year of school.
When I went to college I took a course in Fashion Journalism which I thoroughly enjoyed. I attended a couple of fashion shows at The Apparel Mart in Atlanta and I was assigned to do the write ups for both shows. I let my imagination fly as I took in all of the designs that paraded in front of me. The more I wrote,I began to see how much I love it.
During those years family,friends and acquaintances would encourage me by telling me I was a great writer. I dismissed what they said because I didn’t think much of my gifting since it has always come easy to me. When I met my husband,he would always tell me I had a gift and I tuned it out too.
I worked at a history museum during my last year of college and I remained employed there after graduation. Atlanta Heritage Row was a great place for me because I was able to use my artistic capabilities at work. I was the manager of the gift store and I also was a bilingual tour guide. During those years I met and made friends with some truly wonderful people! My boss, Lillian Gantsoudes,the museum director encouraged me so much. She believed in me to the point where she asked me to design an exhibit using fresh flowers, that would represent our museum at the annual Atlanta Flower Show. I went for it and doing so I discovered my love for flowers!
Several years after I graduated from college ,with honors, I decided to start a family and that’s when I turned to journaling like never before. I have a full size file cabinet of journals from those years and I still add to my collection. Friends and family began telling me that I should write a book and I actually began to pay attention to what they were telling me.
I set out to write a book of poetry as my first endeavor;I figured since I had been writing poems for most of my life,then that was a good place to start. Due to my lack of computer skills back then,I put the project on the back burner because I lost my work on the computer several times. I saw that as a sign to step back for a while. I also had 4 children under the age of 5 at that time so I didn’t think it was the time to work on a book.
In October of 2007 I went to a meeting where a great man of God named Lance Wallnau spoke to me. In just a few seconds he spoke to me words that turned my life around forever; just a few words of encouragement from this man were all I needed to begin my book. I came home that night and I remember making a bold declaration to myself and in front of my family; I would begin the book I was meant to write and off I went!
I will sign off for now and later I will continue to share more on the journey I took as I worked on As Clear as Claire Gets, A Conversation with the Past.