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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Thursday Spotlight: Donna Michaels

Family creativity

Happy Thursday, everyone! I got to thinking about creativity. Obviously, a writer needs to be creative, but well before I ever wrote, my favorite pastimes were reading and drawing. I even played the violin for awhile, but…okay, I admit it, the lessons were interfering with dating my husband so I dropped them when my instructor moved. lol

Looking back at it now, the family creativity was always there.

I could remember as a child, sitting at the kitchen table drawing with my mom. I loved to draw animals. My father designed and built houses, and to this day, loves to doodle. Now, when my parents comes over, my dad sits at the table with the kids, draws a shape on paper, and they take turns making a picture out of it. We’ll do the same thing with a sentence. Man, you sure get some surprising and hilarious stories. You just never know what the kids will come up with; they’re so unpredictable and funny. Try it. I guarantee you’ll get a laugh.

My children are creative, too. My oldest son, Nick amazes me with his drawings, especially of cars. He can Google one then sit and draw it to near perfection. Try as I might, I can’t get him to take art lessons. As a mom, I could see this is something he would excel at and could possibly incorporate into a second career. He’s going to ITT for computer networking and says he only draws as a hobby. Maybe someday he’ll change his mind. It’s never too late to take lessons.

My Kyle is the sports fanatic. He lives, eats and breaths basketball, which is good since he’s the starting center for his high school basketball team. In the winter, he’s out back shooting hoops before he catches the bus…but even he has a little creativity in him. It pokes through in his English assignments. His pieces are always funny but he has no intentions of pursuing a writing career. He’s hands on and likes construction and architecture—which he’d be good at because it’s a career that requires vision and he has it like his grandpa.

His twin Zach loves to read, has written a few stories and several poems…when he’s not playing video games. He’s always jumping from one thing to another. Right now, he’s torn on what to pursue in college next year: writing, game making, or some type of engineering because his Math and Science grades are almost as good as his English grades. Of course, I told him, if he’s going to write, he’ll need a day job. lol

Then there’s my daughter. The performer. When Jes was three, she loved doing the holiday shows at nursery school—which she continued all through grade school. Now that she’s in middle school, and had a taste of doing a straight play, she says that is what she wants to do but is still open to doing musicals. So far, she had a small speaking part in her high school’s production of The Secret Garden; was in a local musical saluting Broadway musicals; did a monologue and was a riot as the little old lady in a local theater’s production of Festival of Fables. And for her 13th birthday present, she wanted to join a theater workshop for teens, which ended in them putting on High School Musical. I had warned her not to expect to get one of the older roles because the age group was 13-18 and they were going to go by age for the show. She was very pleased to be cast as one of the cheerleaders because there was a lot of stage time for them. lol Several teens were also chosen to do monologues and she got one—Boy Crazy Miss Muffett. :-)

So, Jes wants to be an actress. Already has her name picked out: Jestina Michaels :-) Love the name but, as a mom, I’m finding it hard to breathe just thinking about all the competition and hardship that goes with acting. Still, I would never discourage her from following her dream. When she’s in 9th grade, she wants to go to the local technical school Kyle is in and take up Audio Video to learn broadcasting (they have a cool green screen), photography, and graphic arts as a back up to her acting. Like Zach, Jes also enjoys writing and is in the middle of YA story, written like diary entries. It’s very good. When she’s done, I’m going to have to see if there’s anywhere I can help her get it published. Jes seems to be oozing with creativity. I wonder if it’s a girl thing…

So, that’s my creative family. I hadn’t realized it until I stepped back and took a look.

How about you? Are there creative genes flowing in your ‘tree’? What other hobbies do you have? How about when you were growing up?

Thanks for reading,


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Hywela Lyn said...

Hi Donna. What an interesting post. I used to draw and paint when I was a child, and as a teenager I loved to paint in oil and acrylics. However, life got in the way, and horses took over most of my spare time. I still wrote on and off and did the odd sketch, but since I had my first book published writing has taken over in a big way, and I just don't have time to paint anymore. I do think it helped my writing though, as I can visualise a scene as if I were painting it, and just try to describe it in words instead of using paint.

Donna Michaels said...

Hi Lyn,

How cool! I'm envious of you being able to paint. Whenever I tried, I ruined my I just stuck with sketching. Now, like you, after having my first book published, I don't have time even for the sketching. Two years ago, I did start to draw my own bookplate but haven't finished it. I should dig it out this summer and get it finished.

I'd love to see some of your work!

Thanks for sharing!


Kytaira said...

My kids are both musicians. My son basically taught himself to play the guitar. My husband was in a band but now is a shift worker so he could only give Eric some tips. My daughter plays the guitar, trumpet, french horn and some keyboard.

She is also a wonderful writer. She's 13 now and for several years her teachers have encouraged her to enter competitions. She had a little market going in grade school writing stories that she sold to other kids for a quarter each.

They didn't get any of it from me.

Donna Michaels said...

That's wonderful, Kytaira!

Your son must have a gift. Teaching himself the guitar can not be easy.

I hope you're daughter listens to her teachers and enters those competitions.

I'd love to know how she does.

Thanks for sharing!