Lately, I feel like a little girl again!

Someone used the word “Renaissance” to describe me a few weeks ago. I had to look it up to be sure that I wasn’t looking like someone from the middle ages. I guess it was accurate, after all!

Renaissance: a revival of or renewed interest in something – a rebirth.

I liked this even better:

Rebirth: The action of reappearing or starting to flourish or increase after a decline.

Writing has become incredibly compelling for me – that is my best way to describe it. It arises within me on a whim. No matter how busy I am, I will wake up to write at 3:00 a.m. if the need erupts within me.

Only one thing would stop me, or interrupt my Renaissance. That would be illness. Hopefully, it would not be my own or someone in my immediate family. My fingers are crossed.

“My dreams”

So my Renaissance continues. I am thrilled that the writing urge came back to me this morning. Here are my dreams:

I will have a best-selling book. My book will have my artwork at the top of each page, just like the “header” on my blog. I enjoy seeing how interesting it is to crop my illustrations. It’s like creating a new picture each time!

I will have a newspaper column.

I will be on a talk show. I will make appearance. I will bring special people from my life with me! (Teachers, friends, etc.)

My songs will be recorded. I love to sing my songs, but I have not sung (until recently) for 30 years. I am going to try voice lessons again.

My children will forgive me for sharing so much.

My husband can retire.

I can travel a little with my loved ones. I will finally have a laptop. I will be writing the whole time I’m traveling!

“My ideas for Posts”

Here is a look at what I am still excited to write about:

There will be at least four essays on my experience as an illustrator. I have a list of illustrating tips. I have explanations about how I see color, contrast, and texture. I also had some traumatic and funny moments in my career. I have a lot to share.

I want to share my mazes!

I want to write more about childhood and friendship. I am also mourning the death of my closest girlfriend from college. She died about two years ago from beast cancer. I wrote many, many songs for her. When I sing them, I am reminded of her.

I want to write about “lessons I’ve learned from my parrot!”

I want to write more about songwriting and share more songs.

I want to write about the entire experience I recently went through with my mother.

In between all of those “essays,” I will also write about any daily “stuff” that comes up which I find funny. That seems to happen a lot for me.

I’ve decided that I don’t like to use the word “essay.” That sounds so boring. I need to find a better word. Okay, I looked up some ideas. I think I will call my writings, “Stories.” “Stories” does sound better to me!

My birthday party! Steve liked Hawaiian Shirts then, too. He was still the only guy there.

This has been “bugging me!”

My first creative renaissance was in childhood. I had an assistant named Steve. I was the boss and Steve worked for me. It was lots of fun. I’m not positive, but I think we started playing together when I was six-years-old and Steve was four-years-old. His mom probably knows better. Steve moved away (into the Miracle Mile area of Los Angeles) when I was ten-years-old.

After he moved away, my mother confided that she thought I might marry him. She was worried because he wasn’t Jewish. I understand that, but I find it funny!

Steve and I made amazing mud balls together. We lined them up (could I have been autistic?). We watched them dry and stored them.

We played “Fantastic Voyage” and pretended we were in a submarine in the bathroom. I would shake the mirror to pretend we were sinking underwater.

A cardboard box served as our “time machine.” (Joni reminded me about that one).

We played a game I dubbed “Chase-away.” It was like playing tag with a bicycle. Steve was never able to catch me. I believe I tormented him!

I still have some guilt about being a “grasshopper mass murderer.” I used to collect them. Their legs would always keep falling off!

I don’t think Steve knew me when I was older and had my lizard collection. The fly-catching I had to do in order to give those lizards snacks made me crazy. It was my big secret in high school.

I actually also “threw flies” into spider webs to see what would happen. That was interesting.

There were also those Praying Mantises that I used to feed.

This has been “bugging me!” Now everyone knows my darkest secrets!

I have mentioned my childhood friend because I am going to see him on Saturday.

I haven’t seen him in forty years! The last time I saw him I was ten years old!

Steven and his mother, Marilyn, originally lived in the same apartment building in North Hollywood where I grew up.

His family moved away to the Miracle Mile district of Los Angeles. Not too long before my mother became ill, I brought her to have lunch with Marilyn. We vowed it wouldn’t be another forty years before having lunch again!

When my mother was in the hospital, I updated Marilyn about my mom’s condition. She shared my emails with Steven and thus began my correspondence with them both.

Their encouragement and support helped me immensely.

When I see Steve, I am going to ask him if he can improve upon my thirty-year-old song tape. I am also going to see if we could make a better live recording of me with my guitar. I have tried, but my voice is not what it was thirty years ago. Sadly, I didn’t like my voice then, either. But it is my vehicle. Music is definitely a way to share words, melodies, and passion!

My readers must “stay tuned” for the outcome of this Saturday. I invited my husband to come with me. Here is what he said:

“By Saturday, I’m so tired from working all week. I need to relax. We also have two nights of family obligations for me after work this week. After waking up at 4:30 a.m. and driving three hours every day, I really need to recuperate on the weekend!”

Although he declined, I wasn’t disappointed in the least. I understood. My excitement came from the idea that I invited him!

“My reunion with Steve”

In the script that is now my life’s play, Steven is my music producer. He has always had an interest in music. He has professional, music software programs and equipment. He is a perfectionist like me.

Steve certainly loves music; that was one of my first thoughts when I walked into their apartment. There were shelves of CD’s everywhere I looked. He and his mother still live in the same apartment where they moved to forty years ago. Steven’s father passed away several years ago.

His mother shared how she became a receptionist at the radio station where Steve used to work. She remembered the songwriter, Diane Warren, very well. Diane is an inspiration to me as a songwriter.

The evening flew by. I played many of my original songs for them. I also had brought a portfolio of my artwork. I gave Marilyn a floral poster; it matched her linen colors. I wanted to show my appreciation to Steven by giving him a painting.

However, Steven was certain that he had no wall space for any of my work. I pulled out a certain illustration of colorful shirts. It was a marker comp done for an illustration commissioned by IBM Corporation.

Steven works for IBM; he also likes varied and colorful shirts just like the ones in the illustration.

This evening he was wearing an orange shirt similar to one in the painting. I found that to be another amazing coincidence. He accepted my artwork!

We had fabulous Chinese food for dinner. I ate not one, but two fortune cookies.

I brought the tape from Jason’s funeral with me. Marilyn mentioned that she would like to hear it someday. Steve had already sent me a digital copy. I wasn’t feeling the need to hear it.

I stayed fairly late and recorded separate tracks for three of my songs. It was interesting to play the guitar separately from singing. When singing, I was able to stand and sing into a microphone while I wore headphones and heard the guitar portion recorded earlier.

Unfortunately, my singing voice was slightly hoarse. I wished Steven could make me sound like Streisand. I assumed that wasn’t going to happen, so I had already prepared myself not to be disappointed. I was certain I would visit both of them again soon. I was eager to record more.

Perhaps after some voice lessons, I might sound better.

I drove home feeling tired and relaxed. It had been a lovely evening. It had also been interesting to meet a man who I knew so well when I was a child. I could still picture him as that “tow-headed” blond boy. Now he was much taller than I was!

Steve and I are both holding plastic fish.

© Judy Unger and 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Judy Unger with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

About Judy

I'm an illustrator by profession. At this juncture in my life, I am pursuing my dream of writing and composing music. Every day of my life is precious!
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2 Responses to MY REBIRTH

  1. Steve says:

    Too bad your husband doesn’t want to come over Saturday. Not many get to see the inside of the Bat Cave. 🙂 (Maybe he’ll change his mind at the last minute) You don’t play keyboards (piano/synthesizer),, do you? I could set that up also for recording (Yamaha S90 ES)



    • Judy says:

      Hi Steve,
      No I don’t play keyboards – just my guitar. If you want to add anything with keyboards to my songs, that would be so cool! I’m looking forward to seeing the bat cave. You told me you were a night owl; I’m not surprised to hear you are a vampire!


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