Faulkner Lifestyle December 2018 Issue

faulknerlifestylemag

feature

Sharon reads her story to

Lydia and Giuliana Howard.

Unicorns & Make Believe

BY SHARON FREYALDENHOVEN

Why would a widowed grandmother

write a children’s

story about a unicorn? Well,

she would have to be whimsical and

creative. She would have to know

children and have, to a significant

extent, the spirit of a child. That’s me.

I’ll tell you why that’s me. I grew up in

an incomparable place and time, with

loving parents who did not stifle my

curiosity, creativity, or imagination.

Conway was the place, and the time

was long ago.

In Ancient Conway, when I was

growing up, we didn’t have the fear of

internet stalking, child trafficking, or

gangs that are so prevalent nowadays.

This meant I could be on my own at

times and explore. We didn’t have a

television for a long time, so I read a

lot. I read books of facts and books of

fiction. Either way, it sparked a current

of thought and imagination. I loved

going to the movies, which was easy

for me because my dad worked at the

theater. I lost myself in the characters

on the screen, and it was good for me.

I loved music, including popular songs

whose lyrics were another means of

travel into the imaginary.

All of this led to the development and

avid use of my imagination. I served

mudpie meals to my family of dolls,

caught cherry fish, and made houses

from leaves. I pretended I was a movie

star, a singer, a ballerina, a musician. I

made up stories. I was a daydreamer.

And, of course, I became a writer.

Because of my idyllic youth, I never

totally outgrew my penchant for

fantasy. I added to my feel for childishness

and whimsy when I raised my two

children and when I played with my

five grandchildren. All this gave me the

fuel I needed to write.

I love writing for children. I can put

myself in their place easily, because

my childhood was not something to

suppress, but to hold onto with both

hands.

I know children love Santa, and they

love unicorns. What if Santa and a

24 faulkner lifestyle | december 2O18

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