Cream From Butterflies
This is a personal story that reveals life in the mid-twentieth century that is mainly peaceful, mostly prosperous, when Americans dreamed big and dreams came true. And on a smaller scale, the story of how a writer can be formed: by commitment to a diary. The writer's five year diary written between 1959 and 1963 is included between essays about growing up in a small Wisconsin town. More
This is a book for baby boomers who like a bit of nostalgia, for those who had a happy a childhood, for those whose childhood left something to be desired. It a personal story that reveals life in the mid-twentieth century, mainly peaceful, mostly prosperous, when Americans dreamed big and dreams came true. And on a smaller scale, the story of how a writer can be formed: by commitment to a diary day after day for five long years when she is still a child, to hours of practice alone in her bedroom, by guides and mentors who recognized a spark to be cultivated, and to dogged determination to follow a dream.
A girl’s five year diary from 1959 to 1963 intertwined with her parent’s story of love and commitment and the girl’s desire and need to grow up and become a writer; these themes interwoven like a braid are the basis of this creative non-fiction story. Cream from Butterflies is both the good and bad times of a mid-nineteenth century childhood lived under tall elms on Dover Street in Chippewa Falls, WI, with three sisters, a schoolteacher mother, and a traveling salesman father.
The author writes: “For the next five years, mostly using ink, not pencil, I wrote down what I thought was important about each day as well as what was going on in the lives of the people around me. I recorded what was happening in the bigger world. I wrote about weather, when I went to bed, movies, and books. As I developed and grew, I began recording my feelings, hopes and dreams. Each day’s tiny space piled onto the other tiny spaces in a steady accretion paints a picture of my childhood and me. Reading it now, I can clearly see how ordinary my daily activities were, but, of course, I didn’t know it at the time. I was like a caterpillar living in a cocoon.”
The diary is broken into smaller segments and is fitted between chapters that trace her parent’s journey, and childhood adventures and intrigue. From bread making. Black berry picking, bigamists, pickle vats, apple trees and apples, the county fair, a homegrown circus, church camp letters and then a more mature journal kept in high school, Cream from Butterflies captures the magic of childhood and the bright-eyed small town girl who turned the pleasure of writing into her life’s work.
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