Writers face the same challenge everywhere they look: How do they transform the detritus of everyday life into literature? Dr. Deborah Kaye Smith, a resident of Owings Mills, MD, smiles at this encounter.
Dr. Smith combines a career as a professor of Information Technology with a passion for creativity. She demonstrates that healthy balance so productive of a sound mind in a sound body. Inevitably, she looks about her world with the absolute requirement for a life which defies boredom: a capacity to imagine transformation.
She credits her grandmother with an imaginative eye. ‘Although other people taught me a great deal,’ she observes, ‘my grandmother Smith could just see things and make them. I don’t know if these detergent bottle dolls started with something she saw or copied. She taught me her skills back in the sixties.
‘Hobbies like this didn’t become trendy until the 70s–crafters began to turn trash into treasure then.’ Dr. Smith explains. ‘Recently, I got the urge to do something like that because I learned from her to experiment and create, even if it’s for myself, but I made my spending money all through high school by making things for people, and I learned that from my grandmother.’
Detergent bottles present a challenge to the imaginative eye, she notes. “’vory, Palmolive, Ajax bottles tend to have something of a feminine shape. The ones that don’t work are types like Dawn that are more tapered at the top, rather than at the waist.’
Dr. Smith chooses the colors first–purple and green–so on the skirt, in one case, ‘I chose to create pretty stitches on the sewing machine, and gave the muslin used for the skirt some color. The scallop stitches mirror the swoop of the skirt, too. The lace sets the style for this creation: It’s perfect for the vintage look, a feminine appeal for a time when clothing was meant to be delicately decorative.’
Could a better lesson exist for writers? People may be a good deal like dolls. They make customers want to take them home, but, after that move, what have they got? The decision remains the writer’s—coal or diamonds await the seeker.
Psychologists warn the empathetic: NEVER try to change a partner. But is it not also true—Evolution envelopes all participants in creation, from weather to species to resurrection?