What drives an author to write?
I have been asked this several times and even more so in the last couple of years. What made me want to be an author and write books? The truth is nothing. Absolutely nothing MADE me want to write, somehow I just did it.
Before we had home pcs and laptops I was writing, a new notebook or stack of notebook paper used to make me smile, all those blank pages just waiting to be filled with words had me reaching for a pen or pencil.
At first, I didn't write stories, I wrote lyrics and poems. I had a three-ring binder full of my feeling and emotions, if I was mad I wrote things like the song 'Super Bitch', I was so angry at someone I marched home from school one day mouthing the words to the song as I went, as soon as I hit the door I grabbed the first piece of paper I could find and scribbled down the words, my cousin and I still laugh at that silly hateful little song.
More than anything I wrote about relationships and love. Big surprise right? Hell you know teenaged love is a doozy! The one song I remember most from that time in my life is called 'Reaching out for something to hold', now before ya'll start shaking your heads in judgment, here are some of the words:
-It's so lonely without you here, there's nothing I wouldn't give just to have you near. I ofter find myself wondering why? I want you for my one and only guy. I'm reaching out for something to hold, I love you baby and I don't want you to go. I'm reaching out for something I need oh baby can't you please just fall in love with me?-
Yeah, I was that girl, unrequited love and Natalie went hand and hand a lot at that time. You couldn't tell me I wasn't meant to spend the rest of my life with that boy, and just because he wasn't in as deep as I was didn't mean a damn thing.
So needless to say I have been writing since I can remember, the storytelling just came later but when it took hold it never let go.
The first memorable thing I wrote was a story about pit bulls for my English class my Sophmore year in high school, they had just started the pitbull bans in Colorado and while everyone was writing from the human's point of view, I wrote from the dogs. I got an A-plus on that paper and my teacher wrote that I kept her engrossed and had a great ability to tell a story and even made her rethink her stance on the ban. So yeah, writing chose me I didn't choose writing and I wouldn't have it any other way. How boring would my life be without all the characters I'm developing and their stories rolling around in my head? I think maybe that's why I over-explain and talk too much sometimes... so much going on in my crowded, never quiet mind all the time.
Well, there you have it, a little more inside information on Natalie L. Gamble and where it all began. Blank notebooks and lyrics, unrequited love and pit bulls. Now, as promised I am sharing another part of my first book Light Eyed Girl, enjoy!
Light Eyed Girl continued:
“ Hey, Andrea is Tommy home?” I moved to her bed and pulled the phone cord to get the phone out of her hands.
“Marcy?!” She covered the mouthpiece. “ I'm going to get Val’s number from Tommy.”
I squeaked “What?! Why?! Marcy come on!” I squeaked.
She shushed me and turned her back on me to talk into the receiver.
“Hey Tommy it's Marcy um do you have Val’s number?” She grabbed her pen and wrote it down in the cover of my book.
"Thanks, Tommy. Huh? No, I just need to ask him something.” She hung up and was getting ready to dial and I slapped the book closed, holding it close to my chest.
“Marcy no you cannot call Val!” I was starting to freak out! I mean what if he didn’t like me?
“Nikki calm down it's okay, god girl!” She snatched the book back and dialed the number.
“Hello, may I speak to Valentino please?” She paused.
“Oh hey Val it's Marcy are you busy?”
I was rocking back and forth debating on pulling the cord out of the wall, biting my nails.
“Yeah well anyway I wanted to tell you I was talking to Nikki and she just told me she has a spark.”
Just like that, she told him, I waiting for the world to end, for the earth to open up under my feet and swallow me up. When that didn’t happen I watched Marcy as she listened to what he had to say to her, smiling she handed me the phone.
I pushed it back at her and moved to my bed.
“No, I can't talk to him!” I sat on my hands and began rocking back and forth again.
She rolled her eyes dropped the receiver in my lap and walked out. I took a deep breath and brought it the phone to my ear.
“H-H-Hello?” I said quietly into the phone, my eyes closed tight, my heart was thundering my ears.
I swallowed and shook my head terrified.
“Yeah?” I answered quietly.
“Um, what the hell is a spark?” He asked chuckling.
I laughed a little too. “Oh well, it’s like a tiny crush.”
He didn't say anything! I mean not a single word! Nothing but silence was on the other end of that godforsaken phone! I swallowed the lump in my throat, I knew it I knew he didn't like like me!
“Val are you there?” I asked sadly.
He cleared his throat. “Yeah, I'm here, so that tiny crush you have is on me?”
Nervous laughter rose up in me again. “Well yes, I guess so.”
Marcy came into the room making kissing noises and grabbed her toothbrush and left again.
“Hello???” He said into the phone, I jumped at the sound of his voice.
“Oh, I'm sorry what did you say? Marcy was messing with me.
He chuckled again. “I said you guess so? So you’re not sure huh?”
I could feel my face getting hot I am so stupid! I was just so nervous anything was flying out of my mouth.
“I'm sure Val, yes the spark is on you,” I said sighing, knowing this was not going to end well.
He got quiet again and then he said. “Hey, Nikki let me call you right back.”
I wanted to scream and yell at myself for admitting it and Marcy for being so stupid and telling him!
“Um sure talk to you later.” I hung up and screamed in my pillow. Marcy came back into the room.
“Well, what did he say?” She was bouncing on the bed I wanted to push her off so she hit the floor hard! Some friend!
“He asked was my crush on him and then asked to call me back, yeah thanks Marcy, I'm going to go brush my teeth and find a way to disappear.”
I grabbed my toothbrush out of my bag and was heading to the bathroom when the phone rang, I turned around and ran back to Marcy’s doorway as she dived for the phone.
“Hello?” Her face split in a grin. “Yeah hang on she's right here.” She handed me the phone and bounced off towards the kitchen humming.
I took a deep breath and sat down on Marcy’s bed.
“Hello?” I answered quietly.
“Hey, Nikki can I ask you something?” I frowned at the phone, here we go, ‘I’m flattered that you like me, blah, blah, blah’.
“Sure, what is it?” I prepared myself to be rejected.
“I was wondering if you wanted to be my girlfriend?”
I dropped my toothbrush as all the blood in my body rushed to my head, I needed to sit down, I was suddenly getting dizzy but oh yeah I'm already sitting down.
Marcy came back in with some cookies and a giant glass of milk looks like a night of talking late.
“Nikki hello?” Val was tapping the phone.
“Huh? Oh, I'm sorry what did you say?”
He blew out a frustrated breath. “Are you kidding me I asked you to be my girlfriend and you're not even listening?”
“Oh no no no I heard that part I thought you said something else when Marcy came in the room.”
“AND?” He asked loudly and impatiently.
I started laughing, I couldn't help it! “I'm sorry Yes the answers yes I will be your girlfriend.”
He whooped. “God girl you almost killed me!”
I chuckled and then frowned. “Hey, Val why did you have to call me back?”
“I was going to play a recording asking you to be my girlfriend but it didn't work, so I had to pump myself up to ask you. That's why it was quiet after you told me you had a crush on me I was messing with the tape.”
I nodded “Hmm so you knew you wanted to ask me to go with you?”
“Yeah I asked Andrea for Marcy’s number earlier but she wouldn't give to me so I was hoping I got to see you before you went home.”
“Really? So you really like me too?” I smiled, my face growing warm.
He cracked up. “No, I just asked you to be my girl because I was bored with nothing to do to! Yes, I like you Nikki can't you tell dang girl!”
Marcy starting making kissing noises again.
“Hello? Nikki are you there?” He yelled into the phone.
I was mouthing for Marcy to shut up and stop. “I'm sorry Val I'm just nervous and Marcy is over here teasing me.” I threw her pillow in her direction glaring at her.
He laughed again. “Nervous? Why? Haven't you talked to boys on the phone before?”
Here it goes, he had to know sooner than later I guess.
“No, I haven’t, you are my first boyfriend Val.”
I could hear his smile through the phone. “Okay, so that explains a lot.”
I sighed. “I understand if you don't want to talk to me anymore.”
“Nikki I just asked you to be my girl why wouldn’t I want to talk to you anymore girl? Relax!”
I rolled my eyes at myself is that even possible?
“So Nikki can I see you before you go home, like tomorrow?”
My little heart soared as I began to realize, he really does like me!
“Yes, I can come to see you around two after Marcy’s choir rehearsal.”
He was smiling through the phone again I could imagine those dimples.
“So one more question and then I have to let my sister use the phone ok?”
“Can you kiss?” He asked me, sounding serious.
My heart started pounding.
“No, I told you you’re my first boyfriend remember?”
He was still smiling. “Good I guess I have to give you kissing lessons huh?”
My eyes widened. “So you’re not mad?” I asked my heart was pounding so hard I could see it through my shirt.
“Girl no! I like being your first, I want to be first in everything I can ok?”
“Um ok, Val.” I agreed shrugging wondering what the hell he was even talking about.
“So cool I will give you your first lesson tomorrow then, I'm going to let you go, ok baby?”
Baby?! Was he serious? I slapped my hand over my mouth the keep from laughing.
“Night Nikki.” He said with that serious tone again.
“Good night Val.” I smiled and hung up the phone and looked over at Marcy.
“I have a boyfriend!” I announced and covered my face with my hands. She squealed and started clapping as she grabbed me in a hug.
“See? I told you it would be ok! I knew he liked you from the first day!”
“Marcy I can’t breathe! I gotta ask you something!” I pushed her back to catch my breath.
“Yeah what’s up?” She asked still grinning and bouncing in place.
“Val said he wants to give me kissing lessons what am I supposed to do?”
She shrugged. “Kiss him.”
I rolled my eyes heavenward. “Seriously Marcy I mean how do you kiss a boy?”
She stared at me in disbelief. “Oh my God, are you serious?! So boyfriend or not you haven’t kissed anyone?”
“Um no Marcy I haven’t and you know that I tell you everything.”
“So what do you want to know? I mean you’ve seen me kiss Terrance.”
I shrugged. “I don't know just the basics I guess, like where do I put my hands? And how do I know which way to tilt my head? And my eyes, should they be open or closed? How will I know if I’m doing it right or when to sto-”
She held her hands up to stop me from firing off questions, “Oh Lord this is going to be a long night.”
She spent the rest of the night making me practice on the back of my hand and my last thoughts before I fell asleep was if kissing is really like, it’s pretty overrated.
The next day I walked with Val to his house because I refused to have an audience for my first kiss and everyone was at Andrea and Tommy’s house.
“You can sit next to me Nikki it's ok.” I was standing in the doorway of his room, leaning on the jab trying to keep my knees from knocking too loudly, what in the world was I thinking?! I'm so not ready for this.
Val saw I wasn't about to move so he stood and took both of my hands in his and led me all the way into his room and sat down on his bed taking me with him.
“Are you okay?” He asked smiling at me.
I was shaking like a leaf. No, I was not okay! Not at all! “Yeah, just a little nervous.”
He put his arms around me pulling me closer to him. “Relax I don't bite I promise.”
He just sat for a few minutes just hugging me until I stopped shaking.
“You ready?” He was smiling down at me, I didn't realize he was that much taller than me until we were walking to his house together.
It was so weird all the things I was noticing about him now that I didn't really pay attention to before, like his long eyelashes, his dark brown eyes and how soft his hands were to name a few.
I took a deep breath and nodded. “Yes I’m ready what do I do first?”
He positioned himself until he was facing me.
“Ok put your arms- scoot closer and put your arms around me and I'm going to put my arms around you. Then you lean one way I lean the other and close your eyes when our lips meet open your mouth.”
I frowned thinking ‘open my mouth for what?’ I was still pondering when Val leaned in to press his lips against mine so I mirrored his actions and when I opened my mouth he slid his tongue in my mouth!
“EWWWWWW!” I pushed him away from me. “What in the heck are you doing?!” I asked wiping my mouth with the back of my hand.
He was hiding his smile behind his hand, his shoulders shook from his laughter. After a few minutes, he cleared his throat and looked over at me again.
“Nikki that was a French kiss.” He explained, still laughing a little bit at my reaction.
I folded my arms shaking my head in the negative. “Ok well is there an American one because I'm not ready for the French one yet?”
He fell over on his bed laughing holding his stomach. Once he recovered from his fit of laughter he reached for my hand.
“Girl you are funny! Come here we are going to try again.”
He held his hand up as he saw me about to refuse. “Without the tongue, damn girl relax!”
I was surprised he hadn't decided that I wasn't worth the hassle at this point I mean he seemed to know what he was doing what did he want with a girl like me who knew nothing about being a girlfriend? And I mean NOTHING.
“So do what we did the first time okay?” He instructed putting arms around me again.
I leaned in pressed my lips against his closed tight.
“Baby you have to relax your lips.” I almost laughed out loud again, ‘Baby’? Seriously does he know how cheesy he sounds saying that?
I squared my shoulders back, took a deep breath and leaned in again, this time I let my lips touch his lightly and it was nice. His lips were so soft and he smelled really good. I liked how my lips felt on his and I really liked him holding me close.
When he pulled back he was smiling and nodding.“See? It's not that bad huh?”
I blushed from head to toe. “No, I liked it that time.” He leaned in and pulled me closer kissing me again. I could get used to this and I had been very wrong, kissing the back of your hand? Overrated. Kissing Valentino? So worth the fuss and hype!