Tuesday, April 24, 2007

When I Was Just a Kid...LeAnne Martin

When I Was Just a Kid...

LeAnne Martin

LeAnne Martin has written hundreds of articles, she's brilliant in English with the degrees to prove it, and has modeled perfume, as well as is a member in good standing in various writers organizations. Her elegance, gentle accent and gracious manners mark her as a woman who has spent her entire life in the South.(And her favoritism to Coca-Cola might also "mark" her, also.)

As a child, she wanted to be a writer, but she also wanted to hit the baseball far and make homeruns. Yeah, this little "lady" had skinned knees, and her best friend was a boy who played as tough as she did! When I think of LeAnne as a child, images of "Scout" in To Kill a Mockingbird (without all the drama, Boo Radley and people trying to kill her) form in my mind.

LeAnne can still throw a baseball around, but she also loves the arts--and she shares that love with others with her writing. Each week on Mondays and Thursdays you'll meet the people who create, promote and adore the arts in many forms and media. Entitled Christians in the Arts, she features artists working professionally in a variety of fields as well as art experts, enthusiasts, and educators.

LeAnne says,"I'm especially interested in encouraging artists who are Christians struggling to blend their faith and their art. I also want to encourage the Church to get more involved with the arts. It's a topic that I feel so passionate about, and I'm finding that many other people do as well. It has been exciting to meet so many people who love the arts and love the Lord."

That passion is contagious. To find out what went into the molding and sculpting of such a beautiful, intelligent and giving person(one of our eight SALT* sisters,) let's meet LeAnne when she was just a kid: (*Struggling Artists of Literary Talent):

Childhood Ambition: From the time I was seven years old, I wanted to be a writer. I wrote my first story at the age of eight about a set of twins--a boy and a girl--who solved the mystery of the lost ring. (They found the ring in their front yard.) As I got a little older, I wrote "novels"--one about a doll with magical powers and one about a girl and her best friend who go to another world. That was my sci-fi/fantasy stage. I still have all these stories.

As a tomboy, I also wanted to be a police officer, a fireman, or a paramedic. I guess I wanted to either be a hero, or imagine one, and write about her.

Fondest Memory (then): Playing softball with my family and in our church league throughout my childhood and teen years. My fondest memory is the first time I stepped onto the field in a real game. I was a rookie, untried but not green--I'd been playing in our backyard for years. My dad was coaching, and in the fourth inning, he put me in at right field. Everybody knows that you put your weakest player in right field so I figured I'd get a little action from the hitters who could pull the ball.

I was right. Before long, a low fly ball headed my way. I took a few steps, put my glove up, and caught it like I'd been doing it my whole life, which was pretty much true. My teammates and our fans went wild. I think I probably jumped up and down. Dee Dee Brown, the first baseman who was just a couple of years older than me told Dad, "I almost ran out and hugged her!" I don't remember if we won the game or not, but it doesn't really matter.

Proudest Moment (now): When I gave birth to my baby girl. She was 10 lbs, 2 oz. My joy and my delight. I still can't believe I did that! [Crystal editor's note: If you've ever met LeAnne, you'd know that she's not much bigger than that baby was!! And that baby girl is growing up to be as sweet as mom.]

LeAnne,"Smartest Girl" and Bionic Woman Wannabe(who can make the "sound" while running,) even on the go, takes time to connect to home.

Biggest Challenge as a child or teen: I was named "Smartest Girl" in my class in ninth grade. I spent the rest of my high school years trying to live up to that. It was too hard! :)

My First Job: Salesperson in a sporting goods store. I also sold Clinique cosmetics and men's and women's fragrances. Yes, I was a "fragrance model"--one of those women you see in department stores, spray bottle in hand. I never sprayed anyone without permission, though. It was good money for a college student but it involved a lot of rejection--the perfect training ground for a writing career, actually.

Childhood indulgence: Chocolate milk shakes from Dairy Queen (a weekly treat on Friday nights--I loved them!). I would suck mine down before we even got home. My folks would often get banana splits. One night the DQ was especially busy. Mom saw one frustrated employee kick a banana all the way across the floor. Mom watched carefully to be sure that same banana didn't end up in her or Dad's banana split.

Favorite Outfit as a child: In third or fourth grade, I had these dark green pants with fall-colored leaves embroidered on the bell bottoms. I thought I looked pretty groovy.

Favorite Childhood Movie: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. "Truly Scrumptious..." I loved the windup doll scene and the big rescue at the end but that scary child-napper gave me nightmares.

Favorite Childhood Book: Corduroy (I still love it!). Who wouldn't love a sweet old bear like that? I was fascinated by the pretty African-American girl Lisa, her sweet little room with a bed just the right size for a bear, and the apartment where she lived. Living in the suburbs, I had never seen an apartment building before.

Childhood hero: The Bionic Woman. She was pretty but she was tough and strong and tender too. A winning combination. I pretended I was Jaime and could even make that bionic sound when I ran through the yard.

Art you adored as a child: My grandmother Daisy gave my mother a painting that hung in my mother's bedroom when she was growing up. Daisy had given some food to a man in their small town who was struggling financially and he gave her this painting in return. It's of a beautiful blonde-haired young woman in a long blue dress playing a piano with a dark blue candlestick on top of it. When I was young, my mom stored the painting in the back of the closet in my room. I didn't really notice it until my pre-teen years. Since it wasn't hanging up, I asked my mother for it. She promised to let me have it when I left home, and she did. I still love that painting and plan to give it to my daughter one day.

LeAnne's writing these days can cover many topics, as well as her blog about Christians in the Arts on Mondays and Thursdays:

Here are a few articles LeAnne has written that you can view on the internet:

Sabbath Suggestions"

"Where He Leads Me"

"Ministering to Your Minister's Wife"

"From This Day Forward"

Eat, Drink, and Be Family"

"Beautiful Words: Christian Poets, Past and Present"


DCD213 said...

Hi LeAnne,

I was searching for blogs about women's fragrances posted in the last 24 hours. However, I saw When I was a Child and felt drawn to read it. It's not really about fragrances, but something far better. You love the Lord, I do too. Blessings,

Delores Darden

LeAnne Benfield Martin said...

Thank you, Delores. Blessings to you too!

My current favorite fragrance is Clinique's Happy to Be. The name drew me in and the fragrance stayed with me. Simple and sweet.