Wednesday, September 19, 2007

When I Was Just a Kid...Delia "Gatorskunkz and Mudcats" Melton

What a little cutie. Delia has a way of warming you just by her happy, positive talk, and she could've grown into a bitter woman, but Jesus came into her life and well, it's a happy story, in spite of the ups and downs. Her famous blog, Gatorskunkz and Mudcats, is like a serial addiction for me. I have to get a dose of Delia whenever I'm having one of those days.

She is passionate about her family (and they are in her blog as "characters," like her husband,The Honey, and The Kiddos) and she promotes causes that most of us relate to. Delia just makes the world a better place. She is open and honest (check out her frank discussions on child-raising!) and I wish she lived closer (wanna be a Hoosier?) so those of us in the Indiana ACFW could have her.Delia is precious and you will see why I adore her so. What is not to love with someone like her?

I wanted to know what made her into the writer she is today (and she's also working on fiction these days,too.)

Childhood Ambition:
When I was a kid I wanted to do everything. I went through all the phases; doctor, lawyer, police officer, truck driver, etc. Yes, at one time I wanted to be a truck driver. There were also quite a few members of my family who had joined the military and I even went through a phase where I wanted to join the Marines. Then, about halfway through my teens I decided I wanted to be a nurse and that stuck with me until I got older and worked in a nursing facility. I soon realized that I just was not cut out for it. I loved caring for people but the other, more medical side of nursing just wasn’t for me.

All of my life there was the love of writing, which I'm sure stemmed from my love of reading, but it never seemed like it was something I could do. Authors were like celebrities to me (they still are) and I didn’t think that just an average Jane like myself could do it. It never occurred to me that I could be a writer and write the stories that I love and try to get them published until just a few years ago. Then I kept my aspirations to myself. Everyone knew I loved writing but it was something just for fun and no one suspected that I would ever want to do anything with the stories that I wrote. I still haven’t had anything published but I’m doing what I love and that’s what matters.

Fondest Memory (then):
When we were younger we weren’t close to our real grandparents and we sort of adopted an older couple to play that role in our lives. I’m not exactly sure how we knew them but they were always a part of our family. We called them our Mom-mom and Papa. My mama was a single parent who worked a lot and they were our main babysitters. Then when we got too old for a babysitter we would go visit them as often as we could and during the summer I would sweet talk Mama into letting me spend a couple of weeks at a time with them.

Papa had an old swing house right smack in the middle of the yard and when I would go visit he and I would sit out in the swing in the evenings and discuss anything and everything that came to mind and then sometimes we would just swing. I learned a lot about God and life in that old swing house with my Papa and it was a sad, sad day when it was torn down.

Proudest Moment:

I have so many proud moments in my life but my proudest moments would have to be when each of my children were born and I saw the beautiful babies that God was entrusting me with.

Biggest Challenge as a child or teen:
My Mama got mixed up in a bad marriage when I was a kid and we saw a lot of things that children shouldn’t have to see. Overcoming the feelings of anger and shame that it all induced took a long time for me and it was definitely the hardest challenge I had to face when I was younger.

My First Job:
My first job was in a sewing factory when I was seventeen years old. I accrued enough credits that I was able to graduate in the middle of my senior year so I decided to get a job and try to save some money. There was a sewing factory in town hiring and I figured I could make more money there then I could at a fast food restaurant so I eagerly applied. Ha! It was a horrible experience and I didn’t work there long.

Childhood Indulgence:
I don’t know whether to tell you that my indulgence was books or to tell you that it was those little candy necklaces with all the candy pieces strung on a piece of elastic. Because back then both were equally important to my child’s mind. Books took me on so many wonderful adventures and let me see into so many different worlds and I was constantly reading something. (Now don’t laugh…) But those candy necklaces made me feel like a princess. Think about it, only a princess could have such a colorful necklace that not only made her beautiful but when she needed a little snack, she could just lift it up and take a bite! I’m sure my mama would’ve liked it if I’d just stuck with the books then she wouldn’t have had to cart around a child with a piece of elastic wrapped around the big colorful ring stain on her neck all those times when the candy was gone and I refused to give up my princess necklace.

Favorite Outfit as a Child:
My memory isn’t all that grand Crystal, but I can vaguely remember a dress that I once loved and some red patent leather shoes that I tried to never take off.

Favorite Childhood Movie:
"The Neverending Story"

Favorite Childhood Book:
Oh, there were so many; The Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, Judy Blume, Beverly Cleary (what little girl didn’t love Ramona?), and everything else I could get my hands on to read.

Favorite Childhood Activity:
Dancing. I loved to dance and would only need the music in my head. I never cared where I was or who was watching me, if I felt like dancing- which I did most of the time- I would dance.

Childhood Hero:
My mother.

Now you know some of why I love Delia and hope I can meet her in person one day. (I'm still laughing over the candy necklaces, and I love it that she danced to the music in her head.)Delia, write stories that you fictionalize about YOU. We will read them!
Best Blog Name in Blogdom:
Gatorskunkz and Mudcats

100 Things About Delia


Delia said...

Thank you so much Crystal for interviewing me for "When I Was A Kid"! I loved participating!

(I still can't believe I admitted my love for candy necklaces. lol.)

Anonymous said...

Crystal, you did a beautiful job of introducing Delia. I'm heading over to her blog right now...

(I loved this: "I learned a lot about God and life in that old swing house with my Papa and it was a sad, sad day when it was torn down.") How wonderful that this substitute grandfather planted those godly seeds in her life. The swing might have disappeared, but not his influence.)

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful interview! I enjoyed it and will have to check out her blog. :)