Debra’s most recent posts (complete list at bottom):
Sez Debra Murphy:
I’m a wife. Mother. Writer.
Sounds like the opening of a 12-step confession, dunnit?
Still, I’m a wife, mother, and writer. The wife/mother stuff comes first, of course, and it’s a demanding vocation, but it helps defray the “cost” in time and energy, as it were, when one is the materfamilias of as interesting a bunch of people as we have here in Clan Murphy.
After that comes writing, as much as Vocation 1 will allow. To show for it I have one published novel, one published short story, and a bunch of print and web articles. (For the whole shebang, see my website.) My current projects include a second mystery novel and conjuring several screenplays in league with John and Rachel, my two oldest.
I was born in Champaign, IL, w-a-y back in 1954. Back when TV was just getting huge and the family car was an old Studebaker. (Loved that car, by the way.)
Our house was a huge old rooming house with oak floors & woodwork. A little the worse for wear, but I have great memories of the place. (Now, alas, it’s the site of a massive apartment complex). We lived two blocks from the University of Illinois Campustown—Pig Heaven for a kid who spent most weekends at the movies, or in bookstores and record stores, or reading novels, or checking out the latest DC & Marvel comics at the drugstore on the corner of Sixth and Green Streets.
Movie Matinee tickets were a quarter, and I was wont to spend my allowance on a movie or two, and still have enough left over for a vinyl LP or a paperback. No video games, no internet, you say, but I saw Lawrence of Arabia on a huge movie palace screen in 70mm. (I sat through it twice, in the balcony. It’s when I first understood that movies were art as well as entertainment, and fell hopelessly in love. It kills me that my kids can’t have that experience, except under very special circumstances.)
Some of the other great little pleasures of life in my salad days were the smell of new books in the U of I Union bookstore and the smell of old books, first in the Champaign Public Library (the old one on Church St.) then later, in college, in the U of I stacks, where i worked part-time. The first book I ever fell in love with, 2nd grade, was Winnie the Pooh. The first novel I fell in love with, 5th grade, was Esther Forbes’ Johnny Tremain. But the first novel that made me fall in love with a writer, with writing, with a prose style, was Conrad’s Heart of Darkness in Miss Stuart’s 9th grade English class.
As for music, instead of iTunes I had the old (pre-Talk Radio) WLS (“in Chicago!“) for the Top 40 and the U of I’s own WILL-FM for classical music. I divided my listening time pretty equally between classical music, what is now called “classic Rock,” and movie soundtracks. I knew the joys of a first listen of Rubber Soul and Revolver, or a soundtrack by Maurice Jarre or Miklos Rozsa on fresh vinyl with a new needle. At one time I had every LP Sir Adrian Boult ever recorded conducting Vaughan Williams.
Oh joy! Oh rapture!
(And oh, if I only had kept all those comix and LPs. Like, I would be rich. Oh darn.)
But a Movable Life gets in the way of Collecting. Leave us say only that I studied History (emphasis: Victorian England & Modern Europe) at the U of I, where I met my husband Daniel on a Study Abroad program in Austria. Three-plus decades, five states, seven cats, one dog, and six children later, we (Clan Murphy) now live in (and pray God will never have to leave) beautiful Ashland, Oregon, home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Here I write, and write some more, and occasionally throw up a website or two, or publish a book.
But truth is, I enjoy nothing so much as canoodling with the Clan about our latest Discovery. Which is what STGS is all about.
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