Who am I?
That’s why you’re on this page, right? To find out exactly who ES Tilton is.
Or maybe you’re looking for clues about my journey. How is it that I, a perfectly ordinary person by most people’s standards, wrote a book?
Let’s do as Tahrek did; turn the mirror in my direction, sans the poison.
Who am I?
The mirror swirls, revealing a young flat-chested girl of eleven. Large brown eyes stare out at a world turned upside down. The monster of puberty has arrived and I’m bored . . . bored . . . bored. My slightly eccentric aunt hands me The Secret Garden while racing after the pillagers; seven rowdy children. Within the week my first real book is devoured and I’m back, begging my aunt for more. This time I leave with The Hobbit. And so begins a lifetime addiction to fantasy and reading.
The mirror flickers in and out of focus as I grow up, always with book in hand. Authors J.R.R. Tolkien, Terry Brooks, Andre Norton, and Anne McCaffrey stand out from the rest, giving repeat performances. And yet . . .
Who am I?
The mirror swirls with pale color and the wounded eyes of a pretty twenty-one year stare back at me. BOC plays in the background. One abusive relationship has ended, a new life begun. I’m positive the world can be beautiful and I’m searching for ways to make it so. Wielding a paintbrush sword in one hand and a Dungeons and Dragon dice shield in the other I start the next leg of my journey with a kernel of understanding. But I’m still young, still shaky, still insecure.
A gray fog swipes across the glass in a sudden rush. When it clears several years have passed. I’m holding blond toddlers in each arm and the paintbrushes have been packed away as ‘toxic’. Respectable young mothers don’t paint, or game, or dance. They take care of the home and babies. Even if they are horrid cooks and fail miserably at ‘woman’ chores. What had been gained in self-knowledge is packed away with the paintbrushes, and I’m too busy to notice the gaping hole in my heart.
The mirror swirls with an abandonment of colors, almost as though it’s being painted faster than it can clear itself. Beautiful teen girls surround me and, finally, I’ve taken up the paint brush again. And paint with passion I do; the walls, the ceilings, every piece of furniture including the couch and chairs. Until, one faux finished ceiling too many, I bust my shoulder and creative pleasure is replaced with unending pain. Gaming has come and gone, dancing has lost its sway, and I’m at loose ends.
The mirror swirls. Small bursts of color intermingle with dark showers of gray. Seven years come and go. I give birth to my third beautiful girl and watch as I pour my life into helping others. Moments of frustration and satisfaction slip across my face like shadows. Yet, when I take time to look into my own eyes, my own issues stare out at me, haunting me. I try a holistic treatment using bi-aural beats, and suddenly, (drum roll) I can write. A life-long fear of putting things down on paper is gone and a whole new door opens before me. What I thought could only be expressed through paint is even more accurately communicated via writing. The worlds within can finally be shared with this world. Not eloquently at first, but I know who I am now.
I am ES Tilton:
Mother, lover, writer, artist, dancer, friend, gardener, creator.
The mirror shifts forward. My marriage dissolves and a new man enters my life, grandchildren thrive from a distance, and my baby becomes a teen. A new phase, it’s true. But this time I hold onto my center, stay true to myself. I continue writing despite adversity. Photoshop is conquered, giving me art back, and other digital art forms expanded.
Who am I?
And while you contemplate deep thoughts . . .
My thistles still grow faster than I can pull them. My cooking is still marginal. My children and grandchildren refuse to stay babies. My road still gets potholes. Koi still multiply like bunnies. Dirt is still a part of life that can’t be banished even if I know the secret word and use the most potent spells. And my cat still sits on my lap, plotting to take over the keyboard one hair at a time.