In all the years I worked in business, I never knew I had a flair for storytelling. Being tangled in the day-to-day challenges of meeting deadlines, dollar targets, and ever tighter material delivery expectations left little time or energy for creativity. Yet at my core, I always felt something there, a little light, lying in wait. I didn’t know how to name it, this yearning, gnawing feeling that grew inside me with every passing year. At work, I would jokingly threaten to write a “tell-all” about my colleagues, exposing the difficult personalities and the stressful foibles of the fast-paced manufacturing industry, but in fact, I was more interested in letting my imagination run with stories of conspiracy, forbidden affairs, corporate espionage and other sundry misdoings. These stories were my solace. Once I left the corporate world, instead of penning non-fiction tales of the unprincipled and immoral scaling the ladder of success or screwing coworkers, I gave myself over to my imagined worlds. My truest pleasure, amusement, and release soon came from turning the ordinary into the extraordinary. From this, Becoming Ruby was born.
The business world demands a great deal of compliance: those who want to succeed must fall into line, must give up who they are and become a manufactured other self. Success is then subjective for its cost is immeasurably high. Through writing the novel, I’ve learned however that you can never completely change, and a part of you always survives. That small seed, if tended correctly and before it withers, can regrow the self and allow you to return anew, stronger than before. Finally, in retirement, I am becoming the creative entity that I was always supposed to be.