This excerpt from Play to God is from the “About the Author” section.Click here to order Play to God
I grew up playing in the back yards of two houses in Pomona, California. I had an amazing, hand-built playhouse that one of my carpenter grandpas made for me. I played house, dress-up, and wedding. I also rode a bike, but I was slow learning it, and I never learned to skate or skateboard. I was good at hop-scotch and an ace at jacks. I loved jump-rope, but never got the hang of double-dutch. My dad used to build us kites from scratch and flew them with us in the vacant lot up the street.
When I had to learn sports in school, my pudginess made me a loser at running games like softball and basketball, but I was good at volleyball because I could serve. Doubles tennis and badminton were also okay.
Not an athlete, I got joy from creating. I liked to write things to affect others. I wrote little plays in elementary school and marshaled friends to play the parts. In sixth grade, I wrote square dance steps to Beatles songs and called them on Friday during the class’s square dancing day. In junior high, I wrote love stories about the Beatles and whatever TV heartthrob I had a crush on. I bound them in report covers and circulated them among my friends.
In high school, academics started to edge out play. I loved my English classes, though, and whenever the teacher offered a creative option, I would take it. I wrote a haiku about a candy bar, a poem to Yosemite, and a fantasy about Henry David Thoreau going to a modern supermarket. I liked dancing and cheering at football games, from the stands of course.