Wada Ink, LLC started as a passion project in 2019 for my love of art and writing. I created the logo using a paintbrush, typically in Japanese script, and a pencil, which wrote all my children's books.
For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to write. When I was a child, I would staple paper together to make my little books. I would open up the pages, write a short story, then go back to the first page and write the table of contents outlining the chapters. My favorite part was designing the book cover and writing the words “written by Brenda Wada.” It was so exciting seeing my name, even if it was just make-believe.
The first time I was published was in the elementary newsletter when I was in the fourth grade. I wrote a story on advertising. It would be fun to read that article today so I could have a good laugh at that brilliant fourth-grade mind! When I was in college, I found a poem I had written when I was in the fifth grade. It said something like, there once was a man, his name was Dan, he got hit in the head with a frying pan. Well, I am definitely not a poet!
The writing was always my secret joy, except I stopped writing. Instead, I focused on my art. Growing up, I had a close relationship with my grandmother, whom I lovingly referred to as Buttons, her clown’s name. She was a fantastic artist, actor, and of course, a clown. When people say I am funny, I say it is because twenty-five percent of my DNA is a clown.
My grandmother, Helene Lose, went back to college in her forties to study theatre. And because she was an accomplished artist, she also designed and painted sets in the theatre department. I was four years old when I saw my first play starring my grandmother. I knew she was talented because she died in the play, and I was sitting in the front row bawling my eyes out. Her fellow actors brought me backstage so I could see she was alive and well. I eventually got over the betrayal and forgave her. But what a wonderful gift of being introduced to the world of art.
She also took me to my first Broadway production of “Hello Dolly,” starring the great Carol Channing. I complained the entire day leading up to the performance because, of course, I was an obnoxious thirteen-and-a-half-year-old. It is essential not to forget the half-year! But, when the lights came up, something in me had awakened. And by the time the lights came down, I knew my life would never be the same again. I was in love.
When I got to college, I also fell in love with my art classes. I enjoyed learning about working with new mediums, methods, and techniques. I met some incredibly unique and intriguing teachers and students alike. It was energizing to be surrounded by an abundance of talent and creativity. But like all good things, it had to come to an end. I graduated.
Now I had to enter the real world. I should have gone to grad school and kept the party going. But I to be responsible and so I did just that. I could not think of anything more mundane. I put both passions of writing and creating art on hold while I sorted out my finances to find a way to support my art and writing. But then, I got distracted and never did.
After that came children. Not only did I have children, but I had two exceptional children. I have a son with Autism and a daughter that was born with cancer. I spent many years in very dark places, trying to navigate the challenges of raising two extraordinary children.
Educating myself about Autism and learning how and why my son acts and reacts to specific environments was exhausting. Learning about sensory issues, his triggers and why he had so many meltdowns was difficult. It is still an ongoing learning process, and I presume it will continue to be so. Although times can be challenging, he is hilarious and can laugh at himself. I guess that comes from his DNA of being twelve and a half percent clown.
My daughter’s cancer diagnosis and treatment were undoubtedly trying, and I still cry sometimes when I think about it, and perhaps I always will. I was devastated when she was two years old and had to have her eye removed to save her life.
But fast forward eight years later, there she was at school, taking out her prosthetic eye to “freak out” her classmates. She said it made her popular. Everyone was fascinated by the girl with the “fake eye.” Who knew? Like any mom, I told her not to do that anymore because those are expensive. Thank goodness for the twelve and a half percent of clown DNA.
To my writing, I say, “If not now, when? And if not me, then who?” These experiences happened to me, a writer, for a reason. They happened to share with the others. These ideas and stories came to me and I do not want them to be buried with me.
To quote Les Brown, “The graveyard is the richest place on Earth because it is here that you will find all the hopes and dreams that were never fulfilled, the books that were never written, the songs that were never sung, the inventions that were never shared, the cures that were never discovered, all because someone was too afraid to take that first step, keep with the problem, or determined to carry out their dream.”
With much love and gratitude,
The Three of Us
Because of my daughter's cancer treatment, my children and I spent quite a bit of time in New York City, as seen here in this picture in Central Park. We grew to love the city immensely and miss it often. This picture showed my children when they were much younger. It is hard to imagine that they are already teenagers. Or, as my daughter sometimes says, "meanagers."
The three of us share a very close bond as we have experienced a lifetime of challenges and trials in a relatively short amount of time. When I was younger, I always wished for a life that was anything but boring. Well, life certainly has not been that. However, I could have been more specific.
Besides having healthy children, I know the desire to have a life filled with happiness, love, travel, success, and adventure. And I don't think boring is in there either. At least, I hope not.