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A page is never truly empty, Pamela Loxley Drake muses after finishing her new book.

COURTESY PHOTO - Pamela Loxley DrakeThis last week, I finished writing "Neff Road" (the book).

It has been a task that has taken years to write, pushing myself to finish it.

This has been a difficult journey full of memories and losses that I had to relive once more. I found in this effort life lessons that I am still learning today.

Truly, it is not a story about me. It is a story about life.

This morning, I needed to write. For quite some time, I looked at this blank page and wondered what words would fall upon it. Then I just began writing. Writing about, what else, a blank page.

My pages were blank when I began the book. There are so many stories in our lives that have filled the pages of our histories, but do we write them down? Do we save them not only for ourselves but for the sake of history? For we are each a piece of history.

There is a curse in being a writer. Not until I was older did I realize that my head was full of words that would not go away unless I put them to paper. I am cursed with a heart that seems to feel everything around me, so in writing, I can seriously say that I put my heart into each word. This is sometimes very difficult.

So many people cannot express themselves. They see a blank page and — well, you understand.

However, it isn't really blank. One word. A name, a place, a feeling, one word. Because behind that one word are all the things that make that word pop into your head. Mine began with the words "Neff Road."

We are all books yet to find the page. Our stories. There is no grammatical way that says what is correct and what is not, for the heart of the writer is expressed in his/her own words. They are priceless in their own way.

Years ago, my son gave a Neff Road book to me. It was just all of the writings I had done for the local newspaper. The mistakes were printed, as well as the ridiculous things I thought were good at the time; however, this was my story. A story about a farm girl and a story about being a grandparent. A book about a fallible person. It rambled and sometimes fell flat, but life is that way, isn't it?

Yes, this page is filling up with rambling thoughts of a woman who sat looking at a blank page. As I write, I realize that I write for you. For your history. For your feelings. For your hopes and dreams. We all stare at a blank page wanting to share our stories. Always remember that the words that fall upon the page are priceless. They are yours.

I am a blank page.

Pamela Loxley Drake is a Beaverton resident and self-described lifelong "farm girl." You can contact her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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