Fort McMurray Today

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Local high school teacher a Budd-ing author

by Paula

A local teacher is proving to her students that the road to a dream doesn’t always come easily.Patricia Budd, a Father Patrick Mercredi High School English teacher, has accomplished a decades-long dream by publishing her first book, a novel about a white slave in 1809.But being a writer hasn’t always come easily for the English teacher. Budd carried a 55 percent average in high school English, a number she is happy to share with her pupils.“It shows them that just because you’re struggling with writing now, doesn’t mean you can’t grow. It took me more than 40 years to get here.”

Budd’s passion for writing began after studying mime after high school. While trying to create a skit for her character, she began to hear the character’s voice – not a good start for a mime. Budd started to write a one-person show based on that character, which eventually grew and was produced at various festivals. She said after that, the literary floodgates were opened, and she went back to school to become an English teacher. Budd wrote informally and just for fun until four years ago.

After putting down a mix of ideas, a technique she uses on a regular basis, the characters she was building became compelling to her; she decided to take on the project more seriously and spent a year alone researching the era and treatment of slaves.

“Writing has educated me in so many different ways. I’ve learned so much about the treatment of slaves. I hope this book is first and foremost a good read but also that it gives people a better understanding of the history of that era.”Budd also hopes the book will encourage her students.“The students are seeming me do this for fun and for me, it’s important to model the work and teach them to write and pursue their dreams. I hope my passion for it rubs off on them,” she said, adding some of her student’s passion for literature has been inspiring to her. Budd participates in a writer’s guild, an after-school club where aspiring writers share their work. She said the students there have supported and helped her through the long process.

A new Dawn Rising is on sale at Coles book store.

The story is set in the fictional town of Laurel Creek, Ga., in 1809. It follows the struggles of a white slave who is yearning for freedom and love.