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home : columnists : betsy reason August 21, 2017

3/17/2017 4:00:00 AM
Noblesville grad writes about life
Photo providedNoblesville native Cameron Craig will return Saturday to sign his new ook of essays, a collection of his life experiences.
Photo provided

Noblesville native Cameron Craig will return Saturday to sign his new ook of essays, a collection of his life experiences.

By Betsy Reason

When I heard that Noblesville native Cameron Craig had written his first book of essays and would be returning home to sign copies this Saturday at his parents' flower shop, I couldn't help but want to share his story with our readers.

Cameron Craig, a 1989 Noblesville High School graduate, is the son of Steve and Moffett Craig, who own Adriene's Flowers & Gifts in Noblesville. I met him at Moffett's 70th birthday party in January at Forest Park Inn.

"An Expedition: Essays of Life Experiences" is a collection of Cameron's writings over the past two decades.

"'The Expedition' is my life," said Cameron, who writes about his grandma, Mary Lee Craig, and grandpa, Stanley Craig, and his mother, Moffett Craig, for whom he read an essay at her recent birthday party.

Moffett said her son writes in such a way "that everyone who listens, watches and reads his work can identify with something in their lives." She said Cameron usually presents a new essay each Christmas as his gift to her.

"I enjoy reflecting on my past as a child and leaving something behind for the younger generations to learn," Cameron, 46, said.

While some essays are about family members, other essays he wrote for students in geography class at Eastern Illinois University, where he teaches climatology, geography and meteorology.

He will read two of his essays, at 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Saturday during his 10 a.m. to noon book signing at Adriene's, 1249 E. Conner St.

Some of his fondest memories are riding his bike to Spike-n-Nan's to buy a plain hamburger, fries and a chocolate shake, buying treats at Grandpa's Candy Store run by Mr. and Mrs. Cullen across the street from North Elementary and looking forward to summer to get his hogs ready to compete in the Hamilton County 4-H Fair.

"These are just some of the things I love reflecting on and the many lives that shape me," he said.

Folks in Noblesville remember him as "The Phantom" a drum major for the NHS Marching Millers, "a memory that I will one day share in a future volume," Cameron said.

He loves to travel and take his students and nieces and nephews around the world just as his own Grandma Jessie Robinson did with him.

Cameron has created documentaries on different ecological and natural events, like the Dust Bowl, with music to go along with each creation. Each of his documentaries contain the word "Expedition." He has even taught a class called "Expedition Earth."

Moffett Craig describes her son as a "Renaissance man, a person with many talents and areas of knowledge." Steve Craig describes his son as "a very interesting mix of accomplishments."

Besides graduating with bachelor's and master's degrees from Indiana State University, Cameron is also a graduate in orchestral conduction and vocal performance and works with his college students to get firsthand experience doing weather on a local TV station. But he is also all about music. Cameron has been a vocal performer "since he was little," taking leads in church musicals and church choir, being a drum major for NHS Marching Millers and singing in NHS Singers and again at ISU. Currently, he is choir director at Charleston Presbyterian Church and has started to compose a ballet. On Saturday, he will sign and sell copies of his DVD of vocal music.

Cameron said he hasn't always liked to write. But as he grew older, he began to see its value as a professor and documentary film writer. "When students come to me with writing troubles, here is what I pass on to them from my experience: 1) Always attempt to paint the entire scene in the mind of your reader. You are the artist that must set the scene or explain the details so vividly that they feel as if they are right there with you. 2) Write for yourself and for those you care about. Always have a person in your mind that you can tell the story or explain the concept, and 3) Always proofread everything, everything, even text messages. When proof reading, always read it aloud. Your ears will tell you something is wrong."

He said writing hasn't necessarily changed his life but it has "enhanced" his life. Cameron said, "I am able to provide thoughts about the world I live in to my students. I want to get them thinking differently about the world for which they will make decisions."

-Contact me at betsy@thetimes24-7.com.

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