For Tony Borges, it began with flowers. As a child, he would toil in the soil around his Pawtucket home, gently coaxing buds to bloom. It was an interest he inherited from his mother.
'She said that we should always sprinkle the earth with flowers,' he recalled. 'She also said that we should treat people with care, like a flower.'
His mother followed her own philosophy. She nurtured Tony, encouraging him to develop his talents. She died in 1981, while Tony was a sophomore in high school, but her guidance has left a lasting effect on her son.
Yet, Tony has also pursued his other interests. These include recording an album, studying anatomy and physiology, and writing children's books, short stories and a science fiction novel.
'My mother saw that I had writing potential. She said it was a gift from God,' Tony said. He remembered that they would watch The Waltons together and he would tell her that he wanted to be a writer, like the 'John-boy' character.
After high school, Tony earned a degree in radio and television broadcasting from the Sawyer School. Tony said that it was there that he was first trained to write, drafting stories and scripts. He put his writing aside for a while and pursued other interests. These included taking anatomy courses at several colleges, running the sound and lighting boards at nightclubs for a local band, and recording his own album, Wolf, which was released in 1991 on an independent label.
Tony began writing again about a year and a half ago, with the encouragement of his brother-in-law. He sets aside at least one hour every day to work on his writing, sometimes waking in the middle of the night to write.
'If you put aside an hour a day, before you know it, you have a book,' he explained.
This diligence is at the heart of his children's book, The Adventures of Chew Chung the Mouse,. It is the story of a mouse who must overcome many obstacles on his quest to pick some dandelions for his love.
'My daughter inspired me to write children's books,' he said. 'I never thought of it until she came into my life.'
His science fiction novel, Annihilation of a Planet, deals with the problems of being human in an increasingly automated society. 'It is meant,' Tony said, 'to let people know that we have to care for our planet and for each other.'
This nurturing philosophy, first learned from his mother, runs through much of Tony's work. What is the moral of The Adventures of Chew Chung the Mouse? 'It is meant to teach little boys that if they admire a little girl they shouldn't throw pebbles and rocks,' he said with a grin, 'They should throw flowers.'
Tony is a graduate of Harvard Medical School Department of Ophthalmology Massachusetts Eye & Eye Infirmary. He is employed by Koch Eye Associates as an eye surgeon technician.