When I was young, my little sister and I would make up stories and act them out in front of the living room curtains, pretending they were a stage. When I got older I wrote stories in school, and my teachers sometimes told me they thought I should be a writer when I grew up.
Reading was a first love. At night as a child, I would sneak a flashlight under the covers and keep reading after my parents told me, “Lights out.” It was a passion. There were so many good books. But I was most particularly fond of the magical books, the books that took you into a place of enchantment, where magic was real and where children – usually – discovered a long-lost world or helped free a land of the enslavement of an evil witch. You may know these books yourself – L. Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz, C. S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia, Edward Eager’s Half-Magic. Madeline L’Engle’s A Wrinkle In Time. I was captivated by other books, by the adventuresome Tolkien’s The Hobbit and Lloyd Alexander’s The Chronicles of Prydain. When I became a parent I read many of these books aloud to my sons and my daughter, savoring again the delicious stories that unfolded in their pages.
Yet for many years afterward I had forgotten how it felt to lose oneself in the pages of a book. That new-book crackle of opening a book for the first time, the pebbly feel of its pages against your fingers as you turn them, the reassuring flip! at the end of a chapter when you bump up against the last-sentence cliff-hanger. The wistful sense of regret when you near the end of a book you don’t want to end, not quite yet. It wasn’t until just a few years ago that I recalled the wonderful sense of being on a long voyage that a book can take you on.
When I was young, I used to dream of creating new stories. It has taken a lifetime to learn how to enter those magical worlds I read about as a child and young adult. A lifetime of cultivating ideas into something new and intriguing, of imagining the characters who would inhabit strange and compelling worlds, of seeking just the right words to ignite the spark of storytelling. At last, stories that dwelled in the imagination of a child are becoming the tales that live on the printed page.
Like any writer, I can tell you that the satisfaction of seeing an imagined world become something real in the mind of a reader is immense. To weave a tale that another person reads or hears is a great gift. Like any writer, I am delighted when my words reach the welcome ear of a reader. Like any writer, I find that the publication of a story of mine is a source of elation and of gratitude.
THANK YOU! for being that reader who has helped me understand more about my own writing, who has helped me learn the effect of my words and stories, and for being that reader who has inspired me by participating in our reading and writing community of bloggers.
What was your childhood dream? Are you a teacher, a knitter, a poet, a photographer, an artist, a parent, a person out in the working world? Whatever you are passionate about, whatever you strive to accomplish, there is a ripple of creativity that runs through your work, the same ripple of creativity that bubbles through the stories of a writer like myself. The human mind is capable of enormous things.
If my brief story of reading and writing has caught your interest, I’m delighted. I’m always interested in hearing what you are passionate about or what you have invented. Who are your favorite authors? What are you reading lately? What author, living or deceased, would you most like to have a conversation with over dinner? I would love to know!