When did I fall in love with books and writing?
As I reflected on that question my memories immediately drifted to the school library during my elementary years. I’m sure it was not a big room. But I felt as though I could get lost in those stacks. Lost among the many friends, and the many adventures, all surrounding me and protecting me from a world that seemed uncertain. I could spend, what seemed like hours, sitting on the little stool used by students to reach the top shelves, reading about people from the past, places I dreamed of seeing, animals I hoped to own and mysteries I knew I could solve.
During the summer, my best friend and I would ride our bikes to the city library and search through the books to find grand adventures. We spent many summer days living the adventures we read about. We imagined crossing great mountain ranges in the small woods near our home. We sat on a stoop near the center of our small town, watching for the men whose pictures hung in the post office. Our bicycles became Indy cars and our Johnny West Cowboys lived on real ranches.
My love for writing started during those same adventurous years. 4th grade seemed to be the year that I realized my own words could form stories. Our teacher introduced us to haiku. Suddenly my words found order and expression. I found a place to put emotions I did not yet understand. The other moment of awakening happened the same year. The teacher encouraged us to take popular fairy tails and change them to be our own. Wow! Not only did my emotions have a place to rest….my imagination could float around the page and create characters and places.
The most difficult part of realizing how much joy I could gain from writing, was finding the courage to actually write and risk criticism….this I am still working on!
You had really good teachers that inspired you. How lucky. I learned to love reading from the Nancy Drew mysteries. I had every one of them and read them over and over. We also had a book mobile that traveled from place to place that was part of the public library system. That was a life saver during the summer. Never had the desire to write, just not a part of my make-up.
You write wonderfully, so continue please. There are many who would be very disappointed if you ever quit!
Thank you Jackie!!
Libraries played a big part of my childhood, too. When I got old enough to get an adult library card, I thought I had really arrived! Unfortunately, massive reading assignments in college almost killed my love of reading; but it has gradually come back.
Colleen, I rarely sit down and read an entire book anymore. I miss it a lot…but my time seems to get absorbed by so many other things. Thanks for replying to my post!