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!