Today I thought I would show you an article that I wrote last year when I was a writer for the Odyssey Online. (Most annoying semester of my life.) But I thought maybe some of you would like to hear about my reading and writing journey:
"The first time I remember a book being read to me was when I was two or three years old. My dad tucked me up into my bed and began to read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone to me. But I didn’t really want to hear that book. The irony of it. I remember the first book that I really loved was Red Wall by Brian Jacques. Mom got it out for me from the library and I listened to it so fast. I was fascinated by all the little woodland creatures going on their adventures and fighting the rats. Thus started my love of reading. We went to the library all the time. The moment I turned old enough and got my own library card? That was a really big day for me.
I remember when we moved. I was so sad because I wouldn’t know where all the books were in our new town. But low and behold the library was right up the road! I didn’t need Mom to drive me anymore I could walk up on my own. At my new school, I had to do reading tests, I think it was because I was a new student. I remember leaving class and going to Mrs. Harks and reading in groups. I remember reading one short story about a boy who fell down a well. The things that stick with you.
By fourth grade, I was flying through books. I would go to the library and checking out stacks off books. I was ordering books so much I actually memorized the fourteen digit code on the back of my library card a fact I was very proud of, I didn’t need to have my card with me in order to order books. (I still have it memorized) I should say that I never had any restrictions on my reading habits. If I wanted to read it I could. I remember one car trip where my mom was listening to the Lake House by James Patterson. In it, a machine is emptying the body of all its organs. At the time I thought “Ew, that’s yucky.” But it never really occurred to me what was happening I just thought the people with wings were so cool. Now I know differently.
I would like to say that I was always a storyteller. My childhood games have extensive plots, with lots of backs stories and normally some sort of fantasy element. The first time I put one of these stories on paper was when I was twelve. The advanced English class had the chance to go to a storytelling workshop at a local college and I really wanted to go. So, I begged my teacher to let me go. I probably was annoying. But I really wanted to go, I wrote a short story out by hand and then rushed to type it. I ended up having my best friend finish typing it for me the night before because she was faster. It turns out it was supposed to be more directed towards poetry or pieces that were one to two pages in length. Mine was closer to 30. So when we did our presentations everyone read their piece, I ended up sitting there reading for a good 15 minutes. I still have the notebook I wrote it all out in.
That experience started a new passion for me. I was reading but I was writing just as much. It became my dream. I want more than anything to one day walk into a bookstore or a library and see my book. I love the creative process, that first initial spark that gets the wheels turning, building the world so vividly in your mind that when you close your eyes it is like you are. That is what I love, it’s the creating those images and finding the words to put on a page.
It’s not easy. I am by no means a master I don’t think anyone really is. But that’s a good thing about it. Most people have a part they don’t feel confident in. Once the words are on a page my confidence falters. Grammar is not my strong suit it never has been. For me when I edit my work I get lost in the story, I stop seeing the words and see the images I created. As you can guess it’s not very helpful. I have to separate myself from my work.
Odyssey is the next step in my writing journey. It is a challenge for me because it is not like anything I have had the chance to do before. But I am really enjoying it. I’m sharing a new voice, it’s not the voice of my characters but my own."
A lover of words, reading and writing.