I have always loved to read. Growing up it was an escape and I remember walking down middle school hallways with an open book, swallowing pages in between classes until I was forced to close the book. I don’t remember the first books I read, but I was always far advanced for whatever grade I was in. I do remember getting a set of hardback classics one Christmas when I was 7 or 8. They included “Black Beauty”, “Robinson Crusoe” and “Alice in Wonderland”, among others. They seemed like adult books to me. They had hundreds of pages and very few illustrations, and I remember finishing “Alice in Wonderland” first. It didn’t take long for me to raid my father’s books, in particular, The “Shannara” series. I sank into those.
When I was 9, I started dinner. I set water to boil and went to read a few pages while I waited. However, the book sucked me in and I was aware of nothing but the world I had found in its pages. I sat in my room with the door open, reading as a fire started. I did not hear the fire alarm. I did not hear screaming, or my father running up and down the stairs. The book had me. When I finally pulled myself out of it, I was astonished to hear the alarm and see all the commotion. I knew I’d be punished for my absent-mindedness but I just had not heard a thing. I realize now it was probably more than getting into a book.. it probably had some dissociation going on with it as well. But that’s one example of how deeply I could immerse myself. It was not the only time things like that happened.
I remember going to the library and checking out huge piles of books. A man saw me there once and told me I should read non-fiction as well as fiction. Well by that time I was into mythology so I saw that as a sort of non-fiction. My love affair with mythology has been life-long, but I’ve also read many truly non-fiction books. As I grew older, I would take a book out to the forest to read. I’d find a log to rest on and sit reading in the peacefulness of the woods with only the sound of birds, animals and the wind in the trees. I ache for those woods now. It’s so hard to be away from them.
I think I wrote my first poem when I was 8. If I remember, it was about an owl flying at night. I was being published in the student pages in the newspaper by 6th grade, but by 8th, my writing had become very dark and I was often sent to the guidance counselor because of it. I knew better than to talk by that time.
When I bought my house, I had a “library” for the first time. I lined the walls of a room with book shelves and was able to finally have my books on display. The problem is, I hate to get rid of books. I do re-read many of them, but I add new ones frequently. When I moved here, we got new bookshelves, which I promptly filled, and then double stacked. The shelves started to bow, but that’s pretty much normal, in my experience. 🙂 Brian decided to paint the room and build stronger bookshelves but I didn’t know he wasn’t going to do it right away. So my books have been stacked in two rooms for a few months, and I dig through the stacks to find the ones I need. I get into my books frequently, at least 2-3 times a week. I re-read my old stand-by, Stephen King, and have just started to re-read GRRM’s “Game of Thrones” series. GRRM’s writing is a delight because he is a Master of subtleties. There is so much in his books that people miss on the first reading. I missed some things myself. A lot of people watch the show and think Theon didn’t lose his cock in the books, but he did. It was referenced several times, but it was subtle. Anyway, that’s another tangent.
I want to write a book. I’m trying to get back into the habit of writing with this blog, and I’m writing when I can, but not every day like I wish. I think I should start trying those ‘writing prompts’ that many sites suggest. It couldn’t hurt, I suppose, just be boring to read maybe. And this blog is more for me than anyone else. My other blog is for things meant to be shared, but I’ve only posted one thing there so far.
I don’t know what I’m afraid of. I’m not aware of being afraid of anything, but I think I must be for sabotaging my writing. Perhaps that’s for therapy.