I have always loved to write. When I was little, a lot of kids would be playing outside, but I would more likely be reading or writing. I was remembering the other day how I loved to lie on my bed reading. I often came across an unfamiliar word, and asked my mom what it meant (her frequent reply was, “Use it in a sentence!”). When I was 9 or so, I remember thinking I should look those words up and learn them – so I would always take my book AND a dictionary to the bed. I marvel now at my diligence back then, because honestly it’s been quite a while lately since I’ve looked up a definition (although I do encourage my kids to).
Words were fascinating to me. I remember the lightbulb moment when I realized that “Europe” was Europe. I had always read the word ee-a-rope, and I guess that was my pre-dictionary period, because I had not put that spelling together with the geographical place in my mind.
Likewise, I remember thinking euthanasia was an odd word, all the while thinking people were referring to “youth in Asia.” What was so special about Asian youth that they got their own word? I never heard about youth in America!
Ah, writing. Here are some of my earliest books.
In fourth grade, I wrote my masterpiece, The Mystery in Maine. I was inspired by TV shows I had watched, play themes I had enacted with my Fisher Price Little People, and much, much more.
These were the days before computers, so my mom patiently typed all my stories on the typewriter. She would leave spaces where I instructed so I could add illustrations, and occasionally a photo (photos were a real treat!).
I’ve always thought that writing these books was key to my success in a lot of schoolwork. Years later, when I was a teacher, I just couldn’t believe how many kids didn’t enjoy writing. How could anyone not enjoy it? I was stumped.
Did you enjoy writing as a child? Reading? What do you remember?
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers. ~Charles W. Eliot