Books have been a big part of my life for as long as I can remember. Some of my strongest childhood memories are of story-time before bed. It was a special time; my mom, as a single parent, worked long hours and it was guaranteed quality time for us. Most of you probably have similar memories of bedtime stories: excitedly picking out the night's book, having mom or dad sit in bed next to you with the book propped open, pointing to all the different pictures, and of course, asking over and over for one more page (or chapter, or book) before finally dropping off to sleep. As soon as I was able to, there was a role reversal in our household and it became my responsibility to read the night's tale to my mom. Every night I would proudly stammer my way through my Seuss collection; I felt cool when I'd brag to my friends about how I got to read the bedtime story.
It wasn't until I was a little older that I understood the real reason my mom made me read at night. My mom is dyslexic. After a 12 hour work day, reading anything was hard work for her, not to mention reading aloud. It wasn't that she wanted me to read because she didn't want to anymore; it was because she wanted me to master a skill that would always be difficult for her; wanted me to really love the written word in ways that she just can't. Don't get me wrong, my mom likes to read, but for her it's not the relaxing pastime it is for so many. For my mom, and many others with this disorder, it takes conscience effort to translate all those letters into words, words into sentences, and sentences into something that makes sense. So, earlier than most, I learned to appreciate reading. I viewed each book I read as a gift. I read a lot, and enjoyed doing so.
Eventually I got a little less awkward and made actual human friends, a group of people who thought my social ineptitude was quirky and fun. I started writing a little, encouraged by a few teachers who recognized my wild imagination as a blessing rather than an annoyance. Now I can say real life has made me laugh, and cry, and fall in love. I still read, in fact books have been my one constant interest in my rather flighty life.
I love reading books and learning about the authors who wrote them. I'm always interested in articles that discuss literacy, or have book reviews, or questions the quality of today's writing. I'm passionate about fairy tales and fables and the lessons they provide, and about the evolution of folklore into New York Times bestsellers. I'm loving all the movies based on books, often reading the book right beforehand so I can do a better mental compare and contrast, which I usually end up doing in the theater out loud (much to the chagrin of my husband).
Recently, I published my first book. Gathering Water, something I can honestly say wouldn't have been accomplished without the help of my Rebel Sisters. I'll tell you a bit more about that, my writing experiences and influences, later on.. This post, well this was just an introduction. A first date.
So, for now, I say adieu.