Words have always fascinated me. Before I was three years old, I was able to read and spell a great number of words. Books attracted me, and my mother read to me often during this time. Once I grasped the concept that the words on the page were actually the story, I was intrigued and wanted to learn every word I could. The greater my vocabulary, the more books I could read, and the more imaginary places I could travel to.
At a very early age, I knew I would write novels because I loved reading books. My mother had bought me a huge pile of Dr. Seuss and “I Can Read” books. Each day I took the pile of books and read through them, sometimes seeing how fast I could read through the stack, and eventually I knew them by heart. I wanted more books to read and that was what I told my mother.
The first time my mother took me to the library, I was mesmerized at the countless number of shelves that were stocked full of wonderful books. I was allowed to check out two books at a time. Making a decision as to which two I would pick was difficult. There were hundreds of books for my age level and only checking out two at a time seemed impractical. How many trips would I have to take in order to read them all? If only I had copies of them at home …
After returning home with my first two new books and reading them, I attempted to write them down on paper so I could reread them later. That daunting task bored me, so instead I began writing my own stories.
When I enrolled into the first grade, my teacher, Mrs. Brown, had a closet filled with thick storybooks. Actually, they were literature readers used in previous classes over the years. I had noticed them and asked if I could read them. She allowed me to take one home each day. Rather than watch cartoons, I sat down and read the books straight through. I did this each day until I had read every book in that closet. Still, I wanted more.
Our class went to the elementary library each week. After we checked out a book, we sat at little round tables for thirty minutes or so. During this idle time, I pulled books off the shelves to read while we waited to return to the classroom. Most elementary books are short, so I was able to read three or four books during that short time period. By third grade I had read all of the books in our section. Since our school was K-12, our library was connected to the middle and high school level books. One day I noticed a book on Sea Monsters on the top shelf, which was out of my reach. I asked the librarian, Mrs. Lynch, if I could check it out.
She told me that I wasn’t old enough to check out books from that section. She must have read the disappointment on my face because she reached up and took down the thick book. She flipped the book open to the middle and said, “Read me this paragraph.”
I did so without missing a word or slightly pausing. She smiled, handed me the book, and let me check it out. From that day forward, I was able to check out any of the books in the higher grades reading section. I read constantly, but soon I found that I was no longer finding the stories like I wanted to read. I began writing more.
I used a small corner of my dresser to write my stories and draw my comics. I loved having that creative flow when new characters and ideas came, and I obliged my muse by writing them out on pages. Writing is often a lonely painful endeavor, especially if the flow is broken or not moving, but I this time of isolation can also be enriching. I love when I don’t know what is about to happen in my novel, and suddenly, out of thin air, a character does something unexpected that changes the plot’s direction and the crisis is solved. Maybe not immediately, but the light at the end of the dismal tunnel beckons me to run to it.
So somehow, long ago, my destiny was established by introducing me to my muse. I’m grateful this is my path and journey. I’d love for you to follow the works that are birthed along the way.