I Love to Read
But like most busy adults, reading has become a luxury I seldom have time for. I am currently reading Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (author of The Hunger Games). I actually got to spend a wonderful afternoon yesterday in my backyard reading uninterrupted for over an hour. SHEER JOY. What an incredible story! I wonder where she got the idea for it?
I guess my love of books, like everyone else's, began as a child. I read most of the classics: Heidi (my favorite), Black Beauty, The Secret Language. I learned to read before I was in kindergarten and when my mom worked part-time as a librarian I was gifted every week with a stack of books.
It didn't occur to me to write for pleasure until I was around 12 when Lisa, my best friend at the time, showed me a story she had written for one of our sleep overs. She had written us as main characters in our favorite television series at the time "The Six Million Dollar Man". I was instantly hooked. Back then, the highest form of technological entertainment was a tape recorder and we had quite of bit of fun creating impromptu television shows like Rumper Room, etc., so writing was a great way to self-entertain. I feel sorry for kids nowadays. They have too much technology and not enough creativity. I remember the thrill of how cool it was to be inside a story as a character with your best friend and your television idol; doing things you would never get to do in real life.
When I was fourteen I discovered The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien (my favorite author and books) and spent an entire weekend lost in Middle Earth, weeping when Gandalf and Frodo died; unable to believe he had actually killed off the two main characters. I was swept up in the majesty of Tolkien's word craft, amazed at how he had created histories and languages for each of the peoples in Middle Earth and how artfully he wove them into poems and songs. I came away changed forever. To this day I have yet to discover an author that can even come close to his genius. I could not stop until I had read The Hobbit and the entire Trilogy in a nonstop marathon reading session which was only broken by meal times, bathroom visits and very little sleep. I finished all 4 books in a single weekend then read it all again the following weekend and then every year thereafter until I lost count at somewhere over fifty times. I came away wishing the book could have gone on forever and then was heartbroken when I learned there would be no more books coming from Professor Tolkien as he had passed away in 1973; only a year or so before I had read his masterpiece. In 1977 The Silmarillion was published posthumously but it wasn't the same. I bought the very first hard copy edition and own it still but it reads more like a history book than a story. I guess I will just have to wait to get to heaven where I hope John Ronald Ruel has been busy at work writing more wonderful stories.
My love of books and creating has led me to become an author. My first novel I can truly say was "inspired" (I even got a confirming scripture from the Lord to prove it. It's my tag line and the URL for this blog - Psalm 45:1: "My heart overflows with a good theme; I address my verses to the King; my tongue is the pen of a ready writer").
My second book, Make a Wish, is much like the stories I wrote with my best friend, Lisa. I put people into their own wish fulfillment stories as the main characters and the reactions I got from the recipients was overwhelming. Most of them told me they couldn't stop crying. My third book was a challenge to see if I could write an Amish fiction. At first it was like pulling teeth. I don't outline or do time-lines, I just write by the seat of my pants. Half-way through the inspiration hit and In Plain Sight turned out to be so much more than just a regular Amish fiction; it turned into something much, much more (but you won't find out until you read the very last page). The only hint I will give you is that is a "Jewish" surprise.
What book and author impacted you the most when you were a child?
What was it that inspired you to become a writer and/or reader?
What are you currently reading? Please share your stories with us!