I grew up surrounded by books and reading came as naturally to me as breathing. As a child I wrote poetry and short stories by the bushels. Amazingly, most of them have survived. Our school had a young writer’s club and once brought in a local author to critique our work. I was thrilled to be compared to e.e. cummings, even if I had to go look him up.
By fifth and sixth grade I had devoured most of the school library and soon began attacking my parents books at home. The range of subjects available was astounding. My choices roamed from L.M. Montgomery to Isaac Asimov. Junior High and High School offered even more exciting choices. I gobbled up whatever I had time to read. Irving Stone, Tolkein, and Auel, and Austen were some of the additions. I honestly enjoyed reading greek tragedies. It was then that I received one of my best birthday presents ever. My parents ordered a book of the month club for me – all mysteries! But as can happen my own writing slowed. Poetry was still quick and relatively easy to generate. My teenage angst screams from those pages.
By college my required reading load restricted my enjoyable reading list. People like Galbraith and Keynes took over my time. Until a literature class I took to fulfill a requirement. Nirvana began. Heller, Anne Tyler, Arthur Miller. I relished in the experience. For our final paper we had the option of writing a short story. I jumped on it and received an A. I should have taken this as a sign – but I didn’t.
Now more than 20 years later and hundreds (thousands?) of books read I am returning to the scene of my crime and beginning to write again.