Friday, September 18, 2009

The Sweet Escape

This week, a friend of mine has spurred memories of my childhood. With that, I have been feeling a bit nostalgic. While I'm deep in the editing process on my novel, I've also taken some time to do my other passion, reading-I know real original. When I put down True Blue by LuAnne Rice at two o'clock in the morning, my recent feelings had to ask how I had become this way? What in my life influenced me to spend all my time either reading or writing?

In order to come to the truth, I didn't have to dig far. Some of you who read this blog have known me since I was a child, so the answer will come as no surprise. For the rest of you, I will be showing a side of my past I often don't speak about.
The answer is escape. I wasn't raised in the best home situation. In the first grade, I was introduced to the wonderful book, Charlotte's Web. The lives of the characters intrigued me and pulled me in to a whole different type of world. By the second grade, I learned that I could read at a much faster pace and began to read everything put in front of me. During the screaming and the fighting, I would escape to a special corner in the backyard, where I would loose myself in another universe.I learned how other people lived; ones who didn't have the same problems as me and ones who did. The hours I spent in others worlds refreshed me.

After moving to a new town in the fourth grade, I found myself homesick for my friends. My grandfather phoned to inform me that my dog since I was a baby had died. It was that year that I wrote my first full length story. This project was of course a school assignment, but I put my heart into every word. My dog was the subject and she had returned to welcome me to my new home. Looking back, it seems like such a simple thing to write about, but it taught me that I could write stories, like the ones I had read.

Through the years, I have been ridiculed for my obsessions. I was that girl whose nose was always stuck in a book while the world around me faded away. Talking to myself was often a problem, as I worked out my projects in my head before I put them on paper. Even now it happens when people chuckle at me, because they learned that I spent the majority of my recent time off work, in front of the computer finishing my novel.

I'm thankful though that the family I'm surrounded by, understands my craziness. Just the other night, my husband came to bed and said, "I thought you were only going to read one chapter?" Of course, he's just as bad as I am, but even worse when he's writing. Last year as he wrote his latest novel, I had to cook many meals, because he was busy and I don't cook. My mother-in-law chuckled to learn that I'd read an entire novel in one day. My sister frequently supplies me with unique names that she has learned, knowing that I have a hard time coming up with them.

I don't need the escape anymore, nothing like before. Now, I simply fall in love with the story I'm reading or writing and don't stop till I finish it. Every book I read helps to increase my skills as a writer. What ever causes us to start these obsessions is different, but I know I'm not alone in this world. Millions of people have a love for the same past time. Our tastes may vary, but the characters continue to draw us in, page after page. So read on my friends and don't be afraid to write what you know, those stories may be the best of all.

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