Tag Archive | mythology

The Beauty of the Young Reader

There is something very special about children who read. 

Both of my boys are very good readers… now. But it didn’t come naturally which surprised me  because as a child I was inexplicably drawn to books. I devoured  so many that I can’t even come close to remembering them all. Some of my fondest memories are of walking to the local library and taking out as many books as they would let me. I remember going through the aisles for what seemed like minutes when it was probably more like hours, trying to figure out which book I would read next. 

I would pull my favorites off of the shelves: Are you there God? It’s Me, Margaret, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, the Sweet Valley High Series, Nancy Drew, VC Andrews, Mythology, Anne Rice… re-reading the books I’d already read, the ones I really loved. I spent hours and hours reading, imagining and becoming  the characters, all the while living and breathing with them. Reading was a way of life. I loved books so much that my punishment was that my parents would send me outside and ban me from books for the afternoon!

I hate to admit there came a decade in my life when I forgot my love for reading. I read but not with the passion and voraciousness of my early years. I was working… a lot… romancing, socializing, building a career, and having babies. But then my husband got me a Kindle for my birthday and I read three books in one week.  It felt as though I had found a long lost friend, my love for reading remembered and reignited.

When my children were given reading assignments and I had to practically hog-tie them down just to read a paragraph, I was surprised. I think I expected them to fall instantly in love with words, like I did. But getting them to read a page was torture and I felt like an utter failure. Even though I read to them when they were little, they fought reading tooth and nail. 

But little by little, word by word, it happened. 

We took turns reading to one another, we read every night before bed, we talked about the books they were reading in school, we talked about where they were with their reading levels, and we recognized when they hit their reading goals. Their teachers gave then goals and then rewarded them when they made their goals and I realized that my boys were finally readers! 

They learned to love reading and we were able to cultivate it with time and consistency. My youngest was the student who read the second highest amount of words this past year and my oldest made 200% of his reading goal. I’m so proud of them, but I know that this love has  to continue to be reinforced and fed. I’m planning trips to the library and trying to figure out how to continue to make reading fun.

Through my writing I’ve met some other young readers who share my passion for books and for reading. I love how it bonds us, making us instant friends because we share such a strong love. I love how it opens so many doors and makes me a part of such a strong community. It’s as though we have an unspoken understanding that reading opens our minds to a world where everything is infinitely possible. 

Children who read,  become adults who understand that the world is large and endless, beyond anything we can imagine. I love that children can imagine that. They are our future writers, inventors, teachers, scientists, doctors, and entrepreneurs. Children who read understand that the world is limitless and so are they and I can’t wait until the moment that my children truly understand this. 

I’m incredibly thankful that they are well on their way. 

Shiny Objects…

So, I’m working on my third book. And it’s going painfully slow.

Painfully.

I decided that the story was getting too dark. I decided that I need my main character to experience a little more love in her life. So now I need to go back and add it. The love that is. The truth is… I love dark stories. I always have. The twistier and uglier, the better. I think that’s why I loved mythology when I was a girl. Mythology rarely had the Happily Ever After and I was good with that, even at a young age.

My first two books were dark. Sad, ugly, tragic, and dark. I actually wrote about people killing and being killed, which surprised me because I didn’t plan it that way. It just happened because that’s where the story went. That is the beauty of writing, at least for me. Something comes out of nothing and then the unexpected happens. Magic.

But I’m having a hard time getting to a point in the story that makes me feel like I have finally made progress. I’m at least, if not more than halfway into the first draft. Once the draft is done, I tell myself that I’ll feel more resolved but chances are that I won’t. Since I’ve been writing again there is a consistent sense of things being undone. I feel more sane and there is a lot less chaos in my head, but I definitely feel a lack of completion in my daily life.

The fact is, I’m just busy. With a full time career that has full time responsibilities, a beautiful but active family, two dogs, parents who aren’t in the best of health, and a brain that won’t settle down… it’s hard to find the time to write. Even now, I’m blogging when I should be trying to figure out why my characters love each other so much. But I am writing and the exercise of writing and creating is what gives me peace, helps me breathe, and quiets the noise in my head. It always has. But moments like this don’t come every day.

My last post was about needing a vacation. But truly, I know that I can’t take a vacation from my own mind, only from some of the rigors of life. I’m always questioning how I can finish the next book, and with each one it becomes increasingly more difficult. But I do know that I need to be more disciplined in my writing. Writing instead of Facebooking tweeting, and daydreaming about writing. I need to just hunker down, “clear the mechanism” (For Love of the Game), and write, even if it stinks. I can work out the bugs after the first draft is done, after my editor and awesome pre-readers get done hacking it up.

Sometimes I am frustrated because I feel that there are so many stories to tell, yet not enough hours in the day to tell them in. When I began my first book, I told myself that I would feel like a writer after it was done. Then it became, after the second book is finished. Now it feels like, after the third book is finished, I may finally feel like a writer.

But who knows? Maybe I will never feel complete again. Maybe that is what compels me to write, this inward sense that there is so much more to write about. I’m hoping that after I finish this third book, that I will be able to take a little teensy weensy break before I write the third book in the Eva series. The overall 3rd Book, tentatively titled Run to You, was meant to give me a break from the heaviness of the Eva series. This was supposed to be my easy novel. As it turns out, it has actually become my most difficult in many ways. Now that my main character wants more love, it’s proven to be more challenging. But being more challenged it great!

So I gotta go now and try to bang out some more of this story. That is unless another shiny object comes floating by…