Posts tagged: history

May 31 2009

My addiction to words

I love words. I have, in fact, loved words for as long as I can remember – probably longer.

My mother says that, when I was two years old, I got up on a stool at a party (clergy parties at the bishop’s tended to include children, for whatever reason) and recited a poem about my new baby brother.

When I was three years old, my mother taught me how to read using those Ladybird readers about Peter and Jane and their dog, Pat. It was sight reading; phonics came naturally to me.

Before I knew how to form letters myself, I was “writing” stories in the little notebooks my parents kept me supplied with. It sure looked like handwriting to me! Never mind that the story changed every time I “read” it.

I was a voracious reader, and when I ran out of “age-appropriate” reading material, I would raid my parents’ book cases. I read parenting books at the age of eleven, which happened to be the same year I read Jane Eyre, The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and Gone With the Wind.

These days, I raid the library when funds are too tight to allow me to feed my habit at the book store. I toe the line and will never attempt to have more than the allowed 50 books out at one time.

I read practically anything. My tastes are diverse. Give me a well-written story, with characters I can care about, and I will devour the words as fast as I can.

I have my favourite authors, of course: L.M. Montgomery, Orson Scott Card, Lurlene McDaniel, Robin McKinley, Margaret Atwood, Charles de Lint, Jane Yolen, and Ursula K. LeGuin are mainstays in my collection. They are the authors I look for in a book store – their presence on the shelves (all of them) tells me I am in a quality establishment, for it stocks the authors from whom I take my inspiration.

I read Young Adult novels (and I write them). I read science fiction novels (and am working on a science fiction screenplay). I read fantasy novels (and I write them).

I also read non-fiction, more than I do fiction, at times. I got into the habit when I was in University all those years ago, and it never quite faded. I read biographies, autobiographies, books by psychologists, books about writing, books about philosophy, about creation, about religion. I read to learn, to educate myself, to build the foundation for my fiction – and, more importantly, my life.

Though, I suppose, words are my life. I live in them. I move in them. I breathe them in and I breathe them out.

Yet, oddly enough, I sometimes think in pictures.

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