My journey through the world of writing and everything that lies in between…

Since I cannot think of a really spectacular, awe-inspiring post today, I’m going to re-post something from way back when I first started this blog. It’s about my love of storytelling and writing in general. Enjoy!

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I believe one of the reasons I’m so fond of writing is because I was captured by the written word at an early age. I simply cannot remember a time when I didn’t have a book in front of me.

It started very early:

And of course, it was my duty as a big sister to teach my little sister how to read:

My earliest memories go back to around 3 or so, and I can remember sitting on the living room floor, reading one of those big Disney books based off the movies (Sleeping Beauty was my favorite) and having my parents point the words out to me as they read the story out loud.

One of my dad’s favorite stories to tell (though I’m not sure how much truth there is to it, haha) is that at age four or five, I’m studying a cereal box and then ask what the word “carbohydrate” means. Of course I don’t really remember this particular story, but I did read the sides of cereal boxes all the time when I was little, so I suppose it’s not out of the question.

Anyway, I remember I started telling stories before I could write; I’d have my mom transcribe them for me. I have a whole huge folder of these stories, now faded by the years. Still it’s interesting to see what kind of story my four-year-old self came up with.

I used to love to watch Reading Rainbow too (proven by my post dedicated to the show here) I’d always try to rush to the library shortly after to get the books they recommended.

I had a lot of favorite childhood books, I was especially fond of The Giving Tree and Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein; Love You Forever by Robert Munsch and Sheila McGraw; and of course the funny Wayside School Stories (Sideways Stories from Wayside School; Wayside School is Falling Down; Wayside School Gets A Little Stranger). And then as I got older I loved the American Girl books; those books were, in fact, what got me started in writing historical fiction (as my first “novel” was written at age 11, all handwritten ) All of these books (and MANY more) helped shaped me into the writer I am now.

And of course I can’t forget the influence of family. My dad has always been one to weave stories around seemingly insignificant events, but somehow captures everyone’s attention. He doesn’t write any of them down (as they’re all based off his life) but he’s got a way of talking and grabbing your attention. His life has really been one amazing story and perhaps one day I’ll collaborate with my sister and we’ll write it all out.

Then of course my mom was the one who spent most of the time reading to me and helping me along too. I suppose I get the artistic gene from her since she was always good at drawing and art.

And my little sister (no longer “little” anymore). She and I would always come up with stories revolving around our dollhouse people, complete with names and character quirks. We did the same with our stuffed animals; we had complete histories for their little world and everything. And now, I’m happy to say, she’s becoming a writer too. She’s writes more along the lines of fantasy and sci-fi but that trait has worn off on her (maybe with some of my good sisterly influence :)).

So I’m posing the question to those who read my blog: do you remember what age you started to read? What were some of your favorite books as a child? Were there any children’s books that inspired you?

 

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Comments on: "Captured By the Written Word" (11)

  1. I remember in kindergarten the teacher took me to the library and gave me a “special” book. It had chapters. *grin*
    My fave childhood books were Babysitter’s club, Nancy Drew, and tons of others.
    Cute post!

  2. Heh, I still read the back of cereal boxes if there’s a rare occasion that a book isn’t on the table.

    I can’t remember when I started reading; it just seems that I always was.

    Childhood faves: Nancy Drew, Anne of Green Gables, The Little House books, so many…

  3. I’ve never been able to remember a time when I couldn’t read. Early books I loved: Danny & the Dinosaur, The Blaze the pony series, ANYTHING by Walter Farley, Ping of the Yangtze (early induction into all things Chinese: it began with Ping), Make Way for Ducklings and just about anything involving animals. LOL I suspect I learned to read with my read along Disney books.

  4. I loved the American Girl books too! My other favorite historical fiction books were the royal diaries… man, I ABSORBED those books.

  5. My childhood favorites….”Go Dog Go” by Dr. Seuss. Preschool.

    I know this next one sounds a bit crazy…

    The Encyclopedia Brittanica…because I could see the world in set of books and read all the knowledge known to man. (at least to a 7 year old mind)

    • You know the Encyclopedia thing doesn’t sound all that crazy. Really 🙂

      And you commented on my blog! Makes me happy!! 🙂

  6. Oh, I LOVE this post. Sisters and writing and books, it’s like all my favorite things wrapped up in one blog post. Those pictures are PRICELESS!

  7. Aunt Linda said:

    My favorite book was the FireFly in the Jar. I can’t remeber the author. However, I got a copy of it a few years back for my birthday. I the turned around and gave it to Will.

  8. That’s a nice retrospective and cute pictures to boot!

    I was a late reader. I remember being in the “slow worm” reading group or whatever it was in first grade. It must have been mum that turned me around. She was always reading and took us to the library. I bet she regretted that later with all the fines I racked up!

    I remember those little McDonald’s condensed classics they gave in the happy meals. Mum used to read those to me: Tom Sawyer, Three Musketeers, Black Beauty. I’m sure that had a huge influence on me as a reader and writer — those first books I owned. And they looked and felt like real adult books too!

  9. When I was young I liked The Little Engine That Could. Later in my Childhood I liked Bartholomew and the Oobleck.

  10. I loved Dr. Suess and Laura E. Richards and Lewis Carroll. Actually, I still love them. Great post. 🙂

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