I heard someone say once that they had a "lifetime love affair with words" and although I know what they mean, but it's more like I've always been married to them. Not just an affair. There have been lots of times when we argue. When I can't understand what they're saying. And times that they aren't saying what I intend for them to. But, I've always loved them. Writer Wrong. (If lovin' words is wrong, I don't wanna be write. I especially love puns.)
I started to read when I was three, and was reading at a sixth grade level when I started first grade (in fact, the school system wanted to start me in the second grade, and then later I was offered a chance to skip fourth grade, but it was decided that I'd be better off left among people my own age due to the lack of my social education...another blog subject *making a note*). I would have preferred being among old people, but they didn't ask my opinion.
I started writing stories when I was in the second grade to the consternation of my teacher who couldn't understand how I could write a story about a bunny named Joey while she was discussing the Pilgrims and still pass a test on what she'd said. One of the many times I was sent to the office suspected of cheating. Luckily, I could still answer all the questions on the test when not in view of other kid's papers. I've always been able to multi-task, and I really hate that as I grow older it's not as easy as it used to be. I have been known to be singing along to music in my headphones while writing one of my animal books and still be able to tell you what the plot was on the TV show that was playing in the other room. I also hate that my ears are starting to not be as sharp as they used to be. A flea now has to be in the room with me before I can hear it fart. (I can however hear nails being clipped or knuckles popped in the neighbor's yard. *shudder*)
I've always had a weird memory system too. I'm like an old Alzheimer's patient. Some things I can remember as clear as day and can quote situations verbatim including what everyone was wearing, but ask me what I had for breakfast or what was the last book I read and I'll draw a blank. The memory thing worked to my advantage when I was in the first grade for it got that pesky "15 minutes of fame" out of the way early on. I memorized the entire Gettysburg Address and quoted it to a huge audience of friends and family at the annual school program in February 1964 on the stage of what is now the Backstage Theater. My mother, wanting to make me the overachiever she herself always wanted to be, poked and prodded me through the memorization process and then hand-sewed me an Abraham Lincoln costume. Complete with top hat and a beard made from the clippings when I got my finally-grown-out hair cut off to Abraham Lincoln length. I was written up in newspapers near and far, dragged around from school to school as they showed me off like a trained bear. It actually went on so long that I outgrew the costume and they finally had to stop showing me off. I hated every minute of it. I love to make people laugh. And I don't mind being the center of attention if laughter is involved, but showing off any 'talent' is something I absolutely abhor. (I would not so happily dress up and quote Lincoln today, knowing what I have learned in the decades that followed about his white-supremacy opinions and disdain of black people. He was NOT the man I thought him to be. He does not deserve all the accolades.)
Where was I? Oh yeah, I love words. And I love to put them together and move them around to see different effects. Much like an artist who draws and erases and redraws and then stands back to look, I'm very grateful for a backspace and delete key. Sometimes when I get "in the zone" I can turn out words at an almost alarming speed. I recently wrote those author's favorite words, "The End," to a novel that has 18 chapters, most of them in the 5,000 word range. Start to finish in seven weeks. I have heard writer's say "It almost wrote itself," but I think in this case there's no 'almost' to it. I simply had to supply the fingers and keyboard and be willing to sit still for long periods of time. My life is made up of a billion trillion words aching to be put on paper. I really want to find a t-shirt that I saw once that says "I is a writer: Words, they is my life."
It's not just my own words that enthrall me. I cannot imagine living in a house that isn't filled with books. I don't have as many shelves in my current home as I have always insisted on in past ones, but I still have several floor-to-ceiling. And they all groan with my favorite editions. And still my attic is filled with boxes and boxes of books on myriad subjects from the late 1800s to current.
A friend asked me how in the world I came up with not only enough stuff to fill up three novels, but also the several blogs that I try to keep somewhat current (tried, I've now cut it back to just a handful, and sporadically at that...despite my opinion to the contrary, I'm really NOT Superwoman!) I laughed. If they'd put more hours in the day I could write a novel a day with just the ideas floating about in my head at any given moment. My mind is a very scary place to visit. I wouldn't want to live there.
Many many years ago a neighbor referred to me as a "wordy little thing." I'm no longer little, but I'm definitely still wordy. And I've had a lot of life experiences in the last 59 years to use words to describe. And, after all, I didn't expect that any of the blogs or the novels would be Nobel quality... just current and hopefully fun with maybe a twinge here or there to make you think.
So far so good? Either way, I'm still Writing On. And on. I suppose when you're married to words and books, the anniversary gift is always paper...
THAT'S MY STORY
I've never been normal. I've never tried to be. I can't imagine anything more boring.
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