I'm not a "writer." There are moments when something hits me just right and I can tell a story or share a feeling or relive a moment. I enjoy those moments and I am hoping for more of them.
I typed my email into one of those promoted posts you and I see on Facebook From the American Writers and Artists Institute (AWAI). It was for 31 writing prompts. When I opened the email that came after that, I read that I had accepted a challenge to write every day for 30 days.
But, why not? So, if you'll bear with me, the next 31 posts (unless my own story strikes) will be for this challenge.
So here goes nothing!
Day 1: What was your favorite book as a child? Do you remember? Did you read it by yourself, or did someone read it to you? Did they do the voices? Were you tucked up in bed, or curled up in a favorite chair? These days, do you read to someone else? Do you enjoy acting out the parts while you read? Today, write about a beloved book, and relive your memories of time spent entranced by a wonderful story.
The truth is, I can't remember a single favorite book, or a single favorite moment related to books, because books have always been there and I've loved so many of them and so many of those moments.
I could then, and to this day, spend hours reading a book. There have been books that made me laugh and books that made me cry so hard the pages blurred. There have been books that I couldn't put down until they were done and those I hated to the very last page.
I've only ever not finished one book in the thousands (I don't think that is far fetched) that I've read. I simply couldn't turn another page and it tortured me to leave it unfinished. But I did. It was just that terrible!
My love for reading no doubt came from those who first read to me. Our house was always full of books and when we visited grandparents there were books to be found wherever we looked.
When I was young, my favorites were those that were centered around horses...Marguerite Henry and the stories about the ponies on Chincoteague and Assateague Island or King of the Wind, were read to me and my cousins by our Grannie Joannie when we visited for the summer.
I would find the stories about Flip by Wesley Dennis and read them to teachers on the way to the bus line and then to my bus driver on the long stretch of dirt road to home.
In fourth grade, my teacher brought several boxes of tissue to class when we watched "Where the Red Fern Grows" after having read the book together. I've never been able to read that one again.
My dad's memories of Old Yeller convinced me to read it, but, there again, only once.
Because of Winn Dixie, The Indian in the Cupboard, Little House on the Prairie and The Chronicles of Narnia are just some of my favorites.
I could get lost for hours in a library or a book story searching through books about history, those that have a touch of comedy or those that may hit close to home.
I remember reading in my bed, but getting lost in the voice across the hall as my mom read the Berenstain Bears to my brother. Brother and Sister Bear were some of our favorite characters and Papa Bear...that poor guy! The challenges he put himself through! Lordy. It's a wonder there was more than one book. ;)
As a teacher, my favorite moments were during read alouds. There was always a purpose to the reading lesson, but I couldn't help but get lost in sharing the story. The voices? You better believe I did the voices. There is no better audience than a room full of second and third graders and nothing more entertaining for the principal or district staff who come in for observations! My best voice? I'd have to say that goes along with the books about Bad Kitty. I have a pretty awesome "cat voice" that I learned from my mom which started with her and my aunts. Maybe someday, you'll be lucky enough to witness that...
These days I spend plenty of time reading myself. Winter months up here provide for ample time for a good book. I think I reached number 19 in the Stephanie Plum series. My current obsession is the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. Yes, I've seen the show, but I maintain that the books are better. While I wait for the next in that series, I have picked up one about Sergeant Reckless. I know that one is going to have me in tears, but I'm not sure in which chapter.
The voices I created these days are for Hank the Cowdog and his friends, which happen to include a cat. I love to listen to my son read and work out how to do his own voices. I've done a decent enough job passing on a love of reading to him and it's proven to me when I find him in the play room where the library is. He will be on the floor with books piled around him, lost in a story. His current favorites are some that were his papa's books and are an adventure series.
The girls and Husbeast all have the same affliction. When they hit on a good book, they almost always have it finished in a day or two. Husbeast saves his for winter months and after the feeding is done. Reading is something that this whole family loves.
As technology has advanced in my life, I've attempted to appreciate the electronic version of books, but I can't. To me, there is nothing better than the smell of books. I love to feel the pages and the cover and I love the rustle of the pages turning. For as long as he welcomes it, and even after that, I'll share a bed time story with my son. Whether he listens to my voices or I to his, I'll savor the moment of settling for the night by sharing a book.
And I hope, down the road, there will be books that he looks at and they remind him of his life, those moments, and he too, will cherish the memories...