The Early Years

Most writers have a great story of reading their first book at five and penning their first story before by puberty. You might assume, at the very least, I excelled in English and Literature and devoured any book I could. My story couldn’t be more different.

The first memory of reading was in third or fourth grade. We’d go to the library during our designated time to pick out books to read for the week. My class would all race to the books designated to our age or higher, not me. I wondered over to the doorbell gang, first grade reading level. They were fun, easy, and I could finish and get to what I really loved to do…day dream.

I loved to day dream and by high school I had it mastered. Sitting up strait, eyes following the teacher, the occasional nod as if I had been particularly moved by the instruction. I may have appeared as if I was learning prepositions, but I was actually on an island in the middle of the Pacific.

You may think I would have been a poor student but I got buy with an A/B average and did alright if you didn’t consider my reading level or spelling. I hated anything to do with the English language and had a teacher once say to me, “You should never write anything down without a dictionary in your hand.”

I actually managed to finish High School with only reading one of the books that I had to give a book report on. I am embarrassed to say this now, but never read the books. I didn’t even bother with the cliff notes (they were too long too).  I picked an obscure book, read the first scene, and last scene and made up what I thought was a good way to get from point A to point B, coming up with detailed characters and interesting settings along the way.

It wasn’t until I was pregnant with my first son at age 28 that I learned how to read. I say it like that because although I could read, it took effort, it exhausted me and took me up to three weeks to finish a standard size book.

The first thing I never realized about reading was that it opened up a world and never ending supply of good “movies” for your mind. I loved movies. I loved getting wrapped up in the story but I never realized reading could do the same thing and that was because the second thing I learned about writing was, like anything, the more you do it, the better you become. The more I read the faster I went until reading became as easy as breathing and the book that took me three weeks I could finish in one or two nights.

During the first two years of reading with my new found knowledge, I devoured any Christian romance I could get my hands on. One evening I realized that I’d read all the books I had at least twice and the library was closed. (This was before digital check outs – we actually had to wait for a book 😉 ) So, I had a funny story from my past and decided to write it down and it became the opening scene of my first book.

I realized that all the day dreams over the years were actually creating story. My mind was full of stories, characters, and settings and  I wanted to get them out of my head. Writing my first book was the most freeing feeling I had ever had.

So, that is how I went from poor reader/daydreamer to writer. Funny thing is, I excelled in Math and Science. I started college with a science major and did very well until I dropped it. Isn’t so like God to take our weakness and use it for His glory?

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