Friday, March 22, 2013


Settle in guys, this entry promises to be as lengthy as the film of the same name, but it's late, quiet and I have a cute little cat snuggled in my lap. So I feel like telling you a bit more about me.

This post began when my hometown best friend since seventh grade tweeted a photo of us on Prom night. There was a dance contest to determine Prom King and Prom Queen - Lacey and I won. We were kindof phenomenal.
For all the obvious reasons, I became very nostalgic, and began thinking about how much my wonderful friend means to me...

Lacey was the first person to ever read my writing.
It was back in seventh grade - the year we became friends.
We were in our Texas History class, the last period of the day, and I was writing down a story in my spiral when I was called away from my desk for something. When I came back Lacey had my notebook at her desk (behind mine) and she handed it back to me.
"This is good!"
I shook my head.
"No," she assured me, "it's really good!"

At this point in my life I was reading all things Anne Rice and Stephen King. I was bent on being a great horror writer someday. Thus she read the beginning pages of something too dark and twisty for a seventh grader to be writing.
But that was all the encouragement I needed (Words of Affirmation is my Love Language)
I continued writing. Eventually discovering that writing dark and scary things took my mind to dark and scary places that I wasn't comfortable being in for extended periods of time. I tapped into my love for fantasy. From a very early age I adored almost every ancient culture's mythology, and K.A. Applegate's EverWorld series was a tremendous catalyst for my jump into YA Fantasy - aside from Harry Potter, and Stephen King's The Dark Tower those are the only books I've ever re-read cover to cover.

***side note: I'm still missing Everworld books 1, 2, 4, and 12. I still hunt for them each and every time I go to a used bookstore***

I thought back to where it all started. Where did my love for books come from?

The answer is, of course, my Mom and my Nanna (grandmother).

Mom used to work the night shift so in my elementary years I'd spend the evenings with my grandparents. Nanna and I would sit in on the couch, or in front of the old gas heater at the end of the hallway and she would read to me. The very first novel I ever read (according to Nanna) was Black Beauty (which coincidentally will be the tongue-in-cheek title of my biography someday). It was one of the books she would read to me, and when I got old enough to try reading by myself I would sit down and start from the beginning - each and every time I picked up the book. I would set it down to get a glass of water or juice then I'd go back and start from the beginning again. The concept of picking up where I left off didn't come for another couple of years or so ;-p

Mom in my formative years while she was still in school, would read to me at night. Beatrix Potter, Frog and Toad...that sort of thing. But one collection of books I remember quite well. I doubt very many of you know of it, but it was called Alice in Bibleland...

It was a series (written in verse) about this girl who would read her Bible and a bird would come and deliver her a letter, when she opened up the letter her Bible grew big enough to become a magic doorway into the story. In every book the letter that the bird delivered said the same thing:

"Reading is the magic key to take you where you want to be."

I remember laying in bed with my Batman comforter (or Mickey Mouse, depending on the week) in the tiny apartment we used to live in. Mom would be cuddled up next to me, and every time she'd read to me we would say that line together.

"Reading is the magic key to take you where you want to be."

It's like a mantra in my mind. So my mother, the non-reader, was the one who instilled in me a love of books. Nanna perpetuated and cultivated it. My love for reading then grew into a love for writing, and now that's my life plan. Not to be famous or to sell millions of copies (though who wouldn't want such a thing), but really, truly, sincerely because my mind can't stop making stories, and for some kid someday who enjoys books more than he/she enjoys playing with the neighbor kids or sports my words will make him/her imagine something greater, and they'll go on to be amazing, and then they'll inspire more amazing in the world, and so on and so on forever. That's my ultimate goal. That's my dream.

Thanks to Mom for the bedtime stories.
Thanks to Nanna for broadening my horizons.
Thanks to Lacey for the early encouragement.
Thanks to my Anna for being my biggest cheerleader.
Thanks to my Kim for being my sanity and my soundboard for all the twists and turns.

So I guess that's the heart of it all. I'm sure as I blog more I'll find tidbits here and there that contributed to the writing mess that is me. Who made you love books? What is the beginning of your beginning?

As I crawl into bed tonight I'm going to crack open a book like I do almost every night; I'm going to say the little rhyme to myself, and I hope you do too.

"Reading is the magic key to take you where you want to be."

Until we meet again...

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