Having Fun Isn't Hard, When You've Got a Library Card
For as long as I can remember the library has been an integral part of my life and entertainment. Every summer my siblings and I would participate in the summer reading contest, how exciting to fill in the spaces for the books and pages we read, and end up with a signed poster of the Phoenix Suns.I remember the first grade, when I got second place for the most books read in the entire year, I can't remember if it was out of the whole school or just the first grade, but I remember thinking that the girl that beat me had probably cheated. I stand by that statement. In high school I spent a lot of time at the public library studying, just being surrounded by books. In college I'd head to the public library sometimes just to sit outside and think, other times to explore the shelves within.
I have always loved to read, there is a magic in books (well good books, books like Twilight contain anti magic) that transcends the mundane we want to escape from when we crack open a good book. I can still ride in a boat with Max to Where the Wild Things Are, be amazed at the great lengths a mother duck will go to to protect her children, wish that Sylvester hadn't picked up that pebble, or at least not run into that lion, wish I could move to Australia with Alexander, think my sister is the pain and I am the great one, cring with Ramona about the raw egg she smashed on her head, remember how desirable Freckle Juice used to seem, dream of starting my own baby sitter's club, follow Anne into her vast imagination, and cry with Jo over the loss of Beth.
Then of course as I grew older I moved on to a truly different world that an author spent years creating and mastering. I traveled with Ella to find the fairy godmother that gave her the curse of always obeying (and believe me, the book is MUCH better than the movie) Then I went riding down the river with Bilbo to face the dragon, believed that one small hobbit could save the world and destroy the ring, journeyed through a wardrobe to a land that only I can save. I've cheered on Harry as he fought against Voldemort again and again. I've started to grasp what it must have been like to fight in a Great War and be on what one could consider, the "other side." I've traveled to Japan with Christian missionaries to watch the Tokugawa torture and kill any Christian that wouldn't convert to Shintoism. I've been trapped with a doctor in a tiny, ugly town in Africa that is dealing with the plague, I've snuck Michael Jackson records into my Iranian school with Marjane. Some of it is all too real, and some of it resonates with you because it touches a chord of belief or feeling that we all have inherent within us.
The library has brought me this magical world, and it will continue to do so for the rest of my life, I know. Just last Saturday I went to the library just to read a book, to sit on a big comfy chair and delve into a world not of my own making.
This love expanded into writing. Oh the stories I used to write as a child, I cringe to think of a lot of them now, but at the time I loved what I wrote (mostly... sometimes even after it was finished I cringed at what was before me.) I've been thinking a lot lately about writing, how much effort it takes to create an actual book. Imagine the time and energy required to create several three dimensional characters and the quest they must go on, developing the arc, deciding what people should learn from it, or at least just what you yourself need to take away from it.
I'd love to write a children's book. I think I'm going to do it. I'm going to start on it, and if I post portions of it on here, I'd love to get your feedback, help me create a different world of escape.