I’ve always loved to read. Even when I was little and didn’t actually know how, I would sit with a book and just go over the type on the page and wonder about them. I’ve been known to read every word and number on cereal boxes, going over every detail multiple times until I was done eating and ready to go off and do something else. So, I guess it’s no real surprise that I’m now a writer. Well, okay, maybe it is.
In Elementary School, the teachers weren’t sure what to do with me. It took me ‘forever’ to learn how to read by their standards, but my testing scores showed that I was above grade level. If I had to read for more than a few minutes, I’d have my head down so close to the book, they thought I was trying to physically dive into the story. Reading aloud was torture as I’d often jump a sentence or two, making the whole paragraph into a puzzle that took awhile to decipher. My attention span was alright, as long as something was going on, but you put in a lull and it took me a very long time to get back on track and get back into the groove. To say that my learning experiences in my early academia years were unpleasant is an understatement.
I’m not sure exactly when I became known to always have a book in hand, but I didn’t see it as a bad thing – then again, my bank account would most likely be a bit heftier if I hadn’t bought so many. In High School I could keep track of three or four storylines simultaneously and would shock people when they asked “What are you reading?” and I’d show them what was in my hand, the one in my purse as well as the one in my backpack and then proceed to tell them about the one I had at home waiting for me to return. I was always reading something.
Kids have a funny way of turning your life upside down and sideways. Where I was able to sneak in a chapter or two between working and school, I suddenly was wrapped up in a little life and reading about someone else’s experiences just wasn’t such a priority. Where I’d balance four books at a time, I would feel lucky to get in a whole magazine in a day, more often settling for an article or two while Michael slept and the washing machine did its thing. Then as he grew, paperback novels turned into Cat in the Hat or (ugh, please forgive me) a Barney story until one day another change… another baby. Still though, I snuck in as much reading for myself when I could… even if I did have to resort to formula labels, baby cereal boxes and oh, how many times did I read that flyer for the meat bundle at the neighborhood meat market… sigh!
So is it any surprise that once I got back into the workforce after being laid off and unemployed for over a year that I would be found reading during breaks, lunches and yes… waiting for the car to warm up? I thought not. So why is it that it’s taken me so long to get back into writing? No, The Rain Song was not my first project. Actually, I had started a book while I worked in a brick plant that I was going to call, “Don’t Get Your Diaper in a Wad” telling about my experiences as a single mom with two small children. Needless to say I didn’t finish it… I was too busy chasing my diaperless daughter around the house in the attempt to getting her repanted. Oh, and maybe that unexpected hospital stay and recovery had something to do with it too? Nah!
Now life has given me yet another go round. My youngest is in Middle School (doing tons better than I ever did), my hubby accepts my quirkiness as a perk, and I actually have managed to read three books in three months while still working on my own projects. Yes!!! Let’s hope the trend continues… I’ve missed being able to get lost in other people’s worlds, but I think I’ve still missed losing myself in mine more.