We Love To Read

“To read is to fly: it is to soar to a a point of vantage which gives a view over wide terrains of history, human variety, shared experience and the fruits of many inquiries.” — A.C. Grayling

“The habit of reading is the only enjoyment in which there is no alloy; it lasts when all other pleasures fade.” — Anthony Trollope

“If you can read this, thank a teacher.” — Anonymous teacher

“The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” — Dr. Seuss

“Children are made readers on the laps on their parents.” — Emile Buchwald

One of my favorite things to do is sit and read a good book. How about you?

A comfy chair or couch, or the beach, a good drink (depending on the temperature and weather, it could be a cold glass of water or hot cocoa), and a real book.  Ah bliss.  I like hard or soft bound books and ones with interesting art on the cover and a great story inside.  I still haven’t converted over the E-Books — at least not yet.

I enjoy being transported into another place and watching the characters deal with issues or learn something new about themselves. Some of my favorite authors are Carol Higgins Clark, Danielle Steel, David Baldacci, John Grisham, Wendy Corsi Staub, Jane Green, and Nora Roberts.  And, I have recently discovered Karen McQuestion and Jane Porter.

When I was younger, I loved Laura Ingalls Wilder’s “Little House on the Prairie” series as well as “The Chronicles of Narnia” by C.S. Lewis, and “The Secret Garden” by Frances Hodgson Burnett was another childhood favorite.

I also enjoy biographies of people such as Eleanor Roosevelt, Amy Grant, Julie Andrews, Susan Boyle, Ricky Martin, and Dean Martin as well as many, many other fascinating people.  And the story of Anne Frank is truly sad and moving. Finding out what makes people tick and their life history is truly fascinating to me.

I also enjoy reading my soap magazine to find out about the actors who tell the stories that I so enjoy.  And, it’s been fun that I have met a few of them through the years.  As you see, I have a wide variety of tastes.

And, now having a 4-year-old soon-to-be reader, I have enjoyed seeing his love for books!  He too enjoys pouring over a book and studying all about them.  And, once he hears a story read to him, he can then read it back to himself.

One of our favorites is Richard Scarry.  Ian can spend hours as I used to do looking at all of the animals on the page, the cool cars, and fascinating stories and characters.  And, he has recently discovered Dr. Seuss!  He loves “The Foot Book,” “The Sleep Book,” and “Yertle the Turtle” among many, many titles.  I think that these two are the best children’s authors.

Each month of his life, Ian has been getting a book as part of the Imagination Library.  God bless Dolly Parton for sharing the love of reading with so many people in Tennessee and other states!  Ian has looked forward to these books each month and we now have quite a collection.  His last book will be the month he turns 5 years old.  That will be sad but maybe Kirk and I can start our own collection for him.  Kirk too loves to read.

And, each month in the mail, Ian gets his High Five magazine which he really likes.  It is neat for him to be excited about a magazine and all of the great stories inside and funny things to look at!  Thanks to my parents for the subscription.

Each week we like to go to our city library.  Ian will often ask to go since he enjoys playing there with toys and puzzles, renting movies, as well as checking out a pile of books.  Right now we have three videos and 20 books checked out.  Among these are “Harry, the Dirty Dog,” “The Sneetches and other stories,” The Caboose Who Got Loose,” “Where the Wild Things Are,” and a few for me as well.

This summer our library will have its yearly reading program.   We signed up Ian a few years ago and read many, many books to him.  He loved it and the summer ended with a great party in the park behind the library.  A fun time, that’s for sure.

I have several friends who have published books.  It is an honor to know people who have been published since I know the hard work involved.  I hope to join this club one day!  In addition to my love of reading, I hope to be an author.  I really want to write a children’s book as well as a novel.  I am currently working on ideas and look forward to seeing what develops.

What books do you like?  What authors can you lose time with while being transported to another place and time?  Please share these with me and our other readers!

I Love To Write

Good morning and Happy Wednesday!  I was just on Facebook and wrote in response to some e-mails back and forth to my sister that I love to write and can’t imagine not writing.  And that is the truth. So I decided to expand on that in my blog.

I remember in high school and the first years of college trying to decide what my major would be and what I’d do for my life’s work.  Nothing really seemed like the right fit for me except for writing.  While in high school, I wrote a column for teens that appeared in the local newspaper once a week.  That was a lot of fun and gave me a taste of what was to be a lifelong love of writing.

I decided to pursue writing and had some great opportunities in college to continue this love.  I was the editor of the college paper my senior year.   That was an amazing experience.  After 4 years of amazing experiences, I received a Bachelor of Arts in Communications with an emphasis in Journalism.

Then it was time to find a job.  I applied all over the country and after a few months of frustration, received a job offer from a small weekly newspaper in our county seat.  I started as a very green general assignment reporter for The Courier-News.  I felt so blessed to start at a small paper so I was able to cover some amazing things — criminal trials, the county commission, the building of a new jail, and a day in the life of a paramedic.

The most amazing thing was learning first hand how to be a fair and accurate reporter from the man who founded this newspaper in 1930.  His name was Horace V. Wells and he was incredible.  For example, when the city’s high school was integrated, it was the first in the state to do so.  He was in favor of integration and told people if they didn’t like what he said about it, they should start their own paper.

For a person starting out her career, this advice and mentoring was amazing and something I will never forgot.  When Mr. Wells passed away, it was difficult to say goodbye to this man of such great integrity in a business where that is sometimes hard to find.

After three years of very little pay but amazing skills now under my belt, I went on to technical writing.  This type of writing could be boring at times but provided me with new opportunities and many new and lasting relationships.

My favorite tech writing job was in a communications office where I edited news releases, posted them to the web site, interviewed and wrote stories for the employee newsletter, and helped prepare presentations and speeches. There was never a dull moment, that’s for sure.

After years of doing that, I became pregnant.  So a new chapter of my life and my writing was to begin.  I went back to work at the end of my maternity leave and decided I couldn’t be away from our son all day and miss out on his young life.  So, my husband and I decided that I would be a stay-at-home mom and I turned in my resignation.

After I’d been home with Ian for a while, I realized that I had worked in the field of my major for nearly 18 years.  I felt so humbled and truly blessed at that idea!  It was amazing to think of since I never expected that.

The next few years after that, I didn’t write much at all.  I was so busy with adjusting to life with a new baby and very little sleep that I didn’t miss it.  Then one day, all of that changed, and I woke up and thought something is missing.  I hadn’t had my outlet of writing in ages.  So, I decided to make a change.

Last fall I started this blog and I am loving the chance to write again.  I truly appreciate my readers and followers and friends and family who have been so supportive. You all rock!

And, about a month ago now, I attended a Writer’s Conference which was another amazing experience.  This was all about creative writing and giving ideas to people for help in writing poems, fiction, memoirs, and other items.

I met some kindred spirits who will be friends for a long time I think.  It was great to meet people who have the same interests as me but a totally different experience and facet of their life. Now I am working on the first aspects of a novel, a variety of stories, and continue writing two to three times a week on this blog.

Again it is humbling and incredible to realize that for so many years, I was able to work in the field I truly had a passion for.  And, frankly couldn’t have imagined doing things any differently.  Thank you Lord for this blessing!!  I truly do appreciate it.

I would love to hear from you about what has been a passion or something you have enjoyed doing.  Please post them!