A Love of Words

From my earliest memories, I can remember Mom reading to me every night before bedtime. I went to sleep dreaming of the characters in the stories and wondering… what if?

During dinner, she’d listen to me as I read books out loud, helping me whenever I got stuck on something. When her health began to fail, she moved in with us. She read something I’d written and believed in me so much, that she took on cooking and laundry so I’d have time to write.

I owe my love of words, my love of reading and writing to my mother. This month we would have celebrated her birthday. But, Mom died a few years ago, and although she never saw me make it to print, she believed in me. This post is dedicated to her. Thanks, Mom. I always believed in you, too. Always will.

Is there someone who forever changed your life? Who was it that first got you into reading or writing?

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11 thoughts on “A Love of Words

  1. Hey Michelle,
    Great subject. To be honest as a kid my Mum read a lot of stuff to us, she even put the MR MEN books on tape so that if we couldn’t sleep after she’d finished reading a story we could have another one. Its something I’ve always enjoyed and I’ll be shortly passing that sort of gift onto my Nephew’s (one will be making his grand appearance in Feb). So I’m picking some books that look fun and will hopefully amuse them.

    However when I was old enough my Mum put me off books to a certain degree by making me read “the classics” which really got me for a few years until my Dad came to my rescue and started lending me his Fantasy books. One of the first was Legend, I was 11 and I was sick with the Mumps.

    From the first page I was captured and read it pretty quickly so that David Gemmell became a firm fav. A few years on and I was buying the books as we had an agreement in our house, he who buys it gets first read. (Although I sneakily think that my Dad “stole” it when I was in Bed.) After that I made a David Gemmell Website, had the honour of meeting him and became a friend of his. Sadly he passed away a few years back and I miss him a lot. That book was a guaranteed treat every year and the chance to have a good long chat over a pint was always good fun.

    These days I do a lot of reading, I enjoy chatting to authors and if I’m honest I’m spoilt for choice but lets be honest here, the gift of reading is one that will always be treasured and for those few authors who not only make it onto our hallowed shelves but also into our hearts will always keep on shining.

    • I’m lucky in that my mom didn’t really try and make me read the classics if I didn’t want to. I did read a few, but drew the line at Gone With the Wind. I never liked it, not to the movie, not the book. Unfortunately, it was Mom’s favorite.

      I did read Dracula when I was 11 and was instantly hooked.

  2. Asking who first got me into reading and writing is like asking who first got me into breathing. I have no memories of life without these things.

    Certainly I read to my parents when I was three, and they read to me at that age too (and, I’m assuming, for a long time before that). My grandparents read to me as well. Probably everyone who was involved in my life at that age did (except for my brother who is younger than I am).

    My parents tell a story of a time when I was just turned two. They sent me to visit my grandparents at their caravan for a week. Then my parents came out at the weekend, and I took out a book, and “read” the whole thing to them. At first, my parents thought I had actually learned how to read in five days — I went through the whole book and turned all of the pages at the right time — but the truth was, my grandparents had read that book so often to me during my visit that I had memorized all of it, including the page breaks!

    I was four or five the first time I transcribed one of my stories onto paper and said to people, “Look! I wrote a story.” But I had been telling stories orally and acting them out long before that. Writing my stories down was simply a natural progression in storytelling which happened when my penmanship skills were developed sufficiently for the task.

    • I think I did the same with the Dr. Suess books. Namely, Green Eggs and Ham.

      The first story I ever wrote was for Mom on Mother’s Day. The story of a dragon who rescued the fair princess from the tower. Two years after Mom died, I found that story in a box of her things.

      • That is way cool that your mother kept your first story.

        And, I stand corrected about my brother. My father tells me he was involved in my early reading experiences. Apparently, when I was first learning to read and my brother was not yet, he would listen to my attempts. When I got caught up in puzzling out a word which was still challenging for me, my brother — who remembered what was supposed to come next from all the times someone had read that same story to him — would tell me what it was.

  3. That’s a beautiful story, Michelle. My mom definitely is the one who pushed reading in our house, although I don’t really remember anyone reading to me as such. My earliest memories are all of reading to myself–big piles of books I’d bring home from the library every week.

    But my mom always believed in me, and she and my dad (both gone now) would have been very proud, albeit somewhat shocked at WHAT I write! LOL

    • Mom was a wonderful person. Both my parents are gone, too. I’m one of those kids who can honestly say how very, very lucky they were to have such great parents.

      Every year for my birthday and for Christmas, Mom bought me a book. She wrote something in each one of them. I cherish those books still.

  4. Interesting topic. I know my mother was the one who read to me when I was little, but I also know she was the one who got irritated when I would bring books out to eat with us.

    I THINK the one who really sparked my interest in story-telling was my second-grade teacher, Mrs. Cook. She encouraged me with my writing more than any teacher before or after (until college)

  5. Three people were responsible for my love of the written word. My mother bought books for us, even when it meant sacrificing in other areas and she always encouraged me to read . My childhood opthamologist partially fixed my severe vision problem (though, no one is sure how I actually managed to learn to read when my vision was spectacularly bad). And finally, but not least, my grade 6 to 8 teacher, Mrs. Summers, encouraged me to read fiction and poety.

    As for reading the classics, I still recall getting into trouble for hiding out and reading my mother’s collected works of Shakespeare when I was supposed to be playing in the sunshine.

  6. Definitely my mom, too. She used to read these big romantic historicals, always set in the South and would go through two to three of them a week. Since they were piled up everywhere around the house, it’s what I started reading at a pretty early age – probably not “age appropriate” material, LOL. But it’s probably what started me toward writing romance.

  7. I think it’s my reading teacher’s fault… and my longstanding best friend’s fault.

    we have been friends since we were four, except for the second grade in which we hated each other. During the second grade my friend started to read novels to have something to do. When we refriended each other in the third grade I started reading too. Now I read a little bit before that but not nearly as much as I did after. Then in the 6th grade my reading teacher told me I was going to be a writer. At that point in time I didn’t believe her, but I always remembered her saying that.

    We’ll I’m a writer. Now to get published. 🙂

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