I am a reader first and a writer second. I’ve always read. The highlight of my young reading life as terrifying as it sounds, was when I was 7. I remember I was 7 because we live in Grande Prairie Alberta at the time, and I read Black Beauty. I loved that book. I loved horses (what little girl doesn’t?) and I loved to read.
After I finished that particular book, I still remember vividly hunting around for a book in the house that wasn’t a baby book. As a now wise and accomplished 7 year old, I had decided that all my Disney books and such that occupied my bookshelf were now baby books since I had conquered Black Beauty.
My parents were and are still avid readers, so off I went to peruse their bookshelf. I found a book that was large, heavy and to me – the absolute definition of a grown up book. It was the complete collection of Shakespeare’s works.
It took me all winter, but I read it. And than I read it again. I don’t remember understanding half of it, I probably didn’t. However its a memory that stayed brilliant in my mind and I do remember that ‘Taming of the Shrew’ came out as the winner in the which was my favorite class.
And a reader was born. Since then I’ve read thousands of books. I like it all. I like bodice rippers as I call them, I love me a great detective book. Adventure and carousing, I’ll take that too. I can read horror, but its a bit more work for me.
I read Fountainhead in 3 days in high school, but as an adult I had to force myself to read Atlas Shrugged. But then I’ll turn around and happily zip through a Dick Francis book in an evening (I still love horses! That’s never changed.)
Then I began to write, and for years I never finished anything, because I kept thinking but I don’t have anything to say. I often wondered how other writers got around that issue. I’ve heard the usual caveat ” write what you know”. However for me, my life has never been particularly exciting, I went to school, got a job, rode my horse, got married and had children. That’s about all I know. (Not that I’m complaining – it’s been pretty damned nice over all. )
Of course being married to a journalist and author also prompts me to discuss books and how we write them much more than I ever used to. I used to just shrug and think – no one will be interested in what I write, because I don’t have anything insightful deep or meaningful to say.
I was wrong.
Maybe it’s because I’m old enough now, or wise enough (Doubt that!) but I had a epiphany one day. I know stuff. Hell I know a lot of stuff, and what I don’t know I can damn well make up, after all fiction is art. In my opinion art breaks the rules, because it can.
So I’m off to write.