Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Why I Love Writing

I wrote my first book when I was about five years old. Borrowing liberally from the world of Beatrix Potter, my first book was about some anthropomorphized squirrels and raccoons, and all the other creatures who lived in the woods. They had adorable little hobbity houses built into trees, and wore darling jackets and hats and mittens during the winter. I wrote the words, and my older sister illustrated. It turned into a whole series of books, and my mother would gather them together and send them out to my Aunt Maureen, a Franciscan Missionary nun who was working in Boston at what I thought was an orphanage, but was actually a children's hospital.

The reason I started writing those books is because I ran out of Beatrix Potter books to read, and I wanted more. I think that every writer is probably, at heart, a reader, someone who wants to read something else, something new.

I'm a compulsive reader. I must read, even if all that's available is a cereal box or a pamplet on how senior citizens can avoid falls (yes, I was at the doctor's recently). Sometimes what I'm reading is boring. Sometimes what I'm reading makes me giddy with -pleasure (I can't tell you how many times I reread the opening paragraph of Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita, just to savor the words, to toss them around on my tongue).

Among my vaguely articulated hopes for this site, I hope it becomes a place where we can work on developing our writing craft in the company of other people who share the desire to create something new using 26 little letters, mixed up and broken into those little pieces of code we call words. And also, that I'll get to have more stuff to read.

(I have a request, for those in the know: how do I do page breaks?)

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