LOVE OF BOOKS
I have loved reading for as long as I can remember. At the age of five, I fell in love with a book I received as a birthday gift. It was Alice in Wonderland. I can still visualize the gorgeous pictures on each page. Disney Magic, I call it. The book became my most treasured possession. Books have always played an important role in my life. A good story stays with you and never leaves. In my seventeenth year, I read the novel, Ramona by Helen Hunt Jackson, written in 1884 and set in Southern California after the Mexican-American War. It jarred me to my very core. Over my lifetime, I have read it three times and it remains my all-time favorite.
Books are the reason I write. They have inspired me since I wrote my first poem at the age of fourteen. It was called The Vagabond about a wanderer with no set home and no boundaries. He was as free as a bird. I wrote my first romantic novel at sixteen, even before I had experienced love.
Books make me a better writer. I study the way an author phrases a sentence, the way they describe a setting, the way they make a character come alive through dialog. Here’s my revelation: The more I read, the better I write.
Here’s a tip: If you want to save money, travel the world without leaving home, through books, of course. I have been to countries where I never dreamed of going, and I have even gone back in time. I have climbed to the top of Mt. Everest, escaped an assassin, made love to an artist, survived a Nazi invasion, flown kites to forget abuse, bootlegged whiskey, survived the Great Depression, fought off the Taliban in Afghanistan, skinny dipped off a cruise liner. I have experienced a character’s life (real or fictional) and walked in their shoes. I have lived through war, the Great Depression, the Roaring Twenties, and slavery. I’ve seen a lot through books. Have you? Take the adventure.
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