ikeminded people will understand my fascination with the power of the written word. Literature in all its forms, both fiction and non-fiction, paper and electronic, has been a cornerstone in my life for as long as I can remember. As soon as I had a decent grasp on this thing called reading, it was all I ever did. I had my light bulbs taken away from me as a child, because if given the chance I’d stay up until two in the morning reading Nancy Drew, which is not a recommended sleep schedule for a seven year old. My premature eye bags will attest that my parents’ strategy didn’t work; I learned to read by moonlight. I won’t draw you an Infographic Guide to Literature throughout my life–you get the picture.
As a child, despite consuming books like candy, I told myself stories through pictures and doodles rather than words. It wasn’t until high school when the romantic poets, Shakespeare, Literary Terms and Dragonlance entered my life that I took the evolutionary leap forward into writing down the scenes in my head. It was a creative revolution. I sought the old stories, old books from my mother’s old maritime trucks, handed down to her from the time when my great-grandmother came to Canada from Scotland. I read and fell in love with fairy tales all fairy tales, western and eastern, Russian Fairy Tales and Chinese Fairy Tales and Beatrix Potter who I read again and again and again to soak up the magic of her words.
What I learned most from this time, I think, is that it’s not necessarily what’s on the pages that matters. It’s not what the author intended to say when they wrote a certain thing. The magic that comes from literature is what it makes you feel in the moment, and what you and your experiences bring to the act of reading, adding your story to that of someone else.