I WAS RAISED BY BOOKS…

…Really. I was a feral child of the written word. You know, like Romulus and Remus who were raised by wolves? Only instead of a wild animal, I imprinted on the characters from the books I read. I had multiple mothers and fathers, hundreds of brothers and sisters and enough extended family to…well, fill a library.

I read all the time. By the light of a flashlight under the covers at night. In the light of day as I walked to school. (I usually had a bruise in the middle of my forehead from walking into lampposts!) Curled up in the round wicker chair by the window in the last bit of twilight.

Weston Public libraryI read so much that by the time I was eleven I had out-read the children’s section of the public library, much to the consternation of the librarian. She didn’t know what to do with me. (This was in the days before children had access to the entire library collection.) You stayed in Children’s until you were thirteen. Only then could you move up to the Young Adults section. But there I was two years early and out of books.

The Children’s Librarian consulted the YA librarian who sought out the Head Librarian. She called my parents who gave their permission for me to venture into the YA realm a full two years early!

That’s where I met Madeleine L’Engle and my life changed completely. There was a depth to her writing that I hadn’t encountered before. Vicky, Meg, Poly, Camilla, Calvin, Zachary and so many others came to life for me in a way I’d never dreamed possible. I stopped devouring books and began savoring them and the transformation from reader to writer began.wrinkle-in-time

I wrote my first book when I was eleven. It was 78 hand-written pages. I could never write short stories. My imagination was too big to restrict my characters to just a few scenes. I was constantly docked marks for incomplete work in English class but in grade eight Mrs. Whittlesea (isn’t that a glorious name for a junior high English teacher?) told me that I had the heart of a writer! I floated home on clouds of euphoria and began the hunt and peck method of typing out my first official manuscript.

I actually did get an article published in Seventeen magazine just after I graduated high school. And a few years later I had a picture book published by a small Canadian press. I’d followed the old adage “write what you know” and had concocted a story about my little family, starring my daughter. The book ended with the line “…but most of all they were happy.” Sadly my husband wasn’t and I soon found myself a single mother. I lost the ability to dream for a while under the stress of working to put food on the table and a roof over our heads.

And then I went back to school, turning my love for books into a practical library degree. I worked as a school librarian for 14 years and my current position is in the school board resource centre. I not only get paid to read…but someone else pays for the books I read! It’s a dream job – one I buffer with a part-time position at a college library.

No rest for the weary and no time to write…or so I thought until I stumbled onto romancefanfiction.net. The lure was too great and I started writing again. And once I’d begun the old dreams began to surface and I suddenly find myself hurdling forward, barely able to catch my breath!

What am I doing here? Hyperventilating most of the time and holding long discourses with God. If only I could learn to stop talking long enough to listen for an answer! How have the rest of you expressed it? Rollercoaster ride? Nerve-wracking? Tough? Definitely. Humbling? Absolutely. So, taking a deep breath, I close my eyes and press send…

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 thoughts on “I WAS RAISED BY BOOKS…”

  1. Kav, I’m in tears of happiness reading your post. Wonderful, just as I knew it would be – and now so many others have the opportunity to revel in the writing that some of us have come to know and love.

    Reading your words of love for the public library makes me step back and look again at my own little library. One of my employees was like you – she practically lived at the library, growing up, and now she’s a SUPER circulation librarian, and LOVES to preview all the new YA books on the shelves!

    Thank you for sharing about you, Kav. This is going to be a terrific ride. I just have a feeling . . .

  2. Kav,

    What a wonderful upraising for a little girl, and blessed the librarian who broke the rules and let you venture in YA.

    Hold on to that dream, it will come reality.

    Hugs!
    Marlene

  3. Kav,

    I’m so glad that you found that dream to write again. And that you have embraced it! Now all you have to do is hold on tight as that dream skyrockets you to the reality of publication.

    Kim

  4. Kav, terrific intro! I can so relate. Our school library and the office shared the same one room. Does that tell you how small it was? Still, that’s where I, too, got my hands on “Wrinkle.” You’re right about it. It was the first book of substance I’d ever read, and I loved it. I still do.

    I cannot wait to see what God has planned for you, and when you’re on the best seller list, I can say, “I knew her when…”

  5. Hi Kav,

    So good to meet you! Hitting “send” is one of the toughest things, isn’t it?

    I can definitely identify with your love of books. How fun it must be to work with them all the time. I love our local library, which happens to be in walking distance, & have discovered that if they don’t carry the book I want, they can get it from outstate or they’ll order it for me.

    I’m glad you’re joining all of us on this writing journey.

    Blessings,
    Brenda

  6. Thanks for the warm response everyone. And yes, Brenda, aren’t Inter-library loans a wonderful thing? That’s how I tracked down all of Dee Henderson’s books. Now I’m on a Colleen Coble spree. I think I probably have more pending book requests than any other patron in my public library system!

    Kav

  7. Kav,
    Welcome. I thought I was the only one who broke out in a sweat any time I pressed the send button. Guess I’m in good company.

    It’s great to hear about your journey and I’m so glad you found your way back to writing.

  8. Open your eyes, Kav — you’re among friends! I’m just glad we’re all in this thing together. This blog will be a great help to encourage one another along our writing journey. It’s good to “meet” you!

    Linda

  9. Hello Kav

    I’m late to welcome you but it does not diminish my excitement for you to be a part of this writing group.

    You had a fascinating childhood, a perfect breeding ground to develop your dream of writing. And what a powerful writer you are. Besides being a fantastic writer of romance fanfiction, the warmth and humor you bring to your stories bowles me over.

    I discovered your stories shortly after joining RFF and one in particular, Tanya’s Journal, lifted my spirits and brought humor back into my life. I had not laughed so hard in years.

    Getting to know you over these past couple of years on RFF has greatly enriched my life. And although we have never met, you are a warm, gracious and loving person and I have felt God’s hand touch me thru your emails. As with Marlene and Regina, you are as dear to me as my own daughter and I am so blessed to have you as my friend.

    God has already blessed you on this journey with the opportunity to be a part of this writing group where you can cultivate and realize your dream to become published. And that makes my heart soar for you. I know, with His guiding hand, your dream will be fulfilled.

    I love you,
    Lynn

Comments are closed.