I’m traveling back in blog post time.
Originally posted on Marta Pelrine-Bacon:
After reading a post by a friend, I thought about the question of when I knew I wanted to be a writer. I realized I don’t know the answer.
I remember writing a short story in the fifth grade. I remember writing poems for my grandmother when I was eight. I remember reading everything interesting in the kids section of the public library by the time I was ten and asking my grandmother to check books out for me from the adult section. She would check out anything I wanted. I was allowed to read anything. I remember ignoring teachers and classwork to read books hidden under my desk and navigating the school hallways without looking up from my book. I remember books I would finish and immediately go back to the beginning to read again because I couldn’t stand for the story to end.
When I was little there were no Barnes & Noble Bookstores with cafes. My hometown had a Waldenbooks in the mall where my father would leave me while he looked at tools at Sears. The only other place to go to buys books was a gift shop a block and a busy thoroughfare away from my grandmother’s house. The shop appeared to make its money from the cards and gifts–candles, picture frames, figurines of little boys with fishing poles and little girls perched on flowers and holding butterflies, that sort of thing. Against the back wall were the fantasy and science fiction books. A huge selection I thought at the time. And I would sit on the floor and stare up at the books and spend at least an hour deciding which book to buy whenever some adult had given me money. I remember loving the colors of the books (all paperbacks) and reading the backs of them over and over again. I very much did judge a book by its cover.