Her words are the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic all pooled into one and I have never been so thristy. But drinking salt water only makes one more parched. Although, in this case, that is completely fine because I still have one hundred and forty-five pages left.
To you who gave me writing
To my mother who spent hours with brightly colored flashcards
taught me that a semi-circle shape was a “C”
To my grandmother who would trace letters on my back
taught me the touch of words
To my parents who wrote down in my daily journal I what I told them to write
taught me the recording power of words and that my words mattered
To my mother who on that just beginning to cool, hot summer evening in the kitchen
taught me the letters in my name
To my father who would read to me comicbooks from his childhood
taught me that I can be enthralled in compelling stories and heroic characters
To my mother who persevered against my whining in forcing me to read beginner level “Bob Books”
taught me that I can be a critic of what I read but I still have to respect it
To Miss Griffin, my kindergarten teacher, who after reading a story about ducks
taught me that “ing” means action, a verb
To Mary Pope Osborne who wrote Magic Tree House, the first books I ever read and enjoyed by myself
taught me the joy and accomplishment of reading
To Ms. Hinds, my fourth grade teacher, who gave me an assignment to give a biographical speech about someone famous
taught me how empowering public speaking can be
To Ms. Benford, my elementary school librarian, who found for me my favorite childhood author
taught me to try new genres and that “different” can bring some of best things
To Margaret Peterson Haddix who was my favorite childhood author and filled my childhood with characters and situations and words and choices
taught me how other’s writing can touch my life
To Ms. Burke, my fifth grade teacher, who gave me an assignment to write a mystery story
taught me the power and excitement of my own fiction
To Ms. Cothran, my public speaking coach, who saw potential in me and changed a shy, analytical girl to a animated girl and a lover of poetry and my own writing
taught me that my writing impacts others and that I have a voice, so use it
To Ms. Mihocko, my seventh grade teacher, who critiqued me hard
taught me that my style is not enjoyed by everyone
To Pastor Randy who gave my first chance to preach a real sermon
taught me to follow my dreams and to work for the Lord
To Ms. Conley, my freshman english teacher, who opened my eyes to the wondrous world of writing and analyzing literary devices
taught me why and how I love the written word
To WordPress who gave me a way to share my writing
taught me that others value my work and that I should take pride in it
To Economics summer test that hours upon hours spent pointless stem and response that no one will ever glance at
taught me that purpose of writing is to convey a meaningful message that will be read
To you who gave me writing
and to all I left out in this poem
I thank you dearly
allows me to create my world
both in fiction
To God who created the heavens and the earth and everything in between
for giving me something to write about
To God who gave me a mind to comprehend writing and all of its glorious intricate relationships
To God who gave the world writing at its perfection, the Bible
To God who allows me to spread His Word through my words
To you who gave me writing
To you who gave me the power to change the world
To you who gave me the power to change my life
In third grade, an author visited my elementary school. At the time I hated reading. Our whole school gathered around him and sat criss-cross-applesauce on the cool tile gym floor. He talked about writing his famous book series and his writing process. Then he challenged us to read and write more so that we could become authors like him, if we wanted to.
Now I am expecting that you think this was my big writing epiphany. By all means it was not. Quite the opposite in fact.
The author had said what my mother and father had told me since I started reading, which was the same thing my teachers had said everyday during reading time.
“Reading books takes you to new worlds.”
The first, second, twentieth, and one hundred seventy sixth time I heard that line I believed it was false and to this day do I still believe so. I insist upon it to this day. Reading books does not take you to new worlds.
Now, anyone who knows me at all knows that I love reading. I am always reading a book if not five or six. I will read anything except for horror or heavy romance. I average about forty-five books a summer. Quite the opposite from my younger self.
But still I insist that reading does not take you to new worlds.
I read We Were Liars and yet I could never feel the sand underneath my toes on the Sinclair family beach.
I read Minders and yet I could never feel the cement streets beneath my feet as I ran.
I read The Great Gatsby and yet I could never feel how tight my feet felt in my shoes on the very hot fateful day.
I read the Shatter Me series and yet I could never feel the Persian rugs on the marble floors.
I read Anne of Green Gables and yet I could never feel the grass in the spring time.
These are just to name a few that even my toes could not tactical touch their worlds. Yet in my own world, I can recall every memory of my toes digging into the sand on summer vacations and of my toes discovering again the grass on my bare feet in the spring time.
I insist that reading does not take you to new worlds, but instead you meet new people.
I read so many books with so many characters and yet they are the ones I can recall swiftly. I can remember exactly when and where I was reading the book. I was grounded in this world, but I was talking and thinking in the manner of the characters in my head.
From the first books that got me hooked on reading A to Z Mysteries and My Side of the Mountain to the novel I just finished two hours ago No Place to Fall, no character is the same just like no person is the same or snowflake.
In books you are able to meet people in so much more of an inmate way than in reality. You know his thoughts, so vulnerable, and his past that is so much more than what is written on his face and clothes. (Pun not intended, of course!) You learn what is his driving passion and weakest downfall through out the two hundred plus pages that a quick five minute conversation could not.
I met a narcoleptic orphan genus boy in The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict that was my favorite when I was younger not because of world he took part in, but because of who he was. I learned about motivations and how people always have reasons behind their actions that may not even be the most logical ones.
I met an aspiring comicbook (sorry graphic novel) artist and writer in The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl that was my favorite a few years ago because of his creativity and passion for superheroes that I formed a connection with. His world was forgettable, but he wasn’t.
I met a talented, tortured, and tormented slave in The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing Traitor to the Nation Volume 1: The Pox Party who taught me about the cruelty of humanity, if I did not already know. I learned what freedom truly meant.
I met a super-powered
broken fighting girl in the Shatter Me series that is my current favorite. I have never connected so deeply with a character, a person, like her before. I have never experienced a writing style like Mafi’s before because writing is truly an experience.
That is another problem with what the author said, “Reading books takes you to new worlds.” I am not taken anywhere. I meet new people and experience new writing styles.
Reading is a journey, from the first glance at the spine of the book to the last punctuation mark. Along the journey you meet friends and quite possibly enemies, but they are people all the same. That’s what they should have said to my little third grader self.