A Gift For Words

One of the most important blessings in my life has been my love of reading. My parents, grandparents and teachers taught me from an early age to not just enjoy books but to also really like to read. So many Christmases and birthdays involved books as gifts. Libraries and bookstores became my favorite hangouts. Later in life, coffee shops replaced the libraries. I brought my book or Nook to read and my laptop to write with. Yes, I have spent an inordinate amount of time reading over the years. That is what you do when you are passionate about something.

As far as traditional books are concerned, at one time my home hosted a library way out of proportion to the space available. Picture stacks of books serving as end tables and walls filled with cinder block and wood plank bookshelves. This was before I became domesticated and a husband.  When we moved from a house to full-time RVing, my wife, Karen, and I donated all those books to libraries, thrift stores, and friends. We now use electronic devices to store our reads and have started visiting the library more often.

I have been asked many times about my favorite genre of book to read. My answer is most often – just about anything. Seriously, I read the cereal boxes as I eat breakfast and I read my Bible every day. That is a pretty good range.  In fiction, I love a good thriller or mystery. Biographies and history are in my non-fiction shortlist. Science fiction is about the only genre that I am not fond of and yet, I have been known to read a book or two from time to time. The computer allows for a whole new range of reading materials shelved on blogs and websites of all kinds. Don’t even get me started on all the blog and website reading that I do each day.

My love of reading has evolved into a passion for words. I am fascinated by the English language and how our words have evolved and all the nuances of their usage. I am not a grammar expert, not by a long stretch of the imagination, but even that intrigues me.

The love of reading has also enabled me to write. From a very early age, I loved to write letters to my grandparents who lived out of state from me. Nowadays, my correspondence consists of handwritten letters to a few pen pals around the world and e-mails to on-line friends. In school, I actually liked the essay questions on tests and had a hard time limiting myself to the space or words allowed. In college, the creative writing bug bit me hard and deep. My spare time was spent writing short stories and articles, the bulk of which never saw the light of day let alone a public forum. I have started and stopped writing many times over the years, but today it feels like a fresh new start in my creative process. We’ll see where it leads.

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