One of my most favorite things about being a writer and reader of children's books is being able to share and discuss books with my children. I love when they come to my 'library' - the wall-to-wall bookshelves in my home office - looking for a book to read. I love when one of them discovers a book I haven't read yet and tells me I should read it. I love when one of them has a book report to do or simply is looking for a book and asks for my help in finding one - and love even more when they, in turn, recommend that book to a friend. I love that, when I see one of them reading something I know has some issues they may struggle with, that I can facilitate a discussion because I have read the book. But most of all, I love that all three of my children love reading; they love the story that a book promises.
Of all three of my children, my youngest is the most voracious reader. She is also quite a talented writer and I have no doubt she will be a published author someday. The love of story that she and I share is something I cherish. We can spend hours coming up with plots and characters and settings. This past summer we took a family vacation to Boyne Mountain in Northern Michigan. My husband and other two children did a three-hour zip line hike while my youngest and I spent those three hours sitting deep in the woods, writing. My husband thought I was crazy when I suggested it. He suggested swimming at the water park instead because writing in the woods, in his mind, did not rival a three-hour zip line event. When he asked her though, she was adamant about going on our 'retreat'. And I am so glad we did. We both wrote pages and pages of stuff and had an amazing, imaginative time that I will never forget.
At age 9, she amazes me with her perceptive insight into books. She was reading The Witch of Black Bird Pond the other day and commented that "instead of starting in the action like most books" the author took the time to "introduce the main character first." My daughter liked that about the book. Another time she complained that the book she was reading "didn't really have a plot, just random stuff happened." My favorite though was the day she came to breakfast in tears because "Blue Fur said she'd never leave her kittens and then she just took them into the forest and left them!" (from one of the Warriors books.)
She recently told me that she is glad that she has a Mom that is a writer because it helps her be a good writer. :) I love that she said that, but I know I am only a small part of the equation. It is her absolute love of story and the bazillions of authors out there that also share that love of story that has made her and will continue to make her an awesome, perceptive, insightful writer and reader. The love of story is a cyclical thing that has been around for ages. Authors inspire authors who in turn, inspire authors.
So a toast and a thank you to all the authors out there who have inspired us through their love of story!