Why I Write
So I’ve decided to give this blogging thing a go, I had been debating the idea of whether or not I should for some time and what I could possibly blog about.
I have been toying with an idea for a little while now, about my blog focus or theme and there’s an idea that will not leave me alone.
There was a book I read as a child, or was read to, called Frederick by Leo Lionni, it was a very simple child’s picture book, but it moved me.
Frederick lives in a wall with his mouse family and winter is coming. His family frantically hunts and gathers supplies for the coming winter, whereas Frederick sits on the wall and absorbs the sun’s rays and the vibrant colors of summer. His family asks him why he does not work with them in collecting supplies for winter. His answer is pretty simple.
But I do work, I collect the warm rays of the sun to see us through the winter, for the winter is long and cold and harsh. When all the food is gone we will need the warmth of the sun to see us through those long dark days.
I recently read the book again, and it touched me deeply and brought me to tears, I’m not sure why, but I think it’s why I’m a writer.
It may not be winter yet, but I have collected many memories for those cold dark days.
I intend to share some of them here, just call me Frederick!
Are there any cherished books from your childhood that resonates with you, either as a reader or a writer, or both?
I’d love to hear from you about any special book memories that you have, share your stories in the comments box below!
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What a glorious story – Frederick.
This sounds like the premise of a spirit blossoming into a bountiful blog. You go girl!
My deepest recess contains the memories of my father. He was my solid rock in a furious sea. He told me bedtime stories, ones he crafted himself, ofttimes upon delivery. They are the adventures of a little boy and his imaginary frinds, Ralph the Elephant and Boris the Bear. On the top of my bucket list is to pen Ralph & Boris into existence as my thank you to the greatest man I’ll ever know.
Best of luck with this adventure, Frederick! It’ll be a gift to witness you on it.
Wow S.C., thank you for your wonderful comments!
I love the memories you shared of your father as ‘the greatest man you’ll ever know’, what a wonderful gift to pen his stories to share with others! You can sign me up for a copy, I will share with my children! It sounds like you were blessed with a wonderful father who could be your solid rock in a furious sea, I love the imagery!
Thanks again for the encouragement!
Hello! I think one of my favorite children’s books was The Little Engine That Could. I read it to my own children, too. It’s such a simple story, yet teaches a life lesson that all of us need to hear: don’t give up, keep trying your best, and you’ll get over that mountain!
Looking forward to hearing more about Frederick and those characters from your father’s stories. What a meaningful legacy to leave to future generations!
Nancy, thank you for your comment!
The Little Engine That Could, what a fantastic story and lesson for us all to apply to our own lives! It’s wonderful that you got to share something that was your favorite, with your own children. I love to share stories that were and are still special to me with my children too. I hope one day, that they too will pass on family favorites with their little ones!
Thank you for sharing!
Wow! Frederick – want a fantastic beginning. I was the last of five so no one read to me – but that’s okay, as I’ve written a few children’s books (I need an illustrator), and I’ve read many of them as an adult. My favorite is the one about the bunny who is left outside after the child grows up – somewhat – I don’t remember the name, but it was wonderful because, as you said, it brought tears to my eyes as an adult. I’m not sure if that is the purpose for children, but please keep this blog going. So glad I found your, Frederick.
James! Thanks for your lovely comments.
It’s funny that one of your favorite stories, you can’t remember the name! I have one or two of those too, I can completely remember the stories, but don’t remember the titles at all! One of them is unlikely that I will ever be able to track down, as it was in some kind of early reader series. I don’t know why but they seem, at least to me, even more special, since they’re so elusive, like a fleeting memory that visits me from time to time, I hope one day to track them down!
Thank you so much for sharing and for the encouragement!
Edward, Benjamin, and Butter; Tell Me Grandpa, Tell Me Grandma; and The Donkey Prince were three stories my grandma would read to my sister and I when we would visit. I took those books for my kids and found copies online for my sister’s kids. When I read these books to my kids, it makes me think of all the fun times I had visiting my grandma..,,who is still alive….but I don’t get to see her often.
Grandmas can hold a very special place in our hearts and what special memories you get to cherish and share with your own children! How fun you got copies for your sisters kids too!
Thanks so much for sharing!
Growing up with 3 siblings, we didn’t have tv’s or videogames, instead we would all curl up on the couch and listen to my father reading books like The Famous Five and The Hardy Boys to us. Enid Blyton’s children books were simple and repetitive, and almost invariably ended in a cave, but as a kid they excited me with the possibilities of future adventures of my own. The Hardy Boys, on the other hand, introduced me to the concepts of mystery and intrigue.
They inspired me. I don’t think I would be the person, nor the writer that I am today were it not for them.
Yes, I know exactly what you mean, I don’t think I would be the writer or person I am today either if it wasn’t for those early influences. I carry a very special place in my heart for Enid Blyton’s, Faraway Tree and Enchanted Woods, I still visit them often with my own children.
Thank you for sharing!
That’s gorgeous. <3 I need to find this book! Such a lovely reminder of why art is important — why beauty is not a frivolous extra but a human need. Thank you for sharing it.
Yes Randi! You are so right, art makes the human soul blossom! Thanks for your lovely perspective!
I always thought that was a cute story. There are many stories that I remember from childhood. My dad used to read The Bobbesy Twins books to me and my brother and sisters, and he would always quit reading right at the most exciting part. We would have to wait until the next night to find out what happened.
Haha! Charity sounds like your dad was a great storyteller and knew how to keep you, and your siblings on the edge of your seats.
Thank you for sharing!
Ah! Favorite children’s books … My parents were brought up in homes full of books, and thus so was I and my siblings… and so have been my 5 children and my 9 (so far!) grandkidlings. I suppose it was inevitable that I should become a teacher-librarian… and now a tutor (especially in literacy basics), writer, and editor. Reading the comments, I too have loved and shared so many of the stories mentioned: The Little Engine That Could, The Velveteen Rabbit, Enid Blyton, Hardy Boys (and Nancy Drew), The Bobbsey Twins … and now, thanks to this post, I have a list of other ones to check out, including Frederick of course. My favorite childhood books were The Secret Garden (read aloud to us by our beloved elementary school librarian, when I was in grade 3), and Jane of Lantern Hill (a first edition that I loaned out to a friend and sadly never got back…but I’ve bought several copies since…and named my 4th daughter Jane Victoria after the heroine of the book! 🙂 Oddly enough, I never really got into the other more well-known L.M.Montgomery books (Anne of Green Gables, etc.), but this one I loved and have re-read many times. Can you imagine–it was a “banned book” for many years because it was a children’s book that dealt with divorce. How things have changed! Anyway, I love your site and am looking forward to reading more (I love dragon stories, too!).
Wow Norma! Thanks for mentioning most of the books on here, including adding you’re own. You’ve inspired me to add the books I have not read yet to mine and my children’s reading list!
How wonderful to be brought up in a house full of books and that your family has continued the tradition. I can see why being a librarian, amongst your many other talents, would be natural consequence!
Thank you so much for sharing!
Great post. I am fascinated with stories and storytelling in all forms – books, plays, movies, anything that takes us outside ourselves and helps us find our place. The first book I remembered from my childhood was a Little Golden Book called The Poky Little Puppy, and I had to laugh, because as an adult I am constantly running late. I also remember The Velveteen Rabbit being a favorite. Mostly, though, my childhood reading is a pleasant blur of half-remembered stories. My daughter is now a big reader, and it has been a real pleasure watching her appetite for stories grow as she grows. Thanks for the memory jog!
I love how you shared about The Pokey Little Puppy and how you’re always late. I too am finding, that as a writer, when I look back at my favorite books as a child, I am quite amazed how they have influenced and shaped the person I have become today and affect the lens I look through!
Yes a lot of the stories I was read to as a child are half remembered, but for me at least, I feel that adds to the magic!
Thank you so much for sharing!
Oh and isn’t it wonderful to see, when your child becomes a big reader 🙂 makes my heart go pitter patter!
There’s a picture book which haunts me. I don’t know what it’s called, so I’ll just call it the “Fortunately, Unfortunately” book. It goes something along the lines of “Unfortunately, the parachute ripped. Fortunately there was a haystack below. Unfortunately there was a pitchfork in the haystack. Fortunately …” You get the idea. I cherished it as a reader until it fell apart. I don’t think it inspired me to write but it definitely was instrumental in helping me to read.
Ally this story sounds wonderful! I love that you cherished it till it fell apart!
It reminds me of the Parable of the Chinese Farmer:
Once there was a Chinese farmer who worked his poor farm together with his son and their horse. When the horse ran off one day, neighbors came to say, “How unfortunate for you!” The farmer replied, “Maybe yes, maybe no.”
When the horse returned, followed by a herd of wild horses, the neighbors gathered around and exclaimed, “What good luck for you!” The farmer stayed calm and replied, “Maybe yes, maybe no.”
While trying to tame one of the wild horses, the farmer’s son fell, and broke his leg. He had to rest up and couldn’t help with the farm chores. “How sad for you,” the neighbors cried. “Maybe yes, maybe no,” said the farmer.
Shortly thereafter, a neighboring army threatened the farmer’s village. All the young men in the village were drafted to fight the invaders. Many died. But the farmer’s son had been left out of the fighting because of his broken leg. People said to the farmer, “What a good thing your son couldn’t fight!” “Maybe yes, maybe no,” was all the farmer said.
Thanks so much for sharing!
Oh, the power of books, the intoxication of weaving words together to make another world come alive! It is why I write, too. Thank you for sharing and for the opportunity to connect with you about writing.
I was not read to as a child so I took it up on my own. My first books were dictionaries, encyclopedias and an assortment of self-care and how-to books on relationships and family I found on my grandmother’s bookshelves. Later on I picked up Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books and read all of them as fast as I could get them in my hands.
I think the children’s books that most resonate with me now are the ones I read to my children because I was the first in my family to begin the tradition of reading to my kids. Two of our favorites are Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown and I’ll Love You Forever by Robert Munsch. These books are part of the fabric of our family tapestry. I’ve passed them on to my children for when they have their own children, and to my step-daughter and her boys as well.
I look forward to networking with you!
Kim, I love your description of world building and even though you weren’t read to as a child, you decided to make it a tradition to pass down to you own children, how wonderful! It’s also pretty amazing that you were able to delve into all those books on your grandmother’s shelves. We had a set of encyclopedias in our house and I remember as a child spending hours pouring over them.
One of my favorite children’s books that I have discovered as an an adult is The Pout-Pout Fish, I do lots of weird voices and having my little two year old giggle up a storm is priceless!
Thanks so much for sharing I look forward to networking with you too!
Dr. Seuss…anything by Dr. Seuss, I enjoyed as a child. The poetry and illustrations of things were off beat, colorful and fun. The lessons were easy to understand. Heck, I am not above reading a Dr. Seuss book now. Lol.
The other rich stories I enjoyed because the moral lessons embedded in them were not presented at a child’s level and made me think, were those of my Granny and serve as inspiration on which I draw, as a writer.
I love your post, wish you well and look forward to checking out your posts as you go along your writing journey.
Hi Lauren, I love Dr. Seuss too, though it was not one of my childhood books, someone bought one for my daughter when she was little and I really enjoyed the fun and cadence of the language, I think they are a hoot to read out loud!
I had a Granny too, she used to tell stories of the war and when she used to work in a bomb factory and how her hair would turn yellow with sulfur, and about food rationing etc. It was all so fascinating.
Thank so much for sharing!
Absolutely anything by Dr. Seuss I consider to have been a great read when I was a child. The poetry and illustrations were off beat, colorful and just plain fun.
They other stories that were meaningful and interesting because they were not presented at a child’s level and made me think, were the stories told by my Granny. It is those recollections of her humor and moral lessons from which I draw as a writer (http://encoreperformanceblog.wordpress.com).
I look forward to checking out your posts and material as you continue your journey as a writer.
I will leave this post up too, since your blog address is there and when I get a chance, I will come for a visit 🙂
Loved this small story about a fond memory. Mine is ‘The Headless Horseman’ yes I did enjoy the paranormal even back then. But it was more scary to me than it is now!
That’s so funny, I think the things that we once loved as a child can follow us into adulthood, if we allow them too! I’ve always stayed away from the scary stuff because my mind would go to town on then, but my kids like the creepy stories!
Thanks for sharing your favorite book. It reminded me of the first book I ever read all by myself to my dad. I was so proud that I could do it by myself. I still remember it to this day. Now that’s a book with impact. Okay, I confess, I couldn’t remember the name. But thanks to the internet, it was easy to track down: Mr. Pine’s Purple House by Leonard P. Kessler. I never made the connection before, but I wonder if that’s why purple is my favorite color.
I love that Donna, is your house painted purple too 😉
I am really noticing lately, how the things I loved as a child, influence me as an adult today!
Thanks for sharing!
I am reminded of my life in the small town I grew up in. I have been a reader since I was four years old. everywhere i went I always had a book with me. That is why after I retired I decided I would try my hand at writing short stories.I have created a series of four ebooks so far. I am glad to know that there are others out there who love to write. I see myself as a forever learner and will continue to read and write until I can’t.
I think it’s wonderful that you are pursuing the one thing that has accompanied you for nearly your entire life and now have decided to contribute your own voice, by becoming an author yourself, how wonderful!
Thanks for sharing!
Just found your blog as part of the WD October Platform Challenge. I’m making it a point to connect with a handful each day. It’s been great fun!
I’v made so many new writer friends in such a short time. So, “Hello, Frederick. It’s a pleasure to meet you!”
Let’s see, I don’t remember being read to very much-my father died when I was just shy of my 3rd birthday and consequently, my mom was busy, busy, busy raising 3 young children (my brothers were 6 and 11 at the time) but I do remember receiving Highlights magazine in the mail every month. It was a “highlight” of my childhood. Loved reading the wonderful stories and poems, figuring out the Rebus puzzles, etc. As a mom though, I read to my children voraciously. We frequented the local library and came home with cartloads of books, pretty much literally. We dovoured books and it was such a wonderful time. As homeschoolers, this love of books fit in so very nicely. Some of our favorites were Caps for Sale, Ira Sleeps Over, The Frog and Toad series, LOTS of poetry books, books by Helen Oxenbury, Tommy DePaolo, Ezra Jack Keats, Anna Grossnickle Hines (especially The Greatest Picnic in the World!!!!!), and the list goes on and on.
Anyway, love the connection with Frederick! What a wonderful way to introduce your writing and blog!
I’d like to share a post with you from my own blog, Mamabirdy’s Country Chat:
It’s a post I wrote about some of things we liked to do during the summer months that were not only fun, but also counted as school days in our log. We tended to homeschool year round, taking small vacations throughout the year as well as a longer one in the summer.
Looking forward to reading more of your posts in the future and I wish you well in your writing career!!
Thank you for sharing your fond memories of “Highlights” magazine from your childhood. I love that you have been able to read so many wonderful books with your own children, my older son adored Caps for Sale! I’m also a homeschooler and will definitely come and check out your blog sometime soon!
Wow! A bomb factory… yellow hair…I am intrigued already. If you have captured those stories…please let us know. If you haven’t, think about it!! Lol
Hey Lauren! Yes I have been thinking a lot lately about turning these old stories into a book of some sort, I’ve begun research and have been toying with an idea for a new novel.
I love The Velveteen Rabbit. I read it to the kids a while ago and I know they liked it but I don’t think the love was there. I always thought my toys came to life after I fell asleep or when I left my room. My stuffed animals anyway. Maybe that’s why I never had baby dolls. They creeped me out – still do! lol!
Jennifer, there have been a couple of books that have been near and dear to me, that sometimes I don’t think the kids have had quite the same affection for. But then they have their favorites too.
I too thought my toys came to life after I fell asleep, I would always ask for my teddies to be turned away because I was afraid they were quietly watching me in the dark, and yes baby dolls can be pretty creepy, I’m with you on that one!
I read all the Golden Books when I was very very young. My Mother loved reading and reading to us. My brother hated reading, still to this day. And he would pay me to do his book reports. After golden books it was Anne of Green Gables, Nancy Drew. But all my life I have been drawn to fantasy books. I had the most complete and scary set of Grimm Fairy Tales. Not really child friendly but I loved them. As I said before, one favorite was
Water Babies. As an adult I frequently visit the young adult section of the library as I still love fantasy for children of the type story you write.
I fell in love with Charles de Lint as an adult and read every book of his I could find. And then started buying his illustrated story books for children. I also collect illustrated fairy tales, both antique and very old and current.
I loved fairy tales too as a child, there were quite a few that spoke to me deeply. Though I don’t remember their names now. We had a wonderfully detailed, full color, illustrated book of fairy tales, that unfortunately disappeared through the years, I wish I could get my hands on it now. I would love to find a similar one, to share with my own children. Thank you so much for sharing and for reminding me to furnish our home, with the beautiful fairly tales that I got to enjoy when I was growing up!