So I had some trouble filling this spot for this week, and since there really is no solid category for Friday posts anymore, I figured I would make a new musings section. Right now I’m enrolled in ENG 414 at my school, which is YA Lit. I have a video project due this coming Tuesday about my relationship with books. I’m supposed to include stuff like how I got into reading, my history with books, where I’m at today, and that sort of thing. And I thought it might be interesting to share the voice over script that I wrote for that, so here it goes:
To be perfectly honest, I don’t remember learning to read or write. My mom said when I was little, I had a small chalk board to play with and little magnetized letters. She said I played with that a lot. She and my dad would ask me what sounds letters made all the time when they played with me, and I guess by the time I was 3 or so, I just sort of knew the sounds they all made.
I don’t remember what the first book I ever read by myself was, but when I was in kindergarten I was reading Junie B. Jones and Magic Treehouse books by myself. By 1st grade I was reading A Series of Unfortunate Events and when I got to 2nd grade I decided I wanted to tackle Harry Potter.
I remember being in trouble a lot in 2nd grade because we were told that we were only allowed to read books that were on our reading level. I tested into a 6th and 7th grade reading level, but my parents didn’t really want me reading those yet because of the more grown up themes that they weren’t sure how to explain to a 7 year old. So I read books for 2nd grades, and then was in trouble with my teacher because I wasn’t reading on my level. So being the brat that I was, I got hold of the 7th grade books that I wasn’t supposed to be reading and read them anyway, which was how I got into Harry Potter.
My parents initially didn’t have a super big problem with me reading Harry Potter, but their church friends all shamed them for it and told them they were raising a devil child, so they took it away from me and told me I couldn’t read it anymore. So I got a copy from the school library and kept it in my desk. By the time my parents figured out what was going on, I had pretty much finished series (except the ones that hadn’t come out yet) and they figured there wasn’t much they could do about it anymore since I already read them, so they backed off.
In hindsight, I realize that going behind my parents back to read a book that I wasn’t supposed to sort of set a precedence for the rest of my life. I didn’t care that people thought I was a devil child back then, and I don’t really care what people think of me now. Theses literary works have taught me that complacency does not change the world. It can be stressful to live that way from time to time, but in the grand scheme of things I think that it’s better for me to live this way and I have my love of books to thank for it.
As far as writing goes, I’ve always enjoyed writing from the time I figured out how to write my name. (That capital N took me forever.) Ever since I was little, I wanted to be an author of some sorts. I remember writing on napkins with ink pens as a little girl and making “books” for my parents. When I was old enough to type on a keyboard, I wrote a series about a bunny detective that solved mysteries, but that’s embarrassing as hell and we aren’t going to talk about that anymore.
I still write, and look up to my idol Lin-Manuel Miranda as my source of inspiration. If I’ve got my headphones in, which I almost always do when I’m writing, I’m usually listening to something he wrote, whether it be one of his musicals or Disney movie soundtracks. His work made me believe that I can “write my way out” which I 100% plan to. I try to take an hour a day to set aside for writing, which doesn’t always happen, but I make a strong effort to. My dream is to eventually be able to inspire some other kid with my art the way he did for me.
I’ve still got a long way to go, but I’ve got a lot of writing and editing credits under my belt now and am currently serving as the Lead Prose Editor of the Broken Plate.
In the words of my idol, “There’s a million things I haven’t done, but just you wait.”