Thursday, January 03, 2008

Guest post by Amanda Young

How my life of writing began.

Why I Began Writing.

This is my story and it could be yours.

Why don’t I just let the words flow and try not to think so much? I have found that if I think too much then there is no flow. Then there are no words and alas, no story. Maybe I should begin at the beginning of when I realized how words could make a difference in a life. Mine especially.

I was about six years old and my life was completely void of happiness. My days were filled with more sadness than a young child should feel. Fortunately then I found out that happiness could be observed and discovered in a book.

I recall sitting with a book in my lap as I sat on the cold brick steps in front of the big house I lived then. For hours I stared down at the pictures of the boys and girls that looked so happy in the first book I ever read.

I remember carefully holding the book and reading over and over the few words that I knew then. The words in the book spoke of a boy named Dick and a girl named Jane. I thought that if I could read those words on each page I would know why the two were so happy in the pictures. Mostly in the beginning of the book it talked only of how Jane looked at Dick run. “Run Dick run.”

Then she told others to look at Dick while he ran. “See Dick run,” she insisted to everyone. Which they did and looked terribly excited to be able to see him run. This was amazing to me that I was learning to read the words on those big pages.

I remember how the teacher at school would stand over me, which she did a lot, to personally instruct me with my reading. My finger would slowly move under each word and often pause for a time as I looked up at the pictures of the happy children. This pause of course caused her to cross her arms tight over her stomach. She would then breathe in deeply and let it out with an exaggerated sound which told me she was obviously upset with me. I could not tell her that I was mesmerized by the sight of the happiness in the story and had to stop to look at the pictures.

Thinking back on it now I suppose she thought I did not know the words as she would tell me to begin at the beginning of the sentence again with a very frustrated tone of voice. I could hear the other children snicker when I had to begin again, which of course made me feel embarrassed.

I did as I was told to do as I knew very well that if I did not follow the rules I would be severely punished when I returned to the orphanage. There was no yelling or screaming in the books as I had heard before I went to the orphanage and even at the orphanage.

Then there were new characters added on later pages and even a dog that was named Sally. I named my first dog Sally. My dog was blond too, like the dog in the first book that I read.

I could not understand why Jane was bossy a lot of the time as she was always telling Dick to run. Sometimes she told him to run even faster, which he did. Over and over throughout the book she often insisted that everyone else watch Dick while he ran. But then Dick was always telling her what to do as well so I suppose he was rather bossy also. “Run Jane run,” he would often call out to her with a hand to the side of his face.

I cannot remember now why they were always running but then children are supposed to run aren’t they. I could not run at the orphanage. It was not allowed. We could not shout out to one another either because we would be punished. But I could look at the happy children in the books.

The idea came to mind sometime later that if I could read those words and learn even more words then I would be able to read the big books like the ones older kids carried around. Through the words and the pictures in the book I could escape over the gray walls of the orphanage or the sad places I lived. And so it was why I wanted to learn even more words. To maybe go to other places that would be far away from the sadness of my life.

I tucked away my books in the bag I carried my few belongings in because I always wanted something with me to look at and read that showed happy people. I never knew where I was going to live even from the beginning of my life. I had noticed at an early age that the people did not look happy at any of the places I lived and so I clung to any book that I could.

Years later when I was a teenager I secretly wished that I might one day put words onto paper that could take people away to wonderful places. I found that through books one could escape to happy places or sometimes to scary places. Sometimes even to romantic places and simply by reading words.

Many years later that I would write my sad story first before I could write the happy story or the stories of make believe that I enjoy the most. For in writing my story I would hopefully help others to heal so that they could be happy and run and play, just like Dick and Jane did.

In writing my story I have healed so much and in my mind I run and play just like Dick and Jane did. So it was of how my love of books began was looking down onto pictures of two children running around and looking happy. Through learning to read and write one word at a time my journey began of finding happy people and happy places without making a step and on the pages of a book.

Thank you and God Bless.

Amanda Young
Author of Silent Prisoner

For more information on Amanda or her book click here.

1 comment:

Cheryl said...

Excellent post Amanda! This is very powerful. I find, too, that I can use my writing to heal the past hurts I have suffered.

Best of luck with your tour.

Cheryl M.