More memoir soon – this is just more musing on life.
One writing coach I worked with read my work and said, a seven year old would not use the words you are using in this piece, Torment and Metallic are not words a seven year old would use. She obviously didn’t know me very well. She could have asked – why are you using this word here? Did you know that word at seven? Instead she told me not to use them.
What that did for me is lead me to explain why I use the words I do in my writing. So thank you writing coach for pointing this out to me.
I had NINE older brothers and sisters and they are all VERY smart and yes they used the word TORMENT and METALLIC, so at seven, I had a big vocabulary thanks to my brothers and sisters. And my last statement of explanation from my seven-year-old self – I’M NOT A BABY!
I like to read and sometimes I choose a book that is daunting, one that I know I will not understand for the pure pleasure of being okay with not understanding.
I’ve always loved reading and as a child in Michigan, I would go to the library as often as I was allowed, which was pretty much whenever I wanted, because no one was really paying THAT much attention. I was on first name basis with the librarian – Sandy Sherba. I don’t think she really like me though, I was after all the little girl with the rotten teeth.
I tired of reading children’s books and had read most all the books in the children’s/young adult section anyway – it was a small town, and a small library.
I browsed the adult literature section of the library, Sandy Sherba would shoo me out of there saying, “These books are for grown ups.” When I tried to check out Beowulf, she said “No, how about you read something in your age group.” I then tried to check out The Yearling, which in fact is a Young Adult book, but it was categorized in the adult section because of the content. “Find something in your age group, you are not old enough to understand this.”
How she knew what I would understand, I do not know. Because I couldn’t check out the books I wanted, I’d steal a book out of the adult section and go hide somewhere in the library and read and read and read. I read, Tolstoy, Faulkner, Woolf, Sexton, Shakespeare. Most anything I could get my hands on. I developed a secret love of poetry and would read page after page after page. Reading made me feel alive. I didn’t understand most of what I read, but I am certain it influenced me in some way. I knew I would understand it someday.
I still do this to this day, I read a lot, and sometimes I choose a book from a topic that I’m interested in that I know will be a challenge for me – like James Hillman, or James Joyce – mind melting works. The first time I read Marion Woodman, I thought to myself what in the hell is she even talking about here? Years/months later when I pick up the book again, I realize I gained something because when I begin to re-read, I understand it, or at least some of it. I love how that works.
Maybe this too increased my vocabulary.
What about you? What do you read? Does what I’m saying make any sense?