Today, I am participating in not one, but TWO blogfests! For the Hobbit blogfest, please click here.
For this blogfest, hosted by DL Hammons at Cruising Altitude, we are supposed to re-post something we've written in 2012. I've chosen to re-post my entry for ANOTHER blogfest that took place earlier this year, asking writers how they got their start in writing.
So here's how I got my start!
I got into writing because I love reading. Some kids kick and scream when their parents tell them to sit down with a book instead of playing video games or going outdoors. My parents (and sometimes my teachers) had to tell me to stop reading. I was the kid with the huge glasses and the messy hair, preferring to sit in corners and get lost in Narnia, Lilliput, the Shire ... wherever my current book wanted to take me. Books were my passport out of reality.
I loved fairy tales most of all. I was the quintessential Disney kid. Whenever my parents made me go outside to play, I'd pretend I was a princess. I had this wicker Easter basket that I would hook over my arm and I would waltz out into the woods in our backyard, singing and hoping animals would come hang out with me. (They never did. I'm pretty sure I traumatized more than one squirrel with my singing.) I even dressed up as Snow White for Halloween one year, wearing a beautiful dress handsewn by my mom and a huge red ribbon in my chin-length black hair.
Everyone knew my weakness. Books poured in on Christmas and my birthday from friends, relatives, and neighbors. I still have my two favorite books from my parents, both beautiful gold-leaf volumes that compiled all of the famous fairy tales and fables from around the world.
I remember spending hours lying on my stomach under the lilac canopy of my bed, absorbing stories the way I inhaled the breeze from my windows. I began filching notebooks and pens from the den, putting my childish hand to paper and rewriting those fairy tales in my own words. Pretty soon, I was adding and embellishing - and writing about my efforts in a unicorn diary with a lock on the side - and before anyone even knew it, I was gone. I was so in love with writing that I couldn't stop.
I feel truly lucky to have known what I wanted to do with my life since I was a kid, because some people go a long time without ever finding out.
I still haven't outgrown fairy tales. I still dream about one day owning a library like the one in Beauty and the Beast. I don't prance around the woods in a crown and a dress singing anymore (which is probably for the best) but I haven't lost that desire to jump into a book and let it become a sailboat, a winged horse, a vessel for my dreams. I'm still not tired of the crisp smell of paper, the feel of a book's spine between my fingers, the sound that the pages make as I turn them.
I'm still hoping to see those words - "written by Julie Dao" - in ink one day, on some cover on a table where a girl or boy who wants an adventure will use it for their passport.
How about you? If you're participating in this blogfest, please let me know in the comments!