The library is the holy place of the writer. It is here that we find the books that fuel our love for words. It is here that we find a quiet spot where we can concentrate on the thoughts that have been accumulating in our head in our noisy busy day. It is here that we find kindred souls of similar values with which to strike up the occasional conversation.
Occasional but not too often. That would impinge on the sanctity and solitude that characterizes the experience. I have many good memories of libraries. I got a library card as soon as I was old enough. I remember the weekly pilgrimages to the library with my mother or sometimes my father. It seems they rarely found time to both go to the library at the same time but that was more a function of how busy they were raising me and my brother and both holding full time jobs as teachers.
I had my first introduction to science fiction at the library. It was a book entitled The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet by Eleanor Cameron. Before I knew it I was on to read Andre Norton’s juvenile science fiction and fantasy. I remembered loving The Time Traders series. I also loved Anne McCaffrey’s Pern books and Robert Heinlein’s Podkayne of Mars.
Soon I was starting to plunder my father’s science fiction shelf. I learned the dry sarcasm of Robert Sheckley and the exciting adventures of Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clark. My own collection started growing as well. It was a proud day when my dad judged me grown up enough to read Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land.
I’m not sure when I decided I wanted to write fiction. I think it started out as a desire to write plays and movies. By the time I graduated from high school I was putting in a half hour here and a half hour there. I struggled thinking of things that I wanted to write about. I was so enamored of the process and the tools that I couldn’t concentrate on the substance.
As time went by, I got distracted. By raising a family, by having a career, by the various and sundry activities that consume the days of our lives. Until about ten years ago. I found myself yearning to write. I discovered Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. I found the 750Words web site. I have written almost every day since.
So, now I find myself back in the library again. This time it is as a member of a writers critique group. It feels like coming home.
Sweet dreams, don’t forget to tell the ones you love that you love them, and most important of all, be kind.