Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Reading And Writing

I have always loved to read. Consequently I have always loved to write. I suppose not everyone reaches the same conclusion. But it is true in my life. It is also true in my husband's life. And as a result, it has become true in our children's lives as well.

I firmly believe that if you emulate a love of literacy in your home, that your children will pick up on that love. Books are an integral part of our home. We have book shelves that line our hallway, books on the knick knack shelf that separates the kitchen nook from the living room, a book shelf in the corner of the living room and book shelves in each of our bedrooms. All of them are overflowing with books of all genres. We also have three bookshelves in our driving school office that are full of books. Books abound in our lives. If I'm not reading a book I feel lost.

Along with reading comes a love of writing. When I read a particularly good book I'll often think, "Hey I can write just as well! " So I write. On blogs, in journals, in emails, wherever!

And what have I discovered in my reading and writing? That as I do these things, so do my children!

Currently my 13yo DD, writes an average of 2,000 words a day. She started writing a few years ago because a story was in her head and she wanted to put it on paper (or computer screen). She toted around Strunk and Wagner's Elements of Style in her backpack so that she could consult it for proper grammatical writings. When she attended a private school from 2nd to 4th grade, she learned some basic grammar and spelling rules. Since then she has had no formal writing curriculum. Reading good literature (she read Les Miserables when she was 11 because she loved the musical), and practicing writing everyday, has made her understand correct style, sentence structure and grammatically correct writing. It's very natural to her. When she communicates with her friends online, she refuses to write in "chat speak" but writes complete, well though out sentences.

My older sons, too, are great writers. Occasionally I have come across something my eldest wrote from his days in 12th grade and I'm amazed at his writing ability. Yet, I shouldn't be amazed as he comes by it naturally.

Now, as my husband, Les, and I reach our mid forties, we look to our future and wonder what we will do. Both of us have concluded that writing is the "new career" that tantalizes us. Les has taken this dream one step further and actually started a publishing company so that when our books are written we can publish them ourselves. The result is his first published book: Monster Doctor. We actually have it for sale on his publishing website: Read For Fun Press.

To help promote Monster Doctor, I have been working on a blog Monster Doctor, MD.
I'm planning on having contests for illustrators interested in trying to create the various monsters described in the book. If you are an artist or know someone who loves to draw, make sure to check out the blog!


Penny said...

Wow, your own publishing company! How cool is that? We have a house full of books too and I am slowly seeing my boy use more and more of them. :)

Terry Doherty said...

Congratulations! When you're ready to start promoting the book, we'd love to have you jump in the Reading Tub and join our Author Showcase.