I came across this poem the other day, it has lots of memories for me as it's one I used to read with my dad. When Dad read this poem to us he often said that it reminded him to try and take time in the busy day to notice what was around him. To look at the clouds in the sky, to smell the flowers, to listen to the birds singing. Especially good advice for a writer.
My dad loved books and he instilled that love of books in me. We spent many Saturday afternoons browsing through the dusty shelves of a second-hand bookshop, where my brothers and I would be allowed to choose a book each - and sometimes two - to take home. Oh the delight of being surrounded by so many books, and the agony of deciding which one to choose.
I still remember some of them now. The book of ballet that told all the stories behind the ballets and inspired in me the desire to be a ballet dancer - two or three ballet lessons where I constantly danced out of step soon put me off that idea. The travel books that inflamed my desire to see as many different countries as possible - a desire I still have today, the poetry books which we all used to take turns to read, the story books about magical wooden horses, vengeful leprechauns and fairies, flying carpets and naughty schoolgirls which inspired my love of reading and writing. That's where it all started, where the budding writer was born, in those backstreet second-hand bookshops with their creaking shelves of passed-on books. So I owe my love of reading and writing to my dad.
Unfortunately Dad died when he was 51, he never lived to see me become a writer but I'm sure he knows and I hope he now has time 'to stand and stare.'
What about you? What inspired your love of reading and writing?
Karen King writes all sorts of books, her latest one is Get Writing: Children's Fiction, published by How To Books. Visit her website at www.karenking.net for more details.