For me that question is a bit complicated and a long story. I’ve loved writing since before I could spell, or even read for that matter. But for the longest time I was the only one that could read my stories. My road to writing is intertwined with my struggle to learn to read.
I was 13 years old the summer I learned to read. My dyslexia made reading a struggle and a public school system that wasn’t ready to teach me made it a nightmare.
When I was in first grade, I lived in one of the biggest cities in the U.S (way back in the day). My teacher told my parents I was stupid and slow. For unrelated reasons we moved to New England where the school system took the time to test and diagnose my dyslexia. Yep, I said diagnose most label, I digress. But they weren’t equipped to handle my learning needs either.
My last year of public school was spent testing and talking to lawyers in an attempt to get me school voucher. I had just turned 13, and was a year older than the rest of my classmates. When I graduated elementary school, I was reading at a first grade level and was in third grade math.
I got the voucher and set off to see if a six-week summer program could help. I met a teacher fresh out of college along with these awful books called “Let’s Read”. By the end of the program I walked away reading at a third grade level and let’s just say I was beyond my grade level in Math. After several years of attending the boarding school, I learned to read, I had the resources I needed and my creative writing took wings. My teachers encouraged me immensely to continue writing.
However, what I still lacked was self-confidence. I was always writing and even won some small local contests. But I couldn’t muster up the courage to read a menu at a restaurant.
It wasn’t until I was pregnant with my oldest that I knew I had to learn to be comfortable reading especially out loud, to avoid the fear of stammering while I read. By the time I was pregnant with my youngest, I knew my oldest was dyslexic and I was going to have to be his advocate which meant I had to read better, quicker, learn more. I had to foster a love of reading in them. So, I learned everything I could I brushed up on all the research I could.
For my personal reading I went in search of a book I had started in high school but lost. Out of print and not on the book shelves of any book store, I found a library that was closing. I read every word out loud to my growing belly in-between reading to my other two, three times a day.
In all that time I wanted to write novels but it wasn’t until I took reading into my own hands and used the resources around me. That I was able to sit down and push my fingers to tell the story my head wouldn’t stop repeating.
I love to learn I make a point to learn something new every day.
I want to thank my husband for every moment he was by my side thrusting books my way and taking me to book stores and libraries. I love you.