As a child, I had dolls, my own little rocking chair--and books. And I loved my books. I'm told I thought I could "read" at two years old--except that, as I parroted the story, I held the book...upside down.
Later I'd happily skip off to school with a bit of money Mom gave me for the Scholastic book fair. And my grandmother contributed by way of a membership in a children's book-of-the-month club--some of which I still have. In the early teen years, friend Kathy and I frequented the town library and toted numerous books back and forth.
Some of my favorites when I was little? The Secret Garden, Heidi, Little Women. As I got older I loved Mitchell's Gone with the Wind, Catherine Marshall's Christy, and a title from my grandmother's shelf, The Edge of Time, by Loula Grace Erdman.
As I begin the journey into my next book, I'm anxious to get to know my main character. Who is she? What does she need/want? What conflicts will rise up to block her way? What's her story? I have a couple of ideas, but not enough yet.
And so I'm revisiting some of my favorite books and reacquainting myself with "old friends," seeking the threads as to why their stories have endured. I continue to read new titles, and explore their threads--to glean and grow and go forward.
What about you--who are some of your childhood book "friends," and why?
I've always sort of believed that these people inside me--these characters--know who they are and what they're about and what happens, and they need me to help get it down on paper because they don't type. --Anne Lamott