by Valerie Ipson
"Once the disease of reading has laid hold upon the system it weakens it so that it falls an easy prey to that other scourge which dwells in the inkpot and festers in the quill. The wretch takes to writing." ---Virginia Woolf.
I daresay that most all writers began as voracious readers. I know I've lived a wonderful fictional life through the Bobbsey Twins, Beezus and Ramona, Encyclopedia Brown, and Nancy Drew all the way to more recent adventures with lady's maid, Dashti, of Book of a Thousand Days, heroine Helene de Laurant, compliments of Joyce DiPastena's Loyalty's Web, and a mouse who shares his story in The Tales of Despereaux.
It was the reading of a book that inspired me to begin writing in a journal at the age of 13, something I did almost daily for over twenty years. I was so moved by the story that I had to express my emotions, so that became my very first entry. "Peter is such a beautiful name..." I wrote--that was the name of the heroine's true love. It's not that great a leap, then, to assume that reading inspired me to move from journal entries to writing fiction. Whether we read and say, I can write better than that, or we read and think, I want to write like that, reading moves us and inspires us.
From the words of great poets and prophets to the words found in books of scripture or great literature (or books just plain fun to read) to the words spoken by my mother at her knee..all these words have value to me and have set me on this amazing journey called WRITING.