Since the day my one-and-a-half-year-older brother came home with his first grade Dick and Jane reader, I have been fascinated with words. Then, when he explained that every single word was formed by using the 26 letters of the alphabet, I was astonished. My curiosity piqued, I pestered him until at last he relented and taught me everything he was learning in school about the art of reading.
Once I acquired the ability to read, I became lost to the intrigue and magic of books, and I still am. Since the concrete world has invariably confounded me—walls that move in front of me, doors that pull when they should clearly push, and patio windows so clean that I try to walk through them—I have always favoured the abstract realm of being. In fact, my daughter was not very old before she figured out that I often prefer to be in the ivory tower of my mind.
Two of my favourite books are The Canadian Oxford Dictionary and The New Roget’s Thesaurus. Thus it is little wonder that when I chose to write this blog, I glanced yet again through both. According to the former, a word is “A sound or a combination of sounds, or its representation in writing, printing, or speaking that symbolizes and communicates a meaning, and may consist of a single, or a combination of morphemes.”
Words are the artistic medium of every author. Whenever I walk into a bookstore, I instantly feel overwhelmed by the number of writers and book titles that exist. During quiet moments, searching through the innumerable arrays of novels, I ponder what compels us to spend weeks, months, and years putting together linguistic units to create a literary work.
Still, some of the most beautiful and special words to me have come from my fans. Thank you, Penny, for “You paint lovely pictures with your words.” Rosa from Costa Rica said, “I loved reading your prairie scenes. I have learned so much about the different seasons, the Canadian landscape, your trees, grasses, and flowers.” And, during a delightful conversation with Brenda, my book and cover designer’s sister-in-law, “Your books are beautiful, but I think that the genius is in your writing.”
Gracious words indeed. Yet even with two published books, a third undergoing editing, and sales of Arriving: 1909-1919 exceeding 2000 copies, I often stop and wonder that I am an author. I could not be more gratified that so many people are enjoying my writing style and my novels, although I really believe in my heart and soul that I am but a storyteller.