…Paragraphs Soon Followed

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Blessed with two loving parents, my mother, a poetess when she pleased herself to be, and my father, a fierce competitor and provider, I soon learned the power of the written word and the value of competition as I grew comfortable between two brothers. My Dad taught me about competitive sports and honesty, while my Mom encouraged my desire to write.

I thought there was no holding me back after I learned that words plus words equaled a sentence.

But there was more, so much more…

My Mom told me about “action” words. What could “The dog” do? I was puzzled. “Does he run?” Mom suggested. Of course, he does, I thought. My dog Penny always ran around with me in the yard. I nodded my head “yes”.

“Tell it,” Mom said. “Write it.”

That took a little thought. I strung the words “the” and “dog” with “run”. The dog run. Mom smiled. “Well, try ‘ran’,” she told me. Again, I dragged letters and words together. The dog ran. “Doesn’t that sound better?” Mom asked. The dog ran. Wow!

Oh, yes! That sounded great! Run and ran were “action” words, Mom said. She called them “verbs”. They told the action. I got that immediately. “But they’re tricky,” Mom warned. “You have to use the correct verb for the action.” I must have smiled with a puzzled look again. “You’ll learn more about that later. What sounds right is fine for now,” Mom explained.

My mind was flying forward with excitement. My hand had created a sentence with two words, and now I had a sentence of three words with “action”! More…please!

What more could the dog do?

Penny jumps, I thought. “The dog jumps,” I wrote. Penny eats. “The dog eats,” my fingers squeezed out of the pencil. Penny sleeps. “The dog sleeps”, my flying hand created. I re-read the sentences. A tiny raft of sentences had produced a story! It was an astounding accomplishment!

“Tell it,” Mom had said. “Write it.” And I had done just that! I was a writer! My Mom was smiling at me as I grinned from ear to ear.

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Along Came Words and Sentences

Paper and a pencil as fat as my finger at the time became my fast friends as soon as my mom gave them to me to replace my coloring books, which my imagination had begun to out-think.

With my pencil in a shaky, all-discovering hand, I put one letter, then another on paper with lead! My mom helped me learn the alphabet before I entered the first grade. When I put the letters together by using the ABCs with no spaces in between, Mom said, I could make real words, as those in my coloring books and in my reading books like “Poky Little Puppy”.

Gradually, I became an architect of letters. Simply by adding letters one to another, like figures in an arithmetic sequence, I spelled real words, just like Mom had predicted.

What a fine day that was, making first words!

And there was more, I soon realized. Words put together in a logical order could make a sentence, could say something. Wow! What joy! Just two words did it. “The” and “dog”. The dog.

I wrote “the” and “dog” over and over again that first day, stringing the letters together as fast as I could think of them.

Already, I was on my way to becoming a wordsmith.

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From the Beginning…

One year old, and all the world's my stage!

One year old, and all the world’s my stage!

One of my (five) brothers says he can remember events of his childhood back to the age of three, perhaps two.

I cannot.

But there are days, pieces of days, that do stick out for me.

My family lived at the corner of St. Rte. 281 and Township Road 11 in Henry County, Ohio, when I was a pre-schooler.

There, I stopped biting my fingernails. We had a puppy named Penny. I fell into the creek along St. Rte. 281 after crawling through the underground tiles.

Dad remodeled the brick house, closing in a doorway with brick that matched the walls. I bathed in a tub in the warm kitchen.

One evening my (then) two brothers and I played hide and seek (as dusk came on) around an old abandoned piano that was temporarily located in the yard near the house. I can remember looking at the little red pads on the keys’ ends. The pads softened the strike of the keys, I discovered.

I discovered more things about the world around me, and I wrote my first story.

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Hello, Writers!

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As my theme says, I’m recreating my varied writing life from the beginning, because my beginning with writing started when I made the joyous discovery that putting pencil to paper was the most fun I possibly could have in my lifetime!

I’d like to pass along that joy to others aspiring to write who also possibly need some creative prompting to move along in their task to conquer blank paper.

I’ve never met an idea I didn’t like. What that means, exactly, is I’ve always been able to garner some creative juices for storylines from the smallest observations, or “light bulb” inspiration. You can, too!

If you really want to become a writer, read books about writing, observe the best writers’ works, read your favorites, “look” at life, and keep notes on your own life.

Most of all, have a passion for the written word. Be a wordsmith!

Read more of my Internet articles here.

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