On this 14th day of February when our society deems it imperative that we celebrate ‘love’ even more than usual (which I don’t mind at all, really. I’m all about love.), I thought I’d share with you the book that told my heart what my writing core would be.
Yes, it was Judy Blume’s Forever. I read it when I was twelve and it solidified so much for me about what it meant to have sex for the first time, what love could feel like, how confusing and sad and exciting and exhilarating it could be all at once, and it showed me that it’s possible to write a book about love and ‘firsts’ in a way that wasn’t over-the-top or unrealistic or flashy.
Yes, I was quite young when I read it. Many, many years before I would lose my virginity and many years before I even thought about doing it with anyone but myself! My point is that I truly loved this book. I love this book – and all of Judy Blume’s writing, for that matter. She was ‘it’ for me when it came to my reading and writing life – then and now.
When it comes to love and writing, writers simply cannot be the writers they are without the authors they read. And I believe that there truly is love involved when it comes to reading and appreciating the stories that the authors we love write and share with us.
I’m grateful for Judy Blume and John Green. For Mitch Albom and Marcus Zusak. For the Brontes and Shakespeare. And Gregory Maguire and Robert Munsch. Dr. Suess and Eric Puchner. Steven King and Maya Angelou. Toni Morrison and Gacia Marquez. Natalie Goldberg and Julia Cameron. Hemingway and Fitzgerald. Steinbeck and Hugo. Margaret Atwood and Nino Ricci. Oh, there are so many…obvious writers I know I’m not including…but they’re in my heart and I love them too!
Here’s the Greatest Books Of All Time – you know your loved ones are on here as well! (No, my book isn’t on this list – yet!)
The Windsor/Essex posse: Marty Gervais, Mary Ann Mulhern, Dorothy Mahone, Penny-Anne Beaudoin, Christopher Lawrence Menard, Toni Pecaski, Karen Rockwell, Melanie Janisse, Eva Antonel, Bev. G, Terry-Anne Carter, John B. Lee, Robert Earl Stewart, Alicia Higgison, Peter Hrastovic, Gordon S., and all those writers who show up to salon, to class, and in their own lives to make writing a part of their world. (Please forgive me if I’ve not included you here in this list…!!!
In honour of this day of love, I invite you to share your own love story via the link below. It’s connected to a wonderful blog called Restless Writers.
What was the book that changed your writing life? What about the writing life do you love?