My first love was a good story, any good story I could get my hands on. My mom says I was tested and had a 4th grade reading level at age five, so I can’t remember a time in my life when I couldn’t read. In fact, after I had read all of my books several times over it wasn’t unusual for me to find catalogues and begin reading every description of the products in them.
As I got a little older, and able to read more advanced material, if whatever I read didn’t seem realistic enough, I would color in the details and plug in the gaps until a whole back-story filled the pages. Shallow, two-dimensional characters gained histories and pasts that at times seemed more real to me than the real, live people around me. My depth oriented personality wasn’t contained to the written word either. My younger brother and I would play for hours every day with our stuffed animals, and each of them had a story too. They had names and flaws and backgrounds that made them into animated personalities. And personalities they were! Although I myself am admittedly anything but a dramatist, the characters I created in my head were always vibrantly expressive and emotional, sometimes even to a fault, like the humans they were modeled after. Soon my interest moved from stuffed animals to my friends. I’d create storylines and direct them in acting the plots out in front of our amused parents. They never seemed to want to go as deep as I did though, so that didn’t last much longer than a year before I went back to my more compliant stuffed animals. Oftentimes after reading a book I would lead my brother in acting out our own version of its story with those worn out, threadbare critters. Each animal still had its own personality, so the story had to be told with those factors in play of course.
The next stage of my life began when my parents paid for me to take a writing course when I was about eleven years old. I enjoyed it to the hilt. Most of the children around me didn’t seem that into it and barely completed their small books they were supposed to write, but I think I finished about five. My best friend and I created one together too, and as I looked over the finished product in its cute, cheap binding, I suddenly realized that I could do this!
A whole new world had opened up to me. The world of writing.