Welcome to my World
Welcome to the domain different--to paraphrase from New Mexico's capital city of Santa Fe which bills itself "The City Different." Perhaps this space is not completely unique but my world shapes what I write as well as many other facets of my life. The four Ds figure prominently but there are many other things as well. Here you will learn what makes me tick, what thrills and inspires me, experiences that impact my life and many other antidotes, vignettes and journal notes that set the paradigm for Dierdre O'Dare and her alter ego Gwynn Morgan and the fiction and poetry they write. I sell nothing here--just share with friends and others who may wander in. There will be pictures, poems, observations, rants on occasion and sometimes even jokes. Welcome to our world!
Thursday, May 23, 2013
The Magick of Books
I suppose loving books is a prerequisite for becoming a writer. Most of us were avid readers before we every put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. I know I was. It began when I was a wee tyke, the firstborn of a pair of parents who were "hippies" before there were such. They read to me, I suppose from infancy on, at least from my earliest memories. I still have a beloved book of Mother Goose Rhymes which was illustrated with many line drawings, most of which were colored with colored pencils over the course of several years. That may have influenced my love of art and creativity too! Anyway not long after I learned the alphabet and enough basic phonetics to make a stab at spelling words, I was writing verses and making little greeting cards and such to send to my doting grandma and others. From that small start...
And I read and read and read. A friend a bit older introduced me to Nancy Drew when I was about eight and I read through the whole set, at least those existing at that time. By the time I was done with that and a few other books for tweens and teens--there wasn't the vast stock of young adult stock literature then but some--I quickly went on to 'westerns' such as Zane Grey, Max Brand and Ernest Haycox, Loved cowboys and still do! So by the age of twelve or so I was filling steno notebooks with my versions of ranch romances--and yes, I did read a magazine by that very name when I could afford a copy.
So for the next half century and more I carried on a love affair with the written word. It still goes on, having outlived a number of real-life love affairs that perhaps also had their influences on my writing. I recognized that romance should be my genre shortly after I discovered what was then just coming to be one of the biggest things in popular genre fiction. Everything I wrote had a love story in it, after all. But I had a lot to learn and it was a slow and sometimes arduous process. Still I persisted and now finally have a number of books with one of my pseudonyms on the cover and lots of things available in digital forms. And still I read.
On my birthday a few weeks back I took a small step I had meant to take for some time! I applied to be a volunteer worker at Books Revisited, a local used bookstore that operates totally on donations and volunteer help and supports the local library. Small towns have to work and struggle to maintain a decent library, especially now that they have to compete for scarce resources with essentials like public safety, potholed streets, and other critical things the public may value more than books. They were happy to accept me--no surprise?? And I have now worked three shifts--just a half day a week for now and I help with the shelving, arranging and maintaining the stock. They have books of course--all kinds of lovely books!!--and magazines, movies, and music. I am in hog heaven!
So far I have managed to exert restraint and not avail myself of the privilege of borrowing anything to test or buy at the special discount. The regular prices are even very modest, but so far... Yet I know that will not last long. Books are something I cannot resist. I try now to limit myself to about 80-90% electronic and store them on flash drives and only 10-20% paper but I still totally adore 'real' books--be they new and crisp (there is a scent to most books that will clue you to the age etc.) or tattered and well-used. Some will surely join my household in the near future. I've given away so many the last ten years and still miss some but hopefully they were adopted to good homes!
Books have such magick! They can transport you to distant and exotic places, carry you away on amazing adventures, sweep you up in powerful emotions of love, hate, fear, exhilaration, anger, joy and despair! Words have so much power, so much vitality and force. Think about it--where would we be without them? Even if we only use them in cryptic text messages or emails, they are our way to reach out to others and get out of the confines of our own minds and narrow lives. And if we love and enjoy books, we have so much of a magic carpet at our disposal. I pray I never lose the visual and mental ability to read!.That would be an unspeakable injury to me. I've not quite devoted my life to books but they've been a major influence and aspect to be sure.