Several authors in our group have commented on their teachers and schools. How those early experiences influenced their lives. I’d like to add my “penny’s worth.”
I've thought about how my elementary school helped to shape my love of literature. As a child I was more introspective than my parents wanted. I would spend my school recesses reading (I read Gone with the Wind by age ten.) We were encouraged to read and I always had a book with me.
My 5th and 6th grade teachers had us read stories aloud. That’s when I discovered the impact of the written word read aloud. I read The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, and was thrilled when the students hung on every word. It was such an exhilarating feeling. I wanted to write stories like that. We even had a writing contest and I came in second. My teacher said “expository” writing was my best writing. I remember feeling crushed to not be recognized for my creative writing. However, I worked harder on my expository writing, to make it even better, but let the creative writing slip away.
In high school I had a wonderful English Teacher, Jane Juska (now a published author). Miss Juska pushed and prodded me to turn my work in. I felt it was never “good enough.” But she inspired me to express myself and helped build my self-confidence. When I saw she’d written and published a book, A Round Heeled Woman: My Late-Life Adventures in Sex and Romance, I knew I could, too. Thank you, Jane Juska, for inspiring me and encouraging me. I'm looking forward to seeing my first children's book, Magical Matthew, published by Guardian Angel Publishing, this spring.