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monday 12.04.2000
off and writing

i am a writer. i may not be a published writer, but i have a great deal of writing on my site: a poetry section, a journal, 3 weblogs, an ezine, and eloquence which is a catch all place for writing that isn't a journal, weblog or poetry. the site will shortly be minus one weblog, but that is still a lot of writing. i have also, at this point, joined a collaborative and am building a collaborative. my major, when i return to the university in january, is english with a creative writing concentration. i also write creatively to create ad&d campaigns and information for the reflecting pool (which is sadly in need of an update). i am just a writing fool, it seems.

and it's catching.

that's probably the most amazing thing to me. my oldest, kitten writes poetry and stories that are just astounding. jewel hasn't posted any yet and is not quite as prolific as her sister, but also writes poems and short stories. now, i have heard that a reading parent, especially if the parent reads to his or her kids, will have reading children. in this we have seen the results actually. my ex and i have always been voracious readers. i used to (before internet days) just tear through books and we could NOT keep up with my reading appetite. while not as fast a reader, the ex also perpetually had a book somewhere nearby and would read at the drop of a hat. so, while we never actually sat down and read to the kids, it is no wonder that they grew up readers. the older ones anyway. taz isn't at a reading level, although he knows what books are for and can follow a sentence from left to right and knows some sight words. froggy is in the early reading stages and also managed to come in on the whole example thing after two very important events: my divorce from dad and the internet. both have considerably reduced the amount of time she sees an adult reading. so whether or not she will become a reader is still very much up in the air.

with all this reading going on, the children become readers, seeing the value in books, is not too surprising. but how do you pass on writing? especially when you consider that their father didn't write much (i always said if handwriting made the profession he would be a doctor, his writing is perfect for prescriptions!) and most of my writing, originally, was before they were born or very early in their lives. later my writing was for homework or done on the pc, nothing that would pass on a love for writing. but the two older ones are still writers. and, even more amazingly, saxy is a writer too! we've all become a family of writers. this is an amazing thing to me, that we are or are becoming a family who loves the written word: we want to read, write it, experiment with it. and i am humbled by the talent shown in my children and my husband. they can craft with the written word in such wonderful ways. kitten's writing often comes off very adult, not in a bad way but in a sophisticated way. and i am so proud.

in many ways, her writing experience is mirroring mine already. i began writing when i was about 12. it may have been earlier, but the earliest i remember is around 12. poetry, short stories, long stories, i think i started two or three novels, you name it, i wrote it. in high school i played with a newsletter or two. much of that writing is gone. it has either been burned in a house fire from when i was young, lost with all the personal items lost when mother couldn't pay for storage, misplaced in various moves, or something. as a result, i have very little of my writing from my youth available to share anywhere. in some cases this is no loss. in others, the loss may not be big to others, but it is to me. many of my favorite poems are just...gone. unlike my daughter, i didn't have a place safe from fire to store my poems. not that i would have been brave enough to post anything but the absolute best (which was very few indeed).

i eventually stopped writing for the most part. i had the games i created, but that was pretty much about it. things like art, reading, cross-stitch, parenting, cooking, work, and a lot of other stuff took over in my life. maybe my kids will be lucky and never lose that love of writing. never be discouraged because what they have written has disappeared. i want to encourage their creativity, their mastery of language. it seems that now days so few kids are learning to use language appropriately, much less master it. yet language is the foundation of so much that we do. even using computers relies in some part on language. how can we NOT be concerned when our children have problems with language.

i am thankful that my children are using language in creative ways. that they are mastering it. that they are scoring in the 97th plus percentile whenever they go through all those scholastic placement tests. and i need to remember how well they are doing when they get silly and over creative with language. (kitten has been known to create entire new words, pronunciations and definitions in her speech. interesting to hear, but not conducive to understanding her!) my children will have so many doors open to them that will be closed to so many others, all because of language.

we're a writing family. we write poems, short stories, and novels. we write journals. we write school papers and participate in collaboratives. it's one thing we all share and that connects us. it's nice to know that, even when the kids hit that phase where parents are so unhip, there will still be something that i can relate to with my kids, something that will still bring us together.

the written word can be a very powerful thing indeed.

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