My daughter has this phrase that she picked up from school and the youth center. O. M. G. She says it just like that, pause and all. As a result it drives me up – the – wall. I’ve asked her not to say it around me, but sadly my son has picked it up. However, I caught myself saying it only a minute ago. Why? I was, I’m ashamed to say, on Twitter instead of writing in the small reprieve I received from pain, and came across the Reading Rainbow.
From my own generation it’s more appropriate to go EEEEKKKK! Scream and jump like I saw a rock star kind of excitement, but I doubt my head would forgive me. Reading Rainbow, for anyone who is not familiar, is a TV show from 1983 to 2009. Most known kid shows are Sesame Street and the Muppets. Surprisingly, if I mention Reading Rainbow though, not very many people know about it.
When I was a kid, I remember learning how to read on my Dad’s lap. As a fast reader, I would stare at the book he was reading and try to keep up. The words would make sense then it became a matter of catching up to what he was flipping through. My Dad tells me that he would also read Dr. Seuss (which I don’t remember and I can’t stand those books btw), but I also remember sitting in front of the TV to watch LeVar Burton with guest readers take us through a journey in a book. I wish I could remember specific books that captivated my attention, but memory is a faulty creature anyway.
So these three influences (two more than three in my opinion) are the catalyst for reading for me. The fuel for it. My Dad enjoys reading all types of books, but focused more on science fiction, fantasy, and old books. My first true love (books wise) was C.S. Lewis with the Chronicles of Narnia and shame on anyone whose first exposure to it was the movies. I think you missed out and should make up for it by getting the books now. I rank C.S. Lewis over Tolkien btw if anyone is interested. Another person who has influenced me as a writer would have to be Stephen King (big surprise considering how often I’ve written about him), Frank Herbert, and David Eddings.
Looking at that list, I have to take one second to say: Wow! Talk about a wide range of styles. Makes you think huh?
As a writer, reading is a necessary part of who I am. I guess, in answer to my post yesterday, reading is part of my TLC time. It’s when I can disappear and do something for me. Thanks to Reading Rainbow and my Dad, I have that. Who we enjoy reading often influences how and what we write, that and our own passion and interests. I do enjoy Lee Child, Tom Clancy, and Clive Cussler as well. The line writers walk is between what we enjoy reading and what we enjoy writing. For me I enjoy writing suspense thrillers and yet my writing style is influenced by the list above. Is it a puzzle, or does it make me unique? Good question.
I have another one: Who or what do you have to thank for the love of reading and influences your writing?
- Happy 30th Anniversary, Reading Rainbow! (mediabistro.com)
- Great Resources at Reading Rainbow (home4schooling.wordpress.com)
- Reading Rainbow app attracts young readers (comicphonics.com)