Today’s post is by Meg Moseley, a friend of mine who authored When the Sparrows Fall and the newly-released Gone South. She used to write human-interest pieces for a suburban section of the the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and she was a homeschooling mom for a lot of years. She will join us here on my blog regularly, and I think you’ll really enjoy her heartfelt and humorous writing!
If you’re reading Cindy’s blog, you must be a booklover. I am, too. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t crave books and more books—especially fiction—but I’m afraid some people see fiction as the frivolous younger sibling of non-fiction. They think non-fiction is a responsible grown-up who holds down a job in the real world, while fiction is the slightly less respectable kid brother who’s too busy adventuring to be useful.
But good fiction can expand our hearts, our minds, and our imaginations. It can help us understand people and places we could never “get” from nonfiction. A good story can hold deep truths, whether it’s a 600-page novel or a picture book written for toddlers.
Money was tight when I was growing up, but my mother often let me pick out a Little Golden Book at the grocery store. When I was a little older, she always found a way to buy the Scholastic paperbacks that were available at school, too. I loved that wonderful, new-book smell, but the stories between the covers were the real treasures.
Sometimes I regret that my own children never knew the thrill of “Scholastic day” at school because we homeschooled. We took full advantage of the public library, though, and we bought all the books we could afford. As my kids outgrew them, I saved their favorites, hauling them from one house to another, from one state to another. Now I’m passing them on to my grandchildren, hoping they’ll be lifelong readers too.
Do you remember learning to read? I do. I even remember the first word I read for myself, the one that woke me up to the wild idea that I had the keys to deciphering all the marks on all the pages of all the books in the whole world. The books written in English, anyway.
Back then, kindergarten was play time. The real work didn’t start until first grade, and then phonics ruled. This particular memory begins, not in class with Miss Shelvock, but at home after school as I explained to my mother that R and E and D each made different sounds, and if you put them together, they spelled RED. I think she pretended it was news to her so she wouldn’t deflate my excitement. She needn’t have worried.
A few years ago, I sat down with a friend who wanted to start writing a book, and I shared with her some of the basic principles of writing. The most fundamental thing I could tell her was that words are a sacred gift from God. We shouldn’t treat them lightly. Those marks we make on paper–the symbols that represent sounds that form words that we string together into sentences–they’re the thoughts of one mind, recorded so they can be accessed later by another mind, a world away. A century away. Words can time-travel.
I remember a night when I’d been reading out loud to our youngest, who was nine or ten at the time. On his way up the stairs to bed, he stopped and looked at me with an awestruck expression, probably the same way I’d looked when I figured out RED.
“Mom,” he said, “it’s like a book holds magic inside.”
Meg Moseley is the author of Gone South and When Sparrows Fall, published by Multnomah Books. She formerly wrote human-interest columns for a suburban section of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and home schooled for over twenty years.
The sweet tea has gone bitter in Noble, Alabama, where newcomer Tish McComb settles to reconnect with her family roots. Problem is the name McComb isn’t welcome in town, and when Tish aligns herself with the local prodigal daughter, things only get worse. Can Tish find any mercy for sinners in Noble?
Click here to read an excerpt.
UPDATE: This giveaway is now over. Congratulations to Anita Mitchell! Anita, please contact me with your name and mailing address to claim your book.
If you would like to enter for a chance to win an autographed copy of Gone South, simply enter through the Rafflecopter widget below or leave a comment on this post (https://www.cindywoodsmall.com/2013/05/15/magical-world-of-books/).
Only comments on my website or entries on the Rafflecopter widget will be accepted.
The deadline for this contest is Tuesday, May 21, 2013, at midnight. The winner will be chosen using Random.org and will be contacted privately, as well as announced on next week’s post.
Last week, I shared a bit about the Amish tradition of expert quilting and gave away an embroidered wall hanging that says, “Give God the pieces and He’ll stitch them together.”
Random.org was used to select the winner. Congratulations to Cindi Altman! Cindi, please send me your name and mailing address to claim your wall hanging!