So, I meant to get a post up a few days ago but the week got away from me as I was doing this:
The bad news is that I didn’t have time to put together a thoughtful blog post for you guys last week but the good news is that if you’re the sort of person who likes to listen to audiobooks you’ll get the chance in the near future to listen to Nearly Orthodox. Yes, that’s right! You can hear my dulcet tones while you sit in the pick-up line at your kids’ school, while you work out, while you clean the oven or eat donuts on the couch. It’ll be like I’m right there with you. That’s kind of awesome, right?
I promise I’ll let you know when it becomes available but in the meantime let me just say that it was all kinds of weird to read my own book aloud. I haven’t read a book aloud, in its entirety, since my daughter and I read the first Harry Potter book together. She was probably 7 or 8 then. We would sit up in her bedroom every night and read until we were too sleepy or until my voice gave out. I still remember her placing her hand on the top of the page to turn it, eager to see what came next. There is something striking about words, spoken aloud, or there, on the page.
When she told a couple of her friends about the book they told her they were not allowed to read it. She was perplexed by this, not understanding why anyone would not be allowed to read this book. Back then we were in a very conservative location and Harry Potter was new. There was some distrust about the effect a book about a boy who becomes a “wizard” might have on the youth. I told her about this distrust and she said, “People are afraid kids will want to be wizards and witches because of Harry Potter?” and I said that yes, that was one of the fears. I asked if it made her want to be a witch and she laughed, “No! It makes me want to be an author!”
Even now, that response makes me want to hug J.K. Rowling real hard.
I still read aloud to the kids after that, but never a book as long as Harry Potter. Riley had developed into a proficient reader so quickly that she began to read aloud to me and then to the boys as well. She loved to read. She still does.
And though she’s moved more toward becoming a visual artist now, an animator, specifically, I’m still thankful for the gift of great books. I’m grateful for the beautiful language and well-crafted imagery, the feast of ideas, the spoken words, and the depth of emotion that they contain within their pages.
It’s vital. It’s inspiring.