Moments of Clarity
I honestly don’t know when I started to enjoy writing, but it was probably long before I realized I enjoyed writing. I didn’t even know I liked reading for a long time. One time when I was maybe thirteen, my dad and I were out to lunch together, and he asked me something I’ll never forget:
“Hey, Libby, you like to read, don’t you?”
Me: “Meh, sometimes, kind of.”
Dad: “Well, you like reading the Harry Potter books, right?”
Me: “OMG, YES!!”
Dad: “Well, then you like to read.”
Ooohh, okay, so that’s how it works. I don’t know why I never thought of it like that before.
I was in fifth grade, and we were playing a game to get ready for a spelling test. Our teacher called up people to the board to write one of the words on our test, and sort of made it like a game show. I don't remember the details. I just know he would describe for each person individually all the glorious things they'd get (all pretend) if they spelled the word right.
Now, everyone loved this teacher. Everyone wanted to be in his class, and during this game, I could really see why. All the “prizes” he described for each student were so personalized, like he was looking into their brains and seeing their dreams.
He called me up to the board, and started going on about how I'd be a princess living in a grand castle and all these wonderful things, if I spelled the word right. Spot on for this hopeless girly kid.
And then it got weirder, though I didn't really understand back then just how much. The word I was supposed to spell was "author." I think at that age, my stories were just beginning to come into my head in tiny bits and pieces. Still, it felt like a big moment even then, when I was writing the word down. I got it right, went home, pretended to be a princess, and after that didn't think much of the whole thing. But looking back on it now, this was huge.