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28 November 2005

warm fuzzies

I was talking to my 16-yr-old niece the other day and she told me something that all writers would like to hear: "I read your book aloud every night." Here's the thing. She and her 12-yr-old brother share a room (yeah, I know. I don't like that picture, either. It's called Blended Family Problems) and every night she reads a chapter aloud of my second book, Dance Jam Productions ( to her brother. She makes it into a production (she wants to be actress and is currently taking drama classes at her AWESOME charter school) and says,

"Tonight, we're reading Dance Jam Productions by Celise Downs."

"I know that person," my nephew will say.

"Really? I do, too," my niece will reply.

She told me that she'll read something and if the rest of it is on the other page, she'll pause dramatically (because she's a drama queen). For instance:

"She could feel his breath on her..."

And then my nephew will say, "I'm almost a teenager, you can tell me."

She'll turn the page and finish with "...face"

But he won't believe her. "Nu-uh. It doesn't say that," he protests.

And she'll show him that it really does say that. For reals. There's no sex or violence in my books, so I'm not sure what he was expecting. But when she told me that, I couldn't help but laugh because I could picture it in my head. And when it seems like he's not paying attention, she'll ask him what she just said, and he'll tell her. Just the overall scenario made me smile because it took me back to elementary school (Huffaker Elementary in Reno, NV to be exact). My 5th grade teacher was Mrs. Yates. She had a thing for tuna---blech!! She would read to us everyday, walking up and down the aisles in her stocking feet. By the end of the day her lipstick would have worn off, leaving the red outline of her lip liner. I remember my Humanities teacher in 7th grade? 8th grade?, Mrs. Hornbaker, reading The Outsiders to us. I'm sure read other stories to us, but that's the one that sticks out in my mind.

I don't remember when my love of reading began, but I have a feeling it started with Mrs. Yates. I don't remember any of the books she read to us, I just remember how she sounded when she read them. The different voice inflections, how she would lick her finger before turning the page, the sound of her stockings rubbing together as she walked . It was all very...hypnotic to me. To this day, I still like it when people do readings. All the women in my family are avid readers, but my nephew isn't. So I'm glad she's reading to him

posted by GeminiWisdom @ 7:34 PM |


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