DO you remember learning to read ? I can’t say that I do. If I were to pick my favourite pursuit it would be reading. I don’t remember any books at home, as starting school approached I looked forward to it. This was a time of scarcities in the 1940s, my father was called away to be a soldier and mother was left to take care of two little girls on her own. We lived in three upstairs rooms in a terraced street in a very respectable area. The school was on the opposite side of the road, easily visible from our living room window. A main road of shops was just five minutes away and a library was a tram ride away or on a fine day within walking distance.
I enjoyed school, although a somewhat timid child, I soon settled into the routine, perhaps the fact that I was just a few minutes from home helped. The thing that stand out in my memory is the instruments with which to make music; drums, castanets, tambourines and triangles. A big chart was pinned up on the blackboard covered in blue, red, yellow and green notes. My notes were in blue, my instrument was the triangle. My attention was focused on the musical notes and the teacher. I concentrated very hard on striking my triangle at the right time. This was the very first time I realised that I could produce music, I was captivated. Sadly as a musician I reached my peak in those very early days, at the time it was wonderful.
Strangely enough I remember almost nothing about learning to read, happily I now read every day and I can’t imagine how narrow life would be without it. I read newspapers, the Radio Times, instructions on packets, lists of programmes on TV, I order on line, check my bank account, my emails and last but not least put my thoughts into words on my word-press account. I even read some of the rubbish that comes through the letter-box. Every day I am grateful to those teachers who somehow explained the mysteries of letters and words and gave me the key to making sense of the world in which I live and lots of fun and pleasure along the way.
“Many of the most important turning points in your characters’ lives are centered on trauma and loss. Do you think that the way people process these events is what defines them?
I don’t think people’s processing of trauma and loss necessarily defines them fully, but these surely influence the course of their lives. I was 12 years old when a dam collapsed at the northern end of my hometown, releasing millions of gallons of lake water that cut a path of death and destruction. Among the dead was a 27-year-old mother who drowned in the flood waters after helping rescue her three sons, ages four, two, and six months. I drew on that remembered local tragedy when I wrote We Are Water and, in the course of my research, became friends with those three little boys—who are now well-adjusted, middle-aged family men. Each has a successful career and a…
View original post 710 more words