21 November 2012

Reading and Writing

When I was a child I dreamed of one day becoming a writer. I wanted to live in New York City and write novels.

Then I found out I have absolutely zero creativity when it comes to making up stories and my life hasn't been even remotely interesting enough to publish an autobiography or memoir.

So I never pursued my dream. The desire has sort of burned itself out but that doesn't mean I don't still have a respect and passion in my heart for the art of writing.

I want this love to be passed onto my children. I want my kids to enjoy story time and to read as a hobby instead of just watching television or playing video games. I want them to enjoy writing and to use their imaginations.

When I was contacted Andrew Fersch, an author and teacher, to see if I'd like a copy of his book The Rough Draft of My Life Story, I was delighted. Not only because I like free shit but because I'm always interested in finding a good book.

Before I even opened the book up I already  liked it. I love the title and the illustration on the cover  made me think of growing old with my husband.  (Drawings are by Phil Ashworth.)

The book is filled with poetry about various things from disliking vegetables (who can't relate to that?), to cleaning your room, to silly stories about animals to deeper things like being yourself and counting your blessings. (It's a children's book, in case I didn't mention that.)

What I think I like best about everything though is how generous Andrew is. He's in the process of giving away 1,500 copies of his book and has done so already to charities, schools, libraries, children's hospitals, schools and nobodies such as myself.

He truly cares about education and youth and though he's taken a year off from teaching to hike the Appalachian Trail, start his own school and write a book behind the reason of it and write a second installment of short poems, he still runs an after school writing program in New Hampshire, volunteers with public schools and is earning a PhD in Curriculum Study and Statistics (whatever the hell that is).

Friggin' overachiever.

Anyway, here is one of my favorite poems from the book, one that I think we can all relate to and one that's appropriate in honor of Thanksgiving.

All That I Need:

I'm not tall enough (I'm six inches too short)
I have a boring house (I'd rather live in a fort)
I've got three friends (I'd rather have four)
My toy collection would be perfect (if I had just one more)
That double in baseball (was not a home run)
That roller coaster was decent (but the line wasn't fun)
My clothes don't have holes (but they certainly aren't new)
My legs and arms aren't weak (but I'm weaker than you)
I'd go play in the sun (but there's a bit of a breeze)
And I'd go lay on the beach (but the sun makes me sneeze)
But then I looked 'round, and I had a strange thought
And realized just how many good things I've got
If I didn't use my time to complain and to whine
Maybe everything in life would be just fine
Enough dissatisfaction, enough of my greed
I realized, in my life, I've got more than I need!

-Andrew Fersch, The Rough Draft of My Life Story

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Note: This not a sponsored post and Andrew didn't even ask me to write about his book, I did so because I wanted to share his work and inspire others to read and write more.

7 Thoughts :

Organized Chaos November 22, 2012 at 5:10 AM  

I love that you're reading to your daughter! Too many people do NOT do this today and that is why society has no imagination anymore! It's a beautiful thing you are teaching her!

Sean Marie November 22, 2012 at 10:37 AM  

Thanks Shanna! Hope you and your family have a very happy Thanksgiving!

Venassa November 22, 2012 at 3:19 PM  

This sounds like a great book. I really love the poem.
I really hope Chloe loves reading as much as I do when she gets older.

Jazz November 23, 2012 at 4:40 PM  

That poem is well good! (That sounded really chavvy but it is!) I usually hate poetry (specifically the crap we do at uni because it's all fancy language and metaphorical and I'm thick as ever and can never work them out), but this one is so sweet and actually makes sense ha!
I think it's so nice that you want Natalie and any other future kids to love reading as well, I always feel like the way technology is going, kids won't need to read at some point ha!
And if you should write if you always wanted to do it :) hell I'm not even all that creative and I'm paying £9000 a year to do a course in creative writing ha! Or just keep a writer's journal? Like take it out with you on the bus and write in weird conversations you hear and put them in stuff you write :) it's actually so handy. Like I was at Pizza Hut the other week with uni friends and one of them didn't get much with their order so I told her to take a few of the wedges I didn't want and she just said (in a jokey way) "I don't want your discarded wedges", I thought it was absolutely hilarious the way she said it, so I wrote it down and I've used it in one of my assignments ha!
(Oh and about the guy with the seizure, I'm pretty sure he did have epilepsy)
Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving :)

Noel Marie November 25, 2012 at 5:00 PM  

Hey! I just stumbled across your blog as I was searching to add more diversity to my "reader"...I've just recently started up my own blog, just a few months ago, and am already revising and looking for inspiration elsewhere. Anyways, I wanted to take the time to say as I was reading this post I literally said outloud "is she me?"... your dream was my dream (and still is my dream-minus the nyc living) and I'm obsessed with collecting books for my ten month old daughter. You officially have a new follower, can't wait to read through and catch up!

Sean Marie November 25, 2012 at 5:15 PM  

Thank you! It's exciting to "meet" other bloggers who are like us. I tried looking for a link to your blog but couldn't find one. :/ Would love to see it!

noel bressler November 28, 2012 at 11:11 AM  

Ah, well thanks for trying! Silly me to not leave the addy... (I made the mistake of linking the blogs I follow to one gmail account...which happens to not be the gmail I use for my own blog. If I were computer savvy I could change this I'm sure)...