Dear Life—It’s Family Literacy day

Today is Family Literacy Day in Canada.   This year, ABC Life Literacy Canada   is encouraging families to take time each day to have “15 Minutes of Fun”.   “Time spent following a new recipe, playing a game, or reading a story together can focus on learning in a fun way. These teachable moments at home help children learn listening skills and language skills, and develop their imaginations and creativity — and are also opportunities for adults to practice their skills to keep them sharp.”  Now that doesn’t sound too hard.  It actually sounds like a lot of fun!  If you’d like to find out more click on the Family Literacy Day link above.

13530981Today, I started reading Dear Life by Alice Munro. It was a Christmas gift from my mum. I received two books for Christmas this year and have already  read the first one. I sometimes forget that once upon a time I wrote fiction for adults, so receiving these books  was a good reminder for me.

In the beginning, I started out by writing short stories, something that I absolutely loved. Along the way, my writing seemed to fit a younger audience (although there are some adults who would disagree with that statement as they seem to enjoy my stories.) But I’m not ready to turn my back on my adult fiction writing. The truth is, I hate categorizing my writing. I know, that’s a bit impractical. I much prefer thinking of myself as a writer of stories. Sometimes those stories will have kids as  a main character, and sometimes they won’t. *sigh*

But writers aren’t just writers, we’re also readers. ( That’s why things like Family Literacy day make us almost giddy. ) Most of us tend to read in the genre we write and, if we don’t, we should. I can’t stress how important that is. I’ve had people ask me how I have time to read so much, but the truth is writers have to make the time.  You can’t have one without the other. I promise. My time reading is not wasted. :)

I’ve made a commitment, to myself, to read more adult fiction in 2014 as I seem to have been focusing on books for young people. Truthfully, I like both. But at the moment it’s important for me to balance my reading a bit better than I have in the past.

In celebration of Family Literacy Day  I hope you’ll find that “15 Minutes of Fun” with your family. Remember, it’s not just for one day.

I’m open to suggestions for great reads in 2014. Let me know what you’re reading. You are reading something, right? I mean, it is Family Literacy Day.

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  1. You’re so right, reading is very important to a writer. I read a lot of different styles and genres. I also read kids books as that’s what i write but I alternate with adult books. The best book I read last year was The Book Thief. It was amazing. I’m currently reading a self published book called The Bess Time by Yvonne Point. I am thoroughly enjoying it. (I’m lucky as I commute an hour a day by bus so I have plenty of reading/research time)

    • I haven’t read either of these books. Thanks for mentioning them, Darlene. You’ve found a great way to spend your commuting time. Reading is never time wasted. :)

  2. I enjoy reading novels meant for youth too. And I have a few favourite pictures books I love to read now and again.

    Currently I’m reading “The Bridge Across Forever” by Richard Bach. I discovered it only a few weeks ago when I was looking to reread “One” by this author. If this book is as good as “One” I should probably pick up copies of each, so I’ll have them on my book shelf to read whenever I wish.

    • I haven’t read these books, either. I might have to look into it. :) I think once I get Dear Life read I’ll read a YA book just to balance it a bit.

  3. I wasn’t surprised to see that Kate DiCamillo picked up the Newbery again this year, this time for FLORA & ULYSSES – I’ve already read it twice (before giving it to my niece for Christmas:), and I’ll be buying a copy as a keeper when it comes out in paperback. I read so much middle grade that I actually find it hard to read adult novels sometimes – too much detail to detract from the story!

  4. I read THE WINTER SEA by Susanna Kearsley and thoroughly enjoyed it. I got Ann Voskamp’s THE GREATEST GIFT at Christmas and am just getting started on it, trying to balance reading time with mulling over the beginning of a new first draft.

    • Thanks for mentioning these books, Carol. I’m thrilled that you got your submission off and are beginning to mull over thoughts for a new first draft! That’s always exciting. Best of luck, my friend. :)

  5. One of the best books I read last year is Flying With a Broken Wing. I think you are familiar with the author. ;) I will be reviewing that book on my blog as soon as I can.
    A wonderful YA book I read in February last year is Elephant Summer by Douglas Jackson Channell. Have you read Secret Daughter – by Shilpi Somaya Gowda? or Until Tuesday: A Wounded Warrior and the Golden Retriever Who Saved Him – by Fmr. Capt. Luis Carlos Montalván?
    My reading taste is kind of all over the place.

    • Lynn, you just made me go awwww! That is So So sweet of you to say. I’m always a bit nervous when people I know read my work in case they don’t like it. Glad you did. :)
      I haven’t read any of the books you mentioned here.(Except mine. ;)) I’ll have to keep an eye out for them. Thanks for mentioning them, and mine.

  6. Laura, I love to read a variety of books from romance to mystery to current or classic literature. Two books I read recently are The Interestings, by Meg Wilitzer and Eleven Mimutes by Paulo Coehlo. You might also want to read a funny and thoughtful book by Maria Semple, Where’d You Go Bernadette?

    Keep reading to write and writing your wonderful stories :)

  7. I tend to read in seasons (or, maybe it’s more like binges, lol), tearing through one genre or another, leaning toward YA or adult in turns . . . What I’m aiming to do these days is add a bit more non-fiction to the mix.

    And thanks for the reminder re: Family Literacy day. The kids and I used to always take part in the celebration–don’t “officially” these days, now that they’re older but I might flag it on my calendar and do something next year. They’d get a kick of it (and their weird mom! :))

    • There was a time when, it seemed, that all I read was non-fiction, which didn’t make sense because I was writing fiction. That was back before I understood the importance of reading in the genre I was writing in.

      Here’s hoping you’ll find a way to celebrate Family Literacy Day next year. Thanks for stopping by, Ev. It’s nice hearing from you. :)


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