"FUIMUS - We Have Been"

"FUIMUS - We Have Been!" motto of Clan Bruce

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Monday, 20 August 2012

BOOK NOOK; Reading Ambition

Photo from;
I can honestly say that most of my ambitions and interests as a young girl originated with a book.  I can even pinpoint the novel or series that inspired me to want to do something or try a new activity.  Obviously the yearning to become an author stemmed from the fact that I was, and still remain, a huge bookworm.

It seems to be a natural progression for a reader to want to become a writer.  I am proud that I have achieved this goal, and that I remain consistently published which is no mean feat.  To spend each and every day lost in books, fluttering through pages makes me so happy. I love my cosy little study and my personal library of books collected over many years.

As a child growing up, we didn't have much money.  My dad was a redundant steel worker, struck down with unemployment in the recession of the 1980s.  I got most of my books for birthdays and Yuletide gifts - they were a luxury to be treasured. I still feel this way about my books.

When I was a girl I made good use of the local library and it was from reading that most of my ambitions began to formulate in my mind.  After stumbling across Judith Beresford's Jackie  pony books I begged for riding lessons and I loved being out on horseback.  The character of Beth in Little Women made me want to learn to play a piano, while Jo would feed my ambitions to write. Ballet Shoes for Anna set my heart racing and my feet longing for Pointe shoes and ballet school. Reading the Chalet School and Malory Towers series of books helped to make me more interested in my own school days... I even asked my parents if I could go to boarding school!

I can only imagine how bewildered my working class parents must have felt when their daughter felt the need for a pony, riding lessons, a piano and music tutor, ballet classes and boarding school. I aspired to live a completely different way of life to the one I was born into.  My rather strict grandmother would even go so far as to confiscate books from me as a punishment because they gave me 'too many ideas'!  Now that I am published and make my living as a writer, I do feel that I have proven that my ideas are in fact a good thing and that reading was never a 'waste of time'.

I suppose I regard books as a magical ticket to freedom and escape; without my early reading habits who knows if I would be published today?  Who knows if I would have found my way to equestrianism, music and dance?  Books opened up so many doors for me and I am sure it must the same for others too.  With illiteracy a growing problem in society it worries me that some young people will have this door to personal aspiration forever closed to them.  Books have always been an inspiration to me; they have shaped my adult life and in turn I hope my own writing has gone on to inspire other people too.  For me reading and ambition cannot be separated; they go hand in hand, working in conjunction with one another to help a person grow and develop into a productive member of society.  Without books I might not have developed my ability to make goals and achieve my ambitions.  Without books I would be someone else entirely. 

How have books shaped your ambitions and aspirations?  How are they shaping your children?


  1. I couldn't agree more on your view of books and reading as a child.My ballet, tap and jazz dance lessons were as a direct result of reading Ballet Shoes! and my love of books and writing is most certainly inspired by Jo from Little Women. I think Meg Ryan in the film 'You've Got Mail'sums up how I feel about books, when her character is talking about her deceased mother who used to own the book shop she now runs; 'I used to watch my mother, and it's not that she was just selling books, but that she was helping people become whoever it was they were going to turn out to be, because when you read a book as a child it becomes part of your identity like no other reading in your life ever does........'
    I have always been a prolific reader and am now finally writing, and my children always have their heads in a book and adore the library and Waterstones! My youngest especially has a wonderful talent for fiction writing and the eldest for poetry. Infact, they have just this afternoon, been colaborating on an idea for a series of books!
    I adore the picture you have at the top of your post - my dream room :-D. Off to read now...........

    1. Yes, I love that film too Star. We clearly have much in common and I look forward to one day reading your own work and the series as planned by your kids...that really made me smile. I like to think of the three of you, heads bent over your writing, making your dreams a reality. Also if you like the picture, clink on the photo link to Girl in a Whimsical Land as I think that Tumblr will be right up your street. Happy weekend!