Dear Reader…

By Carla Kelly

My childhood was spent in the service of the post-war U.S. Navy, meaning, whenever Dad got orders, we moved. Typically, we moved about every two or three years, so it could have been worse.

We did two things once we arrived in our new area: We found a church (Presbyterian mainly) and we found the nearest library.

We never owned too many books, simply because of that moving-around part of our lives. If you’re only allowed so much poundage per transfer, you become pretty careful. On the other hand, we always had books in the house (refer to above paragraph).

I, my two sisters and my parents were all voracious readers. I learned at a pretty young age that I could find old friends and new ones on library shelves. I also learned that librarians are helpful people. I did wonder how they managed to live on book fines, though. Couldn’t have been easy.

Books, and living with smart people gave me with an impressive vocabulary at a young age. The other thing that sharpened my vocabulary was a stammer that has abated somewhat, but still lingers. Reading informed me that there were a lot of words with initial sounds easier to say that still meant the same thing. For a writer, this is solid gold. I never use a thesaurus.

I’ve always been a writer. At age six, I hammered out my first novel, The Mystery of the Old Mill, on my mother’s Olivetti-Underwood beast. I spent more time on the cover, because, hey, presentation matters. I apparently lost interest after seven sentences, but it did have the beginnings of a plot. Oops. I just looked at the copy (see photo), and there is a comma splice.

 On I went through the primary grades, writing this and that. In my South Texas high school I felt into the clutches of a remarkable (and remarkably exacting and tough) journalism teacher. I learned a lot from her. It’s interesting that 55 years, a BA and an MA later, I still owe what I know about writing to what I learned in high school. Gracias, Miss Jean Dugat.

Here we are. Matt Cail of Supercharge Marketing has revamped my website, hopefully making it more user friendly. I’ll write a new blog every other week or so. Let me know what you think, and what you might like me to address in that forum. I’ll tell you what I’m reading, if you like.

 And above all, keep reading. Books inform us, make us laugh, teach us hard truths, inspire us. I have a good imagination, but I’ve never been able to understand people who can read, and don’t bother.

 We’re the lucky ones.


Carla Kelly