“Not that hobbits would ever acquire quite the Elvish appetite for music and poetry and tales. They seem to like them as much as food, or more” – Tolkien

Books. The very reason I can stand here today and say the circumstances of my life did not (completely) drive me insane. In this respect, I suppose I’m more like an elf than a hobbit. I can devour page after page and still be ravenous for more. Each word an elixir for my soul, filling in the broken pieces with warmth and light. As a child, I needed that warmth and light more than I needed air.

I was no more than 4 when the first sting of rejection pierced my heart. My mother left my father and took my little brother with her, but left me behind. She’d run from the tyranny that my father had imposed upon our household. He was abusive, both physically and emotionally. My mother, a child herself at 19, did the only thing she could, she ran. I didn’t resent her for running away. Leaving me behind, that’s a whole other story all together.

I found solace from my living nightmare within the pages of R.L. Stine. Goosebumps was my favorite collection of books. I’d endured years of “love” at my fathers’ hand when I picked up Stay Out of the Basement. I was used to there only being darkness after an episode of his cruel shows of affections. I was unprepared for the triumph of the young heroes in Stine’s tales of horror. There were no monsters the children couldn’t defeat. I’d spend hours upon hours experiencing the terror, then triumph alongside the protagonists. Over and over again, it gave me hope when my own story was threatening to crush the soul of its hero. Me.

Over the years my hunger only grew. Every book I picked up made up my very essence. I could feel the books cushioning the blows my fathers’ words and fists would land. I’d be afraid walking home from school, wondering what kind of mood my father would be in. There were days I spent hours in the local library, trying to get away. Trying to pretend that I was a normal child, living a normal life, even if it was just for a few hours. Books were my only escape. They continue to be an integral part of my life now, even if I may not need them as much as I used to.

Being here and now, I want so badly to be an escape for others. If I could help even a single person forget where they are and what they’re going through, even for a moment, it would feel like it all had a purpose. I’ve decided to have a go at it. I’m going to try and write a novel. A story that will transport my hypothetical readers somewhere new and exciting. Making the decision to finally try and achieve my dream is just a part of embracing what I went through and making something good come of it.

Are you a writer? An avid reader? Why? What inspired you to write? What made you continue to pick up book after book after book? Was it a favorite author? A line that made you close your eyes and clutch the book to your chest? Tell me, I want to know what drives the reader to continue reading and what drives some crazy ones to try and write something of their own.

28 thoughts on “An Elvish Appetite for Tales

  1. I’m a writer and avid reader. Books were always an escape from reality when reality wasn’t all that great. Relating to a character can keep me interested and make me want more. Horror stories are my favorite and are what I like to write. I have found that even if the writing style or grammar isn’t all that great, a good story and interesting plot will make me finish a book. The best books keep me up half the night!

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      1. The anticipation is one of my favorite aspects, too! The monsters have to be my favorite though. Especially when they’re well-developed and more than one dimensional. I inherently think everyone is good, I enjoy seeing the kinds of effects that certain events have on people. As awful as it sounds, the more messed up the better lol

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  2. Hello Brave Warrior. I am honored and thankful to have read these words you wrote. Good luck with your book.
    I write, because it is difficult for me to write. Math was more my subject. But like most things that challenge me, I face them head on.

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  3. Lovely post! I’m so sorry about the reason you were brought to books and reading, but I’m so glad you had them during those dark moments from your childhood. Books are such a wonderful escape and I still read when I’m going through times of darkness (and times when I’m in a good mood too!). I’m always amazed at people who say they don’t like reading, because I’ve never felt more transported then when I’m reading a good book. And congratulations on deciding to write a novel! That’s amazing and such a great goal. I love reading and as much as I love it, I’m not sure I’m a writer, even though I sometimes have story ideas bouncing around in my head. But keep us updated on your writings and what comes afterwards! Wouldn’t it be amazing to see YOUR name on the cover of a book that YOU wrote????

    Emily | https://www.thatweirdgirllife.com

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    1. Yessssssss! That would honestly be a dream come true. I don’t think people don’t like reading, I think they just haven’t found the right story. I’ve read so many different genres and some I love, others not so much. When I find a really good story, it becomes a part of me. There are so many different types of books out there that I truly don’t believe it’s possible for people not to like to read once they’ve found the right story.

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  4. I am happy to read that you found books gave you the escapism you needed and that you got through that time with your father — it is amazing the power of reading.

    I have always loved reading and writing — with writing being a way for me to get through difficult times or just to give me something to focus on. I find it hard to write sometimes when life gets in the way and I can’t even formulate a sentence. Reading is a way for me to relax and decompress and be transported — all of which is so important to be able to get through the day. One book I read fairly recently made a huge impact on me and understanding the world around me and it was Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer. It isn’t a novel but a mix of biography and understanding the natural world. It’s amazing and my favourite quote from it is “The land knows you, even when you are lost.”

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    1. Thank you so much for commenting! That book actually sounds amazing. My goal in a couple of years (once I’ve saved up the money) is to move to a rural town and have a self-sustaining farm. I want to be one with nature and get away from the chaos of the city. It’s just another way to escape the distractions and actually live life the way I believe it’s meant to be lived.

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  5. You have got a very sad and cruel past. I am happy that you had books, when you needed a someone close and dear to you. Just wanna say you are very brave and got very nice writing skill. Good luck with your novel.

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    1. You’re absolutely right, it was sad and cruel, but I’m slowing starting to embrace it. It happened, I can’t change it, but I can change how it affects me today. Thank you so much 😊

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  6. I am a writer but just short stories. I always wanted to be that girl in the coffee shop with her face buried in a big fat book but I seem to Lack the attention span.
    Thank you sharing your story. My heart breaks for you but then you turn it around and my heart soars with you! You’re a wonderful writer so I know you’ll craft a great story.

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    1. I’ve imagined myself as that same girl many a time. A story has to really grip me for me to be able to power through larger books. Those are the books that have stayed with me the longest, but I love short stories. I would read hundreds in a day if I had the time! A lot of the times it’s nice to be able to escape without having to commit tons of time to it. Thank you for reinforcing my passion for writing. Sometimes I don’t think it’s worth it because I don’t know if I have anything to say, but I’m realizing that maybe I do. Maybe I’ll be able to, like you said, craft a great story that’ll transport others.

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  7. I can relate to a lot of this – books and stories are what kept me going through my teenage years. I’d always adored reading as a younger kid, but after my father died and things got difficult at home and school, I lost (and found) myself in books. Thank you for sharing. You sound like you know yourself very well and have a lot of inner strength! I’m sorry for the bad times you went through and I’m glad you had books to keep you company xx

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words and for sharing your own story ❤ I’m sorry for the loss of your father. I can’t imagine what that must feel like and the courage it takes to be able to keep living on even when your loved ones can’t. I’m so happy that books were able to help you move forward and helped you find yourself.

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  8. I started with simply journalling. I found that if I neglected writing my thoughts and my daily stories, I withered inside.

    Then, about three years ago, God said to my heart, “Write, Sara. Journalling has been great for you, but it’s time to taking writing seriously now.” And I haven’t looked back.

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  9. It’s about three siblings, a rocket ship, an epic space adventure. It’s filled with joy and suspense and silliness and science. It’s pretty cute, I must say. (Hee, hee) I’m searching for an agent or publisher.

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  10. Yay! You’re finally going to do it! Horrible experiences are arrows in the quivers of writers. I think it would be pretty difficult to write good emotional stuff if you haven’t experienced some fairly bad pain. Use what you experienced to write something textured and extraordinary. I know you can!

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