I love reading! And writing, of course, but first and foremost, I really love reading!

Some of the things we read, or hear read aloud, stay with us forever waiting for an opportune moment to surprise us with a powerful memory flash. This happened to me the other day when I was gardening. A bee was buzzing from the oregano to the thyme... and just like that, I remembered a book I'd had as a toddler about a bumble bee called Alexander.

How I loved Alexander Bumblebee! So much, in fact, I decided that a bee might like to play with me. Unfortunately, my chosen "Alexander"  wasn't impressed with chubby, grasping, little fingers - and I got my very first bee-sting.

Remembering Alexander Bumblebee got me thinking about other books which have stood out over the years. I vividly remember having JRR Tolkien's book, The Hobbit, read to me in class when I was about ten years old. The teacher must have been a very good story teller because those sessions enchanted me.

Not long after that, I "discovered"  horses in books! Black Beauty, Son of Black Beauty, My Friend Flicka, Thunderhead, Show Jumping Secret... If it had a horse in it, I was almost guaranteed to love it. My head was filled with all manner of wondrous new words - curry combs and colic, jumps and jodphurs, saddles and stirrups, manes and martingales, girths and gaits! It was the start of a long love affair with horses.

Then in my teens, I discovered romance novels! Magical books where I lived in an agony of suspense because all seemed doomed until the last few pages where a stoic hero declared his love for the heroine. Through those books, I visited all sorts of fabulous places. Outback Australia with Lucy Walker, high country New Zealand with Essie Summers, the opera with Mary Burchell. The list goes on!

Now, I write my own stories with happy endings for Mills and Boon and I have a new appreciation of the fascination of books!

PS I've put up these pictures of  a couple of very special "readers"!   Sufi, so enthralled with the phone book, was with us for nearly twenty years. And Kari-Anne's cat, Bernie, is just about to dip into my last release! ;)


This blog article was published on Love Cats DownUnder on January 14th, 2010