March 21 Bedtime stories What was your favorite book as a child? Did it influence the person you are now?
I read voraciously as a child, and still do now. There are dangers involved in my opening a new book, dangers that mean I won't be washing up, or planning, or, in fact, doing anything productive before that book is finished. There were books I returned to again and again - The Mary Plain omnibus being one of them. She was a bear who lived in the bear pits of Berne, and her adventures, both in and out of the pits, were appealing to my small self, who could see the way in which we are all trapped, and wanted to escape, even at that young age.
In fact, a lot of the books I loved at that age were about getting away. My favourite series was incredibly un-PC, and involved Hal and Roger Hunt, the "Bring-'em-back-alive" lads, who went to all kinds of exciting places to capture animals for the zoos and aquariums of the world, usually with a group of native porters to do all the fetching and carrying. Roger usually ended up with an exotic pet out of it for the duration of the adventure, and someone generally tried to shoot Hal, who was the oldest and was in charge. I can't remember where the boys mother was - I think she had died some time ago - but I remember the joy of going to the library for a new book, and getting whatever I wanted from there, to go to wherever I wanted to go.
As to whether books like that influenced me, I'm not sure. They were good for my imagination, they made me want to write, they made me want to write in an exciting style, and late in life I read a lot of science-fiction, a lot of fantasy, a lot of books that get me out of where I am now, but are also very family based, and I have just thought that perhaps that is one thing I did get from those books - a way of expressing my need for family to be always there, that family is so very, very important to me, and the family unit is incredibly important.
Rich and I never married, because his ex-wife wouldn't do the divorce that we paid for twice. Recently, that has again caused problems over something, which I'm sure, if she knew about, would warm the cockles of her heart. It would have been easier if we had have been formally married, and there would have been much more money for the BG and the AC if we had, but more than that, it would have cemented our family unit, which is what she *didn't* want, still believing he'd be back to her one day. My need to get away isn't about feeling trapped in relationships, either now or in the past, nor yet about feeling tied to the past in a negative way. My grief doesn't hold me back like the Barengraben walls, and my love for Rich hasn't stopped me moving on in my life. It doesn't mean I love him less, or that I grieve less, or that my heart doesn't ache with memories, but it means that I am on that metaphysical plane to exciting places, not stuck in the airport, watching everyone else take off, and wondering why I can't.