Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The wizardry of words

Being sick, I haven't made it into the library, which has reduced me to exploring (gasp!) my own bookshelves. This is something that rarely happens. Most of my books are mangled college literature texts I might revisit in another two decades--if the entire Multnomah County Library system burns down and Powells has become a private book club. Fortunately, this spring I used some of my tax refund to add a few volumes to my collection. The pain of nothing-to-read-for-the-morning-commute was thus reduced. I simply picked up the 20th-anniversary edition of So You Want To Be A Wizard, by Diane Duane, and dug in.

I think I found this book when I was seven or eight, pretty early in my book-reading career. I've probably read it ten times. Or more. It's so good that there I was, thirty years old, reading this kids' book on the bus, grinning my face off. Wow.

Revisiting books like this--books I've read many times, at critical points in my life--is always amazing to me. I can see things in the characters that shaped me. I can see themes about living that today I try to pass on to my daughter.

Being a writer is an amazing thing. The really good ones create words that go on to create people. Those writers are the wizards of the real world.

So, yes. I want to be a wizard.

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