I've been wondering about the inextricable link between writing and reading. In the art of reading and writing is it:

a) the only people who read anymore, are writers…     OR

b) today's readers are the undiscovered writers of tomorrow…

My origins begin with reading. From a young age, I've been an avid reader. As a young girl (can't remember the exact age… we're talking a long time ago…), I can remember reading the Anne Of Green Gables series – well most of it, anyway.

Anne of Green Gables, Anne Of Avonlea, Anne Of The Island, Anne Of Windy Willows & Anne's House Of Dreams. I can also remember Louisa May Alcott's Little Women and Good Wives. There have been countless other books in the same vein…

For as long as I can remember, my mother subscribed to the Readers Digest direct mail service. I remember the stacks of Reader's Digest Condensed Books, the series of hardcover anthology collections. Each volume contained several current best-selling novels in the abridged version. Now when I think about it, even though there was a limited budget, my mother always had money to purchase these books.

There are 2 Reader's Digest books that fostered my love of words.       


You can imagine that, when Christmas arrived, it wasn't difficult to choose my gift… In my teens, I can remember receiving a Girls Annual almost every year and looked forward to my Bunty or Sandie book – sometimes it was the Bumper Edition… which was even more exciting!

To cut a long story short, the writing bug lay dormant for a long time, and only hit me later in life, and it started with non-fiction. I only attempted fiction about one year ago. I have to admit a life-long fixation with the phrase: "… perched precariously on the edge of a cliff…"  I've never shared this before, but when I was in my teens, I imagined that my great work of fiction would begin with this phrase or it would be included somewhere in the story. At that stage, it had a certain aural appeal… a definitive ring to it… To date, I don't think I've used the phrase yet…

And that about wraps up my simple beginnings… not a very glamorous or earth-shattering revelation… just a love of words, a desire to write, a sense of frustration when writing plans are thwarted and a feeling of contentment when doing so!


  1. Miranda Hardy on February 13, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    Glad to see the spark is there. Now, you need to write a book just to use that line. Lol

    • mish on February 13, 2012 at 1:12 pm

      I'm not too sure if I still want to use the line… it sounds a little cheesy now (suppose it depends on how it's used)… but writing a book – that's on the cards.  🙂

  2. Stina Lindenblatt on February 13, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    I was the opposite as a kid. But a book hooked me into reading and wanting to be a writer. I'm not saying what the book was. I blogged about it for the blogest. 😉

    • mish on February 13, 2012 at 1:13 pm

      I'm curious to know what the book is… off now to check it out. 🙂

  3. Rek on February 13, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    Wonderful, inspiring story…mine is dull and boring in comparision, can't even call it one. Keep that spark alive and who knows what the light may bring.

    • mish on February 13, 2012 at 2:25 pm

      Thanks Rek…I'm definitely nurturing the spark…  

      I regard my story as dull & boring… I'm off to check out your story now…

  4. K.T. Hanna on February 13, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    I think reading goes hand in hand with writing. If I hadn't read so much (or been read to) as a child, I doubt I would have had the respect for created worlds I have today.
    This is a great story. Keep that spark with you 😀

    • mish on February 13, 2012 at 3:04 pm

      Absolutely! And thanks for the encouragement… 🙂 It gives me a renewed sense of inspiration.

  5. Sarah Pearson on February 13, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    I love the fact that your mother realised how important books were.

    • mish on February 13, 2012 at 4:18 pm

      Yes, it makes all the difference in the world when the primary nurturer is a bookworm!  🙂  She doesn't read as much as she used too – at 83 years old, it's understandable that she's slowed down a bit.

  6. Matthew MacNish on February 13, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    Just dropping in as one of the Origins co-hosts, and am now your newest follower. Nice to meet you!

    • mish on February 13, 2012 at 5:43 pm

      Hi Matt – thanks for swinging by… nice to meet you too!

  7. Adrienne Proctor on February 13, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    Reading leads to writing leads to more reading leads to more writing… It’s a vicious, wonderful cycle! Great post!

    • mish on February 13, 2012 at 5:57 pm

      Yes, it sure is… thanks for swinging by. And I really loved your Origins post… 🙂

  8. Emily R. King on February 13, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    Anne of Green Gables was a fabluous story. I was inspired by it, too.
    I also have a love of words. Forming them into sentences that actually make sense to someone else is a thrill, even today.

    • mish on February 13, 2012 at 6:26 pm

      Ah, so nice to meet somebody who’s been part of the “Anne of Green Gables” experience. I’m off to check out your post!

  9. Ellie Garratt on February 13, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    How wonderful that your mother understood the importance of books. I never read Anne of Green Gables but I was crazy about Black Beauty.

    • mish on February 13, 2012 at 6:38 pm

      Yes, Black Beauty is another one of those classics which hails from the same era!
      This blogfest is really opening up memories of long-forgotten stories… 🙂 Thanks for swinging by, Ellie. It’s nice to meet you.

  10. Pearson Report on February 13, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    Great post, Mish! It's good to read your mother had a role in facilitating your love of reading. I did (and still do) support my daughter's book habit. It makes me happy to see her enjoying the written word as much as I do.
    And…it's good to have a phrase that drives your ambitions…yours is a good one!
    Jenny @ <a href=''>Pearson Report</a>
    Co-Host of the <a href=''>Blogging from A to Z Challenge.</a>
    Twitter: @AprilA2Z

    • mish on February 13, 2012 at 10:12 pm

      Thank you Jenny… that phrase has played on my mind for the last 3 decades… that's quite a long time… 🙂 maybe I need to find a new phrase to continue driving my ambition. LOL!

  11. Marta Szemik on February 13, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    What an inspirational story. The best gift a parent can give to a child is the love for reading and your mom gave you that gift:)

    • mish on February 13, 2012 at 8:44 pm

      If only all parents could realise this…  *sighs* we'd have less dysfunctional youngsters,  because reading/writing is therapeutic…

  12. Laura on February 13, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    They may be humble beginnings but they're still with you all the way through your journey! Great read and lovely to meet you
    Laura x

    • mish on February 13, 2012 at 10:14 pm

      Nice to meet you, too… and thanks for the warm, encouraging words… 🙂

  13. Alex J. Cavanaugh on February 14, 2012 at 12:20 am

    Sometimes it just takes longer. We are marinating!
    Thanks for participating in the blogfest.

    • mish on February 14, 2012 at 11:13 pm

      I like the word marinating… perfect description… thanks for popping in!

  14. Heather Day Gilbert on February 14, 2012 at 12:53 am

    "Perched precariously on the edge of a cliff…"–I'll be waiting to read that someday!
    Already a follower, but I'll make sure I've found you on twitter, if you're on there!

    • mish on February 14, 2012 at 11:16 pm

      The phrase sounds daring and dramatic… and thrilling too…

  15. Heather Day Gilbert on February 14, 2012 at 12:55 am

    (Can't find you, but I'm @vikingwritergal if you haven't found me on twitter!)

    • mish on February 14, 2012 at 11:19 pm

      Hey Heather, I actually found you on twitter yesterday and followed you!

  16. DL Hammons on February 14, 2012 at 1:15 am

    I'm reading about a lot of writers whose writing passion lay dormant for a long time due to the demands of real life.  I was the same way.  But now we're back and look out for us now!!  🙂
    Thank  you for sharing your ORIGIN with us today! 🙂

    • mish on February 14, 2012 at 11:21 pm

      Thanks for hosting this awesome blogfest! I had a blast! 🙂

  17. Jessica Salyer on February 14, 2012 at 3:59 am

    I like that phrase. You could definitely incorporate that into a story. Thanks for sharing yours.

    • mish on February 14, 2012 at 11:23 pm

      I will try to incorporate it…  the thing is, I've discovered so many new and exciting phrases… thanks Jessica.

  18. Roland Yeomans on February 14, 2012 at 4:28 am

    Wow. I remember that Reader's Digest book, USE THE RIGHT WORD,.. It went up in smoke as did all my childhood books when my home burned. I loved your portrayal of your writing origins.  Roland

    • mish on February 14, 2012 at 11:24 pm

      I still have the book – it has a special place on my bookshelf! I still use it regularly! Thanks for popping in Roland.

  19. tara tyler on February 14, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    i was spoiled by tv growing up. i envy you your early knowledge and love of reading. great beginning!

    • mish on February 14, 2012 at 11:26 pm

      I'm the opposite… not really a TV fan… not even a movie fan, for that matter.

  20. Mina B. on February 14, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    This is so cool beginning.  I went to the library a ton, but that's it mostly.  Thx for sharing.

    • mish on February 14, 2012 at 11:28 pm

      As a child, I also visited the library regularly. In high school, I read two novels a week (besides the prescribed literature…)

  21. nutschell on February 14, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    I love Anne of Green Gables! I read the whole series in a week when I was in HS. Makes me want to read them again. Hm…I wonder where my copies went…

    • mish on February 14, 2012 at 11:30 pm

      Your enthusiasm makes me want to read them again… it would be quite an experience… remember , I read them about 30 odd years ago… 🙂

  22. The Golden Eagle on February 14, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    Great story!
    And I love that phrase; I hope you find the perfect story to use it for so we can all read it. 🙂

  23. mish on February 14, 2012 at 11:33 pm

    That phrase actually suits you perfectly, Golden Eagle… sounds like it belongs to you… I should pass it on to you… 🙂

  24. Arlee Bird on February 15, 2012 at 12:19 am

    I keep seeing the reading -writing connection.  I know that's what did it for me.  My mom used to get those Reader's Digest books too.
    <a href="">Wrote By Rote</a>
    An A to Z Co-host blog
    Twitter: @AprilA2Z

    • mish on February 15, 2012 at 11:00 am

      There's a strong reading-writing connection. It makes me wonder… is there any reader who has NEVER had the desire to write something… even the TINIEST flicker of interest in writing?

  25. Arlee Bird on February 15, 2012 at 12:21 am

    An A to Z Co-host blog
    Twitter: @AprilA2Z

  26. PK Hrezo on February 17, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    I remember those RD condensed books. lol My writing lay dormant for a long while too. Funny how oned day the flood gates open … and never stop.  

    • mish on February 17, 2012 at 2:58 pm

      Another RD condensed books reader? Seems like lots of people started after the writing bug lay dormant for a while… all these writers were "marinating". LOL

  27. Misha on February 17, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    That is a good phrase. You really should find a place to use it. 🙂

  28. mish on February 17, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    Yeah, maybe I should lay that ghost to rest … 🙂 It could form part of a dramatic, highly-charged scene in a story… mmm… I wonder…

  29. Sharp Little Pencil on February 18, 2012 at 4:14 am

    Oh Mish, I kept a journal when I was in my teens.  I mean, it covered everything from opposing the war in Vietnam to the price of gas hitting 50 cents a gallon (gasp!).  Then I got into music and pursued that… then songwriting… and finally, back to free verse poetry, with a memoir in the wings.  Although I was far too scattered before my bipolar/PTSD diagnosis to be very productive on the page, I'm much more able to coax the muse now, rather than the other way around… in line at the grocery store, rifling through my purse for an envelope and a pencil!  Ha!  Amy

  30. mish on February 18, 2012 at 8:02 am

    Amy, you always brighten my day with your comments… 🙂 In the grocery line, rifling through your purse *laughs* – I actually priced a dictaphone the other day…  now that would be handy . When the muse strikes, just whip out the device and go for it!

  31. susan swiderski on February 19, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    Hi. You stopped by my blog to comment on my "Origins" post, and I was so impressed that you're still working on hitting ALL the blogs, I had to return the favor. (Boyohboy, if you're gonna try to hit every blog in the A-Zchallenge, you aren't going to get any rest for the whole month of April!)
    Anyway, nice post. Mish. I think an overall love of words drives most of us to both read and write, but I have heard of some writers who claim no love for reading. dunno. Does that mean their innate writing talent is better than ours? Doesn't make much sense to me. That'd be like a bald man selling hair care products for a living.

  32. mish on February 20, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    LOL! I don't think I'll manage to hit ALL the Origin posts or A-Z Blogs…  🙂 I'm just popping in by one or two more blogs for the Origin fest… then I'm done.

    With regards to the reading-writing connection, I wonder if there's any reader who has NEVER had the desire to write

  33. Shannon Lawrence on February 21, 2012 at 6:17 am

    My grandma had a ton of those RD condensed books.  Had she not been a heavy smoker, I would have kept them and read them.  She had them organized in a rainbow of colors, if I remember correctly.
    Good origin story!  Love that opening line.  Sounds like a great prompt to start a new project.
    <a href="">Shannon at The Warrior Muse</a>, co-host of the <a href="

    ">2012 #atozchallenge</a>!  Twitter: @AprilA2Z

    • mish on February 21, 2012 at 11:14 am

      Yes, they came in assorted colours…gosh, brings back so many good memories… thanks for popping in!

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