Merry Wanderer of the Night  + [Memory Monday]

Memory Monday — It's Gale!!

Today for our Memory Monday guest, I have Gale! She's an author with a really interesting back story! Check out her bio and hear her talk about childhood favorites!:) Here is a link to her blog- http://www.galeminchew.bravejournal.com

My Bio:

Gale Minchew is a licensed psychologist who resides in East Texas with her husband and two children. In her professional practice, Dr. Minchew specializes in issues related to children and families. However, over the past couple of years, she has consulted with adults and children who have experienced a broad range of paranormal phenomena, as well.

Over the past 14 years, Dr. Minchew has written several works of fiction, in addition to completing a dissertation. While she has become adept at technical writing through her professional practice, Dr. Minchew’s heart is with young adult fiction. She strives to provide a cross-over experience that engenders the creativity and interest the adult population craves while upholding some of the core values that are so lacking in many of the current works of young adult fiction on the market. Shadows of Destiny is Dr. Minchew’s first published fiction novel.

The Sidewalk Ends Here…

I don’t remember any books from my childhood. At least, that’s what I thought. When I first tried to conger up memories of reading, I drew a complete blank. Yes, I couldn’t think of one single book! So, I decided to delve a little further into my mind and came up with the cute teddy bear board book my mom read to me as a toddler, Cinderella, and The Princess and the Pea. I still have that little teddy bear book and will always cherish it. But, can that really be all I remember reading as a child? Pulling those memories from the frayed edges of my mind soon buried me under a wave of book covers and authors. Oh! What about the Sweet Valley High series by Francine Pascal? I read that series incessantly during my teen years. I remember spending so much money on those books…and it became a challenge…buying, reading, and arranging all those books on my shelf in chronological order. Then, a little further back I remembered some required reading from middle school…Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume and the life and writings of Edgar Allen Poe. I admit, I didn’t care for Judy Blume, but I was fascinated with Edgar Allen Poe…The Raven, The Tell Tale Heart, The Masque of the Red Death, The Pit and the Pendulum, and so on. But, I still wonder why they had Poe as required reading for a 13 year old! It was probably my fascination with Poe that led to my interest in crime/suspense/mystery novels. So, it was only logical that by high school, I had moved on to Dean Koontz, Stephen King, and Anne Rice.

I continued to ponder the books I read as a child and found that with all the authors, titles, and genres flowing through my mind, I continuously returned to fourth grade. It was a magical year, I suppose…a time for trading stickers with my friends, staying out of the clutches of boys chasing girls on the playground, and my first introduction to poetry. Now, I admit I would have done almost anything to not go outside for recess, as you can imagine! Quite coincidentally, my fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Joyce Sigler, had an exciting project for me and a friend in lieu of play time. At recess, she would tape a large sheet of white paper on the wall and place the overhead projector in just the right spot for maximum size. She would then place a transparency on the overhead glass, and my friend and I would carefully trace the letters and drawings onto the plain white paper. That simple job made me feel important! And, unbeknownst to me at the time, I learned about poetry and how to make that funny little lower case ‘a’. I mean, who really writes an ‘a’ like that? Ultimately, I ended up reading the entire book from which the transparencies were made. What an exciting experience at such an impressionable time in my young life!

You may wonder what poetry could possibly fill a fourth grader with so much excitement. This poetry was magical, complete with funny drawings…a book filled of stories such as Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout who would not take the garbage out, a crocodile who went to the dentist, and little Peggy Ann McKay who was so sick she could not go to school today! Yes, Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein became my favorite book that year. That year became one of my most memorable years in school and, by my estimation, served as a catalyst for my growing love of books.

I now share Mr. Silverstein’s books with my own children. Not only Where the Sidewalk Ends, but A Light in the Attic, Falling Up, and The Giving Tree, as well. Will my fourth grader have the same memories about reading these books as I have? Probably not, but I hope to make an impression as great as that given to me all those years ago by one very special fourth grade teacher and Shel Silverstein!

What a fun post Gale!! I'm pretty much the only person I know who didn't love Shel Silverstein growing up, and I tried to read him a while ago and... eh. Still don't love. But I loved hearing your story! And even though I don't love Shel, his are definitely books I'll have for my future kids! Thanks so much for guesting for me today!