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|Posted by Rory on September 18, 2009 at 2:30 AM||comments (5)|
What does writing means to me? As I was invited to write something on here by Rory, I was questioning myself. The question took me all the way back in childhood.
With my poor health, and having no siblings of my own, reading naturally became my best friend since age 4. People always found me surrounded by books on the floor, totally lost in the fantasy world from the books, I learned that the pen is stronger than the sword, and that you can make anything possible with your paper and pen.
I remember I had written as my homework in elementary school that I wanted to become a writer. The characters in my favorite books in childhood, such as Jo in ‘Little Women’, Judy in ‘Daddy-Long-Legs’, Laura in ‘The Little House On The Prairie’ and Anne in ‘Anne of Green Gables’ were always my heroines. My dreams always wandered from one occupation to another, such as a nurse to a ballet dancer, but writing and reading have never left me and still play such an important part in my life.
I cannot continue this blog without mentioning my grandfather who was a haiku/tanka poet in Japan. Shungetsu Koma was my grandfather and probably most influential Japanese writer. He was my mother’s father, and I used to visit him often, played on his lap, trying to touch his little mustache which made him an artistic and perhaps less Japanese look. He left many poems, while working as a calligraphy teacher, and several poems were published in ‘Akai Tori (Red Bird)’ children’s literature magazines, first published in early 20th century in Japan. He passed away when I was 10, but I still remember him as the most sensitive and romantic poet I had known in Japan.
His wife, my grandmother, who had passed away a few years before him, also left many poems. What strikes me even now is that one year after her death, my grandpa self-published a book – a collection her tanka and haiku poems, for the 1 year anniversary from her passing. Knowing how much she had wished to see her work published, my grandpa decided to collect many of her poems, working together with his 5 children. I don’t think I have ever known anyone like my grandpa, who deeply loved his wife and tried to do the best he could to celebrate her life and make her dream come true. It has been more than 30 years since I had lost my grandpa, and I truly miss him.
I saw my poem first published to the public when I was 11, it was selected for an annual poetry magazine by primary school children. I never forget my excitement. It was about the first swimming day at school, and I wrote how I felt when I jumped in the water, I felt I jumped in the soft drink, hearing all the bubbles around me. I was very proud and excited to see my writing in a book like that, and that sensation never left me til this day.
Rory has been such a great and special friend who helped me pursue my dream to become a writer. There is a lot of work every day, from deciding the themes we write to editing my poems with quite a few English errors. I had never read poems like his, which he presents together with graphics and music, and which I found fascinating. Each page on his website is a work of art: words in poetry, the sound and melody of music, and the image which goes with the theme. I am so honored to be invited to publish a poetry book together with him, and I also feel quite overwhelmed.
I have been always dreaming to see my books in stores, but there was no one else who actually came up to me with a concrete plan for the future to achieve my dream. Each day is a challenge, with a lot of editing, re-writing, and disputing, but I have never lived this excitement before for pursuing something I had really wanted. I want to express my big thanks to Rory, and also all the readers who come to this site to open our poetry pages.
What does writing mean to me? It is about summarizing my whole life, it is about meeting my grandpa again in spirit, and it is about reaching people in need with words. I hope one day my words would comfort someone, like many authors did me in my childhood when there was no one else. With these thoughts, I get back to my laptop again and write.
Thank you so much for connecting with me, and it is so nice to meet you all. Hugs!!