Tag Archives: childhood

Snow? Snow!

It’s only October 1st, but it snowed. Not here, though. You see, in northern Alberta and British Columbia, it snowed in many places. Here, it was too warm, so it rained a lot.

In a way, I’m excited about seeing snow. My daughter will get to play in the snow for the first time. She’s seen it in Japan, but that stuff was very wet and she’d get soaked if she tried playing in it. Sometimes, she says she’s excited. Other times, she says she doesn’t like the cold, so doesn’t want snow.

My daughter wants to make a snowman. She also says she wants to make snow angels. I wonder what she’ll think after being in the snow for five minutes. But when will it snow here? Probably sometime this month. But no idea.

Who likes snow?

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Childhood Favourites and Behind the Scenes

In January last year, for Authors Answer, we answered this question: What children’s books did you read when you were a child? I went back to my old answer and talked about it on video.

It has me thinking a lot about what my daughter is going to read. She has a lot of Dr. Seuss books, Paddington Bear, the entire Beatrix Potter collection, and more. But what about you? What did you read when you were a child?

If you noticed the title of this post, you’ll see I mentioned behind the scenes. I also mentioned it in the video. Well, I did another video talking about what goes on behind the scenes when I make videos. Here’s that video.

And then, in that video, I mentioned another video about library books with my daughter. Well, that one is coming tomorrow! Look forward to it, because my daughter was absolutely silly. It should be an entertaining one!

If you have any comments, leave them below.

Unreal

Sometimes I think about where I’ve been, what I’ve seen, and then what will come in the future. I know they’re my memories and my view of my future, but they seem so unreal.

My childhood was a long time ago. That’s what it feels like. I am a different person now than I was back then. So much has changed, yet a lot is the same. Many of my interests are the same, but through my experiences, successes, failures, and disappointments, I’ve changed. I’ve become who I am today because of past events. My childhood, high school, university, my old call centre job, and even my first few years in Japan feel like another life.

Some things changed slowly, others were dramatic and sudden changes. My first days in university, my final days in Victoria, my last few days in Canada, my first day in Japan, the bankruptcy of my first company in Japan. Those were big changes that feel so long ago. My daughter’s birth feels like my current life. That’s where I am now, a Canadian father living in Japan with his wife and daughter. That’s what makes the next step seem so unreal. I’ve been at this stage of my life for a while now, and I’m about to go through yet another life-changing event.

The future is less certain. Canada is a real thing, but feels so foreign to me now. I expect to feel like I don’t belong, at least for a while. People I know have changed. The city I once lived in has changed drastically since I left eleven years ago. It will be strange being back there to live. Then what will my life in Japan become? Another unreal stage of my life?

I remember the feeling when I first came to Japan. It was surreal. It felt unreal, even while I was in the moment. Everything was so foreign and exotic. Now, I can’t imagine it being foreign at all. I’m so used to it. The first days in Canada may feel like that. It’s been more than five years since I’ve been there. We’ll first go to Vancouver Island, which I haven’t been to since 2001. Fifteen years! I understand the feeling I have right now, knowing I’m leaving a place I love. I went through it when I left Victoria. I got over it, of course. I will get over this after a few months.

And then there are new challenges. My daughter is starting school this year. That seems so crazy. How did she become four years old? What happened to the baby I held in my arms? She’s a walking, talking human being who has her own opinions, sense of humour, and likes. The changes are so unreal. I can’t imagine her when she’s six, eight, ten, a teenager, and an adult. That just does not compute.

I have gone through so many changes, and many more will come. I feel like I’ve lived several different short lives, each one feeling foreign and impossible to go back to. But life goes on, and the experiences can only make me wiser and stronger. I was a shy child who couldn’t speak to a stranger at one time. I ran away from the spotlight. Now, I don’t hide from it. I’m not shy any longer. That still feels unreal.

Authors Answer 64 – Authors’ Childhood Dream Jobs

Did authors always want to grow up to be authors? Some did, of course. But most probably didn’t think of writing as a profession that they wanted to do. There’s a wide variety of jobs, and most probably wanted to do something entirely different.

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Question 64 – When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Linda G. Hill

I always wanted to be a veterinarian, probably because I read All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot at a young age. But come high school I took physics instead of biology because I couldn’t stand the thought of dissecting a frog. By that time I was much more interested in human psychology anyway. Though I never went to university to study what makes people do the things they do, psychology continues to fascinate me.

Allen Tiffany

First a scuba diver, then a soldier (an infantryman). I became a soldier – which I greatly enjoyed – and then transitioned to the business world. Along the way, I’ve always written (baring one 15-year hiatus), but I’ve never thought of writing as something one does for a living, and I still don’t. I don’t think I’d enjoy writing for a living. I fear the need to produce to generate income would drive me to first think about writing to sell rather than writing from the heart.

D. T. Nova

A paleontologist. I’ve always been fascinated by dinosaurs, and when I was a kid I wanted to discover one.

Tracey Lynn Tobin

What didn’t I want to be when I grew up? I changed my mind multiple times throughout my childhood. The first thing I can remember wanting to be was a nurse, but only because as a child I misunderstood my mom’s job and wanted to be what she was (she was actually a personal care worker at an old folk’s residence). As I got a little older I got big into writing stories and determined that I wanted to be a writer, but then I also got big into drawing and fancied myself as a future cartoonist. At some point I also figured I was going to be a famous singer. Eventually my aspirations became a little more typical…I basically figured I’d be doing something in “technology”, which at the time meant I imagined myself sitting at a computer all day. But the one thing that I never let go of was that I knew I was going to be some kind of writer, even if it wasn’t my actual job, but more of a side-thing.

Paul B. Spence

An astronaut, but then I got too big. I’m just a little too tall. I also wanted to study dinosaurs, which I have. I have a degree in geology and have worked at a dinosaur bone quarry and at a museum working with dinosaur remains. I’ve always liked archaeology and ancient cultures, so my current career as an archaeologist suits me just fine. Of course, I always wanted to be a writer, too.

H. Anthe Davis

A writer.  Tada!

Seriously.  It’s all I’ve ever wanted, and though I’ve tried many other arts and sampled many fields of science, it all comes back to just writing.  I read and research and travel and interact all so that I can put everything I’ve learned back into the story.

Eric Wood

I only remember deciding to be a teacher in sixth grade. A friend and I were really into the American Civil War and loved history. I didn’t know what I could do with history other than teach it. So, at the ripe old age of 11 I decided to be a teacher. 11 years after that, I was. Before that, I don’t remember.

Elizabeth Rhodes

I never settled on this for sure until I was out of high school.  One idea that I always came back to was cooking, and that helped me decide to go to culinary school and work to become a chef.  Writing is great, but I never expected it to pay the bills especially at my pace.

Jean Davis

I wanted to be a teacher and played school with my little sister all the time. That didn’t work out so well though because by the time I was in high school, I realized I didn’t like dealing with people, and other people’s kids drove me nuts.

Gregory S. Close

A Jedi, a pilot like Han Solo, or possibly some Jedi space pirate pilot combination.  Obi Han Solo, perhaps.  Shortly after the realization that these were unlikely professions in our galaxy, I decided I wanted to be a writer, and I guess that notion stuck with me over the years!

S. R. Carrillo

I wanted to be a published author. I also wanted to join the military. I give myself credit for achieving both of those goals before the age of 21. Or thereabout hahah.

Jay Dee Archer

I see I’m not alone in this, as I also wanted to be a palaeontologist. Well, I also wanted to be an astronomer. But I lived in Alberta, which is one of the best places to find dinosaur fossils and is home to one of the best dinosaur museums in the world. I loved reading about dinosaurs, and even took pictures of the skulls and skeletons and traced over them, trying to make more realistic pictures of them. As for astronomy, I was fascinated with space from an early age, and imagined discovering new things and studying the planets. By the time the end of high school came around, I had to make a decision. Those two passions stayed with me and are still two of my favourite things to study. I chose astronomy, even though I never worked as a professional astronomer. Sometimes, I think that if I ever go back to university, I’ll study geology with a minor in palaeontology.

How about you?

What did you want to grow up to be when you were a child? Did you become what you wanted? Let us know in the comments below.

What Would Your Youthful Library Record Say About You?

Over at newauthoronline, Kevin Morris posted about his childhood library record as a reaction to this article posted on The Guardian’s website. Well, I have something to say, too.

While the other responses are mainly about fiction, I rarely read fiction as a child. I was always interested in dinosaurs and space, so you could always find me in the non-fiction and science section of the library. The Stony Plain Public Library saw me checking out this one book in particular many times. I don’t remember the title, but it was a very impressive book about dinosaurs that contained diagrams and drawings of skeletons and skulls. I’d spend hours tracing over the bone illustrations to give a fully-fleshed picture of the dinosaurs. I wanted them to match the shape of the skull closely, so I could see what they really looked like. Of course, we now know many theropods had feathers, but back in the late eighties, we had no idea.

That is the book that stands out for me. I don’t recall what else I checked out, but they almost always involved science. This showed how much I loved science, and still do. I was a nerdy little kid, even though I didn’t have the stereotypical look.

So, what does your childhood/teenage library record look like? Leave your comments below!

Childhood Cartoons

Yesterday, we talked about comics. Now, let’s talk about cartoons, especially those we watched when we were kids.

I was born in the 1970s, so I was a child of the 80s. And that meant I got to experience the golden age of Saturday morning cartoons! The 80s were a great time to watch cartoons.

I was a big fan of The Transformers, and watched all the episodes, the movie, and had lots of toys. In 2004, I bought the complete DVD set, which I enjoyed just as much as when I was a kid. It had been so long since I’d seen it, it all felt fresh and new. I also watched MASK and had toys for that. I loved Garfield and Friends, Inspector Gadget, and the old Spider-man. And I also watched Astroboy, which is known as Tetsuwan Atom in Japan. I had no idea it was Japanese, and definitely didn’t know I would visit his neighbourhood in Tokyo, Takadanobaba. There’s even a big mural under the station dedicated to Osamu Tezuka, the creator of Tetsuwan Atom.

What did you enjoy watching when you were growing up? Share your answers in the comments!

Ask the Readers – First Memory of Reading

A few days ago, I posted a request for you, the reader, to ask some questions. It seems most of the questions are about books. Since this blog does focus on books, reading, and writing, it is kind of appropriate. So, I will be asking and answer the first question now. But before I do, if you have any questions about any topic, please go to the original post linked to above and ask your questions.

The first question was asked by Solveig. Actually, she asked several, so consider this the Solveig phase of Ask the Readers. I will answer the question myself, then it’s your turn. Since this is for the readers, this is for you to answer!

What is your first memory of reading?

What a difficult question to answer. I don’t clearly remember, but there are several instances of reading that I remember in my very young age.

In Kindergarten, I remember Curious George, but the teacher mostly read it to us, even though I had no trouble reading at that age. Other early reading memories are of books about dinosaurs. I was crazy about them, and I still like them.

While I don’t remember this, my mom says that I used to use magnetic letters to spell out words on the blackboard we had in our first house. I was about four years old, and I was spelling and reading by myself without being taught how. It’s not a book, but it is reading.

How about you?

Now it’s your turn. What’s your first memory of reading? Leave your answer in the comments below. Let’s have a great conversation!