Home of the Bellingwood Series – Nammynools

Reading – My Passion

Illustration by Bec Schrieber

I’m going to try to get through this post without complaining about the stupid snow that decided to fall on the Midwest today. Wish me luck.

This has been a busy week. I’ve officially started writing Book 22. It always feels good to get the first chapter out of the way – from here, it’s just listening and writing.

Since spring is supposed to be here (though it’s snowing right now – I’m still trying not to complain), cleaning has commenced. It’s slow going. I truly hate it that much. I’d much rather do nearly anything. Fortunately, one of the things that I love to do while avoiding the cleaning thing – is write. I can always justify spending time putting words down.

Short story – when I was a kid, cleaning wasn’t much fun either. Nor were any of the other chores we were required to do around the house. Now, the thing is, Mom hated all of those chores as much as us kids. The person who saw the positive result of those chores was my father. He was a bit of a task master (I under-exaggerate with those words).

The three of us kids didn’t see much in the way of Saturday morning cartoons. When we came downstairs in the morning, he’d already created a list of things that we needed to accomplish before we could sit down and do nothing (i.e. watch television). Dad was usually out of the house early every morning and Saturdays were no different. But for us, this was miserable. Okay, there I exaggerate. None of us died from it and we all have an excellent work ethic. And you know what? We didn’t miss much that we weren’t able to pick up in later years.

However, there was one thing that my father did not see as lazy sloth-like behavior, even though we got to sit on our behinds while doing it.


If he walked in the house and saw all of us sitting in the living room with books in our hands, he refused to complain. Trust me, we were smart enough to have our books at the ready. When one of us saw him coming across the lawn from the church (he was the United Methodist pastor), we all grabbed up our book and looked as casual as we could.

We did all love reading, though.

Carol and Jamie were slower coming to their love of reading than I was. Both of them would much rather run off and do something else. One summer, Mom decided that was going to change. She really needed them on board with this whole thing and offered them each a nickle for every book they read. Hmmm, nope, it was twenty-five cents.

I was furious! I consumed books and here she was paying my siblings to read? I could have been as rich as Rockefeller. It just wasn’t fair.

You know how Polly acts about things being fair? Well, she learned that from my mother. Life isn’t fair. I didn’t need to be paid to read and all Jamie and Carol needed was a little push. That one summer was all it took. Soon there wasn’t a single book in the house that one or the other of us wasn’t consuming.

I still don’t see reading as something that is used to avoid doing other work. For me, reading is as necessary and important as any work that I do.

I am sure you all have stories about reading as a child. I read with a flashlight under the covers. But in one of the house we lived in, Carol and I shared a closet. It sat between our two rooms and there was a bare lightbulb in that closet. I could turn it on, shut the door to my room and to the closet and Mom would never know that I was curled up with my blanket, pillow, and a book, on the cedar chest she’d stored in there, reading late into the night.

You know what? She knew what I was doing, but it wasn’t a battle she wanted to fight. The problem the next morning was that Mom also expected me to be alert and pleasant. She wasn’t putting up with a sullen child who had made a choice not to get enough sleep. I tell you what – tough life! Haha.

What are your favorite reading stories?


Book 22 will be published on June 25th, then Book 23 on September 25th, and Book 24 on December 25th. I stay on task just for my own sanity.


If you haven’t yet, but would consider writing a review of any of my books, I would greatly appreciate it. The books that help people get into Bellingwood are the boxed sets. Here are the links for those:

Bellingwood Boxed Set 1: Books 1-3

Bellingwood Boxed Set 2: Books 4-6

Thank you!


For more information on what books are available in the Bellingwood series, please be sure to check HERE. This list is definitive.


Look, I made it all the way through without really complaining. Go me.


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