June 09, 2014

A Wordy Love Affair - Shirley S. Tye

Words! Yuck! It certainly wasn’t love at first sight. In elementary school, writing was difficult because I was a poor speller. Reading was difficult because I didn’t know how to pronounce many words. Speaking? Well, I didn’t know how to express myself; wasn’t encouraged to do so at home; in school we had to remain quiet; and I was shy.

At the age of nine, my Sunday School teacher gave the whole class Christmas gifts. Each student received a copy of “The Bible” – King James. So there I was at the age of nine trying my best to read and understand that Bible which I was sure was written in some heavenly language – something God spoke.

In grade four, I struggled with English lessons; grammar, spelling, phonetics, syllables. The worst one for me was phonetics. Confusing! And slicing words into syllables – well, my pencil always hacked the poor words into the wrong portions. It stressed me terribly. I thought I was doomed to remain in grade four forever.

But I must have grasped the English lessons somewhere along the way because by grade seven I enjoyed diving into novels so deeply that I’d forget all about my surroundings, difficulties, and loneliness. I felt I was walking with the characters; living the same life as they. At the end of the novel I was always sad that the story had ended. The only cure for that kind of sadness was to get another library book.

By college, my writing and reading skills had greatly improved. I scored A’s with ease.

Then one day, the idea of being a writer popped into my head. I took a correspondence writing course and a course at the local library taught by the writer-in-residence. My teachers saw potential in me and encouraged me which spurred me on. Now I enjoy reading even more and writing stories is a thrill – not always easy but none-the-less an enjoyable learning experience. It’s awesome to see how a sentence can become stronger or an idea clearer by simply changing a word or two or re-working sentences. There’s always something new to learn in the world of writing. A dictionary and a thesaurus are my valuable tools. Oh, yes indeed, it has become a sweet love affair!

I finally did grasp the old English in the King James Bible. Although I’ve read and own copies of other Bible versions, the King James is the most interesting and inspiring one for me. Some passages I still find confusing but nevertheless interesting. The Bible is a fascinating book; in fact, it is more than fascinating, it is God speaking to us, shedding His holy light unto our path. It has stood strong for many years and will continue standing unlike my words which will fade away.


  1. A learning curve - glad it finally worked out!

  2. Hi Shirley,
    I find it interesting comparing your journey with other writers on this group. Many are saying that they loved words right from the start, but your love affair came later. I wonder if it is all the reading you did that brought you around? I'm just thinking out loud here and musing about how reading makes such a difference in our ability to grasp sentence structure, grammar, writing, etc. I know the same thing happened with my daughter. She could't spell but she always has her nose in a book now and her spelling and vocabulary have increased dramatically. Interesting correlation between reading and our academic grasp on grammar, etc. Thank you for letting me ponder and I'm glad I read your words today! I think I will introduce more stories into my class of English students.
    Obviously you love words now with all the stories you write! Press on!
    Pam Mytroen

  3. I was always read to... but struggled with reading, found stories confusing. Not sure when it all turned around because I love to read now. And I was always creating stories using paper people or puppets. Interesting to look back and how it all comes together. God is so good.


Thank you for taking the time to join in the conversation. Our writers appreciate receiving your feedback on posts you have found helpful or meaningful in some way.