Tag Archives: Literature

The Magic of Literacy – Part 1/2

Visiting both mobile and brick-and-mortar libraries as a child turned me into an avid reader and a lifelong learner leading to my earning an Associate of Science degree, a BA in journalism and an MFA in writing in addition to a teaching credential—about nine years of college.

As a child, one of the grade schools I attended was across the street from my parents’ home, which brings me to the cultivation of my imagination. Books!

Reading at home is important too!

However, learning to read wasn’t that easy for me. Soon after starting school, my fate and my future hung in the balance. Experts at the first grade school I attended tested me and told my mother I would never learn to read or write. In those days, there was no term for dyslexia. In fact, the “experts” didn’t know about dyslexia.

Nevertheless, my mother made liars out of those so-called experts and taught me to read at home. How she did it is another story, and it didn’t hurt that my parents both loved to read.

Both my mother and father did not have the opportunity to graduate from high school. The Great Depression and other family tragedies were responsible for both of them dropping out to find jobs and contribute to their financial survival at the age of 14. My mother ran away from home and found a job as a waitress and my father mucked out horse stalls at Santa Anita Race Track in Arcadia, California.

Fast forward to me as a child that learned to love reading books, and once a week, a county library bus visited the grade school I attended.

Years later, I worked in the high school library and managed to read sometimes two books a day.  It was as if books were feasts for my imagination and soul. I read all the historical fiction I could find on the British Empire, Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, and American history. Then I discovered science fiction and fantasy, which led to Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Barsoom series. Later, I would add westerns and mysteries to the mix and eventually start reading literature at a much older age. As a child, I wasn’t ready for literature — not exciting enough.

Continued on March 12, 2012 in The Magic of Literacy – Part 2


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga.

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A Square Peg in a Round Hole

I am the square peg that fit in a round hole. I’m the last guy anyone would expect to teach poetry, grammar, writing and literature.

In fact, I did not enjoy kindergarten through twelfth grade. In grade school, I was the puny guy bullies lined up to terrorize. In high school, I was six-foot four and weighed one-hundred-and-twenty-five pounds. If I turned sideways, I disappeared—a good way to hide.

In high school, I read an average of two paperbacks a day. During lectures, I sat in the back dressed in black wearing shades reading Andre Norton or Isaac Asimov or Ray Bradbury. I read a series of books about the Civil War while my history teacher talked about the Revolutionary War.  When other kids played baseball, football or basketball, I was reading about Alexander the Great or Genghis Khan.

When I graduated, my GPA had a decimal in front of it. After high school, I joined the Marine Corps.

Then LBJ lied about the Tonkin Gulf incident and became George W. Bush’s role model for the future invasion of Iraq. What irony, a Democrat teaching a Republican how to use false evidence to start a war. That might be the only time a Republican learned anything from a Democrat.

I came back from Vietnam with a dose of Post Traumatic Stress and almost drowned in booze. When I was honorably discharged from the Marines in 1968, I had no idea what was causing me to wake up sweaty seeing Vietcong in the room.

I slept with an eight-inch blade.

In Vietnam, a sniper came within an inch of killing me. The round caressed an ear, and I thought, “God, get me home alive in one piece, and I will go to college like my parents wanted.”

In 1973, I graduated with honors with a BA in journalism from FSU. In 1975, at thirty, I earned a teaching credential at Cal Poly Pomona.  The MFA arrived later.

From 1975 to 2005, I taught English, reading and journalism in the public schools, and I didn’t torture or shoot anyone.

Discover why Substitute Teaching is not a “Tea Party”


Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition].

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

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