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Bilbo Baggins is my spirit guide.

07/02/2013

One of the first things I remember reading as a kid – aside from the seminal classic the Pokey Little Puppy – was The Hobbit. I loved the adventure of Bilbo Baggins, Thorin Oakenshield, Gandalf the Grey, and my personal favorite dwarf Bofur. I wanted to be in Middle-Earth, to visit the Shire, the Lonely Mountain, and Rivendell. My imagination was ignited – as was my love of writing.

When I was younger, I would write stories about my favorite super heroes – in near identical plot, cadence, and dialogue as were delivered in that months issue of Justice League International or Uncanny X-Men. And while I frequently used another authors words as my own as a youth, it led me into a fascination with the English language, and had me looking up the ‘big words’ I didn’t understand in my books, expanding my vernacular to such a degree that by the time I was in kindergarten, I was reading and writing at a fifth grade level.

In high school, I joined the school newspaper, eventually becoming the student editor, which led to me majoring in Journalism in college. Both times. Yes, I am a two-time college drop out. It was never something I could really enjoy – my family was only able to afford a small community college, which was filled with people I went to high school with, most of which I didn’t like. My love of reading and writing didn’t die there, however, and I kept reading novels, magazines, newspapers, technical guides, and comic books whenever I got a chance.

It’s no wonder, then, that the amazing woman I married is an avid reader. Between us, Meridith and I have nearly 5000 books – and that’s not counting the 10,000 comics I have. Our interests are vast – we have everything from romance to high adventure, Shakespeare to Jim Butcher. I have technical manuals on writing HTML and Javascript, she has books on how to sew and bake. Our favorite hobby is to sit on the couch together and read. We talk about books, about articles…books are one of the constants in our life – bad times or good, we can rely on books to be there.

Four years ago, we were blessed to have our son. At four years old, Victor is reading his own books and writing, and has amassed a collection of his own, anything from classic Little Golden Books to a pop-up encyclopedia of dinosaurs. We make sure we read two books every night. It’s a family tradition, after all.

With my love of reading, I take great joy in writing. I write about anything from movies to toys, sports to family life. I hope you’ll allow me to indulgence to share those thoughts and opinions with you. I’m truly excited to be a part of DFTBA News, and I look forward to sharing my words with you in the coming months and years!

Jay Malone

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