Through the Wardrobe

by limebirdlaura

It was a dark and stormy night… wait, I’m not entirely sure of that. It might have been a bright sunny mid-afternoon for all I know. Those details don’t really matter. What does matter was that I had fallen in love.

It was probably the late 1980’s, maybe 1990 at the most. My Papaw recorded the BBC version of C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe off of HBO onto a VHS tape for me. (Does talking about VHS officially “age me”?) That was it. I was in love. I couldn’t get enough of that thing. It would come to the end, and I’d hit the rewind button and just start it over again.

Looking back at it, the production value was pretty weak, costuming could be better, but none of those things mattered to me. I had been introduced to the most magical world of all – Narnia.

And then lo and behold the gods must have been in my favor because I learned that not only was Narnia alive for me on my television, but it was a book too! I remember the first time I was given my own copy of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe (and in my 28 years on this Earth, I have owned many copies of it).  It was my 8th birthday and my mom gave me a box set of the entire Chronicles of Narnia.  At that moment there couldn’t have been a happier kid in the entire world.

In the years since I first fell in love with Narnia, I have fallen in love with many other stories – movies and books. A Nightmare on Elm Street, R.L. Stine’s Fear Street books, The Harry Potter series, Stephen King’s The Stand, Twilight (don’t judge!), Fight Club… and so many, many more. In a way these books and movies almost define me as a person. Take Fight Club, as soon as the credits rolled through the end of that movie I knew I had to study film. There was just no more question about it. Though, now that I think about it I’m sure the thought of studying film had to be brewing in my mind before then, because I spent my formative years captivated by the stories on my television and local theater.

But, no matter where I go in life, no matter how far I grow or change. No matter how good life is, or how bad…there is eternally a 6 year old child inside of me, discovering Narnia for the first time.

What books or movies do you remember first falling in love with?

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33 Comments to “Through the Wardrobe”

  1. Great post Laura! I always had my head in a book as a kid, normally books that kids wouldn’t be reading! haha. My mum always used to encourage me to read, and most of my choices were Roald Dahl and magical fantasy books. Roald Dahl definitely was up there with my favourites. 🙂

    • Oh I love Roald Dahl! I always loved books. I remember in the 1st grade when I was around 6 or so, my school had a book fair. I stood there in the library looking at all these books. Finally I looked up, and realized I was alone! Apparently my class had left me several minutes before. The librarian had to walk me back to class, I was so scared I was in trouble! But I was too interested in the books to be bothered getting to class 😀

  2. Labyrinth! I was too young to be conscious of Bowie’s sex appeal at the time, but I loved the film. It’s one of the first visits to the cinema with my whole family that I remember – me and my five siblings (just a span of eight years between us, so we’re all very close) lined up in a row watching this amazing film when a whisper goes up the line – “Vicky’s crying.” My younger sister was so scared of the goblin king she’d started crying, so what do her sympathetic siblings do? We all turn and start laughing at her of course. Couldn’t have made it more perfect!

    But yes Narnia, definitely. Lois Duncan was another amazing find – very scary for a young reader (I was probably only eight or nine when I read them rather than the teen they’re aimed at!) and the first book I ever cried at – Great Expectations, which I read after a primary school visit to the Charles Dickens museum in Rochester.

    I used to eat books alive!

    • I love the Labyrinth. One can never go wrong with David Bowie.
      I was always reading and watching scary things kids shouldn’t be. Like the Nightmare on Elm Street, I couldn’t have been older than 7 and BEGGING to go watch Freddy’s Dead at the theater. I remember watching Night of the Living Dead for the first time – it was New Year’s Eve when I was 6.
      I think the first book that I cried at (at least that I remember) was Of Mice and Men. That had me torn up for a good solid hour.

  3. I read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe to my kids, who are around your age. I love it , too. But I remember being enamored of The Sound of Music and Mary Poppins when I was young. I still love watching those movies. Fiddler on the Roof still gives me goose bumps!

    • I love The Sound of Music! I remember once when I was maybe 10 or 11 they were advertising it to come on TV, my friends all thought I was crazy for being excited about that.

  4. Psh. lol. The first thing to really scare me badly on tv was Dark Shadows. Mom wouldn’t let me watch because it made me have terrible dreams. I always wanted to watch because my older sister could.

    My first rapture at the movies was for Star Wars. That was the first time I really wished I could live in the movie. Luke Skywalker was IT, funny looking back now I like Harrison Ford better!

    • My mom and dad didn’t even try to keep me away from scary things. The funny thing is I’m SO terrified of everything, the dark, loud noises, my shadow, strangers, the boogeyman, aliens, sasquach, being home alone, dark basements, things that go bump in the night, but I LOVE horror. Ever since I was super little I’ve been obsessed with horror — maybe that’s why Im scared of all those things, but it doesn’t keep me away! LOL

      And Harrison Ford is awesome!

      • Well not so surprising really – horror on tv or at the movies is controlled. It can’t hurt you and the ending is always (we think) predictable.

      • So true! It’s ok for the silly blonde to get mangled by Freddy, as long as it’s not me!!

  5. Narnia, and the world of books, is truly a magical place to be. Angie

  6. I nominated Limebird Writers for the Sunshine Award a couple of days ago. Some glitch in the WordPress or blog universe made it impossible for me to come by here and let you know I have done this. And today, finally, I’m able to visit your site – and it seems particularly apt that I get to tell you about this Award on this post about the lovely discovery of the world of Narnia and books! Here’s to words, writing, writers, books and blogging!:-)

  7. I was always really into dancing, particularly ballet, so ‘Ballet Shoes’ was a book I loved, and also by Noel Streatfeild was a series of books about a girl called Gemma, and these were also all about dancing and acting and music, I don’t know how many times I read that series! Then I moved on to the Judy Blume books – how fab where they!!! Film-wise, Bedknobs and Broomsticks was one of my very favourite magical films to watch over and over.

    • I just hooked my little sister (who is 8) up with some Judy Blume books for Christmas. Every little girl needs some Judy Blume!

  8. I always had my nose in a book from the moment I could read.
    Nothing has changed.
    I can’t pinpoint a favourite,though.

    • Nice post! And nostalgia for VHS, my first foray into editing tech…! 😀

      I agree with granny1947, above. I was lucky enough to have a big sister who read to me (and likely steered my tastes!) as I was growing up. And I was influenced by a string of stories, from Raiders of the Lost Ark and ALIEN, to the Prydain Chronicles and Pern novels. But it’s difficult for me to pinpoint one above all of the others that really ignited a spark within me. I do know that I first started WRITING my own stories about the Star Wars universe, making up new adventures for the characters. And The Dark Crystal. I loved that movie as a kid, perhaps because I’d never quite seen one without any humans at all.

      • Mayumi do you edit? I love editing (it’s what I’m majoring in) But I only had to deal with vhs editing for a brief time back in high school, mostly we used the computers and I don’t remember much about it now.
        I’m the big sister in my house – and I am always buying my baby sis books.
        When I started writing I was like you, but with Stephen King. I’d come up with sequals to his novels…and I’d dream of mailing them to him and he’d be like “Oh Laura you’re so right let me co-write with a 12 year old here” HAHAHA being a kid was fun!

      • I do edit! My VHS days are long behind me, though. That was back when I was a kid, and I’d daisy-chain a couple of machines together, to make my own movies (which, naturally, were terrible). Now, I work mostly with non-linear software; it’s just so much easier. That said, we’ve still got an impressive Sony BVE910 in our shop! 😀

        I’m so grateful for my sister’s input, actually. No doubt she did influence me, but she has always been an avid reader, and – while her tastes and mine have diverged somewhat over the years – she instilled in me an appreciation for reading beyond my “recommended level.”

        You are not the only one to have those fantasies about writing! 😀 I, too, used to imagine being called upon to write the next adventure of “Doctor Who” or “Robin Hood”, after which – of course! – I would be lauded by all comers as the greatest and youngest storyteller known in the biz! LOL! Actually, I still have dreams of working with some of my all-time favourite heroes and adventurers. They’re only dreams, of course, but they’re still nice to have. 🙂

        Thanks for the reply!

      • Oh that’s so awesome! I love editing. I found this funny quote from Lloyd Kaufman (The Toxic Avenger) in one of his books that always cracks me up – “A WARNING: Editors are generally weird people. Anyone who wants to be locked up in those little rooms watching the same visual images over and over must be unusual” Yeah.. pretty much LOL.

    • I am with you there granny. If I don’t have my nose in a book, there’s something terribly wrong 😀

  9. I LOVED The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, I was given the book for my 10th birthday, which I still own. It was magical!

    • I don’t even know if I can call it my “favorite book of all time” but somehow, no other book will realy quite top it in my heart, that might be due to nostalgia but it’s definitely a great story. I always wish I could find my way to Narnia, while it’s winter…but without the evil queen there to turn me to stone!

  10. At school I was banned from the class library when I was about 8. When we had finished our work, we could go to the back of the class and pick out a book: of course, that meant that I did my work in about 10 minutes and then headed for the wonders waiting for me on the shelves…

    My walk home from Junior school was about 15 minutes. I would average 40, walking and reading at the same time! At that age (10-ish) I was really into those anthologies of horror stories or ghost stories that were popular in the mid-70s.

    The first world (actually a multiverse!) that I really got into was a little bit later, when I discovered Michael Moorcock. I remember sitting around with friends discussing which actors would play the characters in the movies. In this age of computer effects and filmic adaptations of science fiction and fantasy when is someone going to start trawling Moorcock’s books for inspiration! (As far as I know, only “The Final Programme” has been made. My review of that, very patchy, movie can be found at http://dmlbooks.wordpress.com/2012/01/05/movie-review-the-final-programme ) I had a real fanboy moment last year when one of my poems was podcast alongside an Elric story!

    Then, totally out of character, I got into Wilbur Smith and his linked novels about the Courtneys and the Ballantynes (until I found that I could predict the outcome about 40-50 pages in – if ever a good author has fallen victim to the perils of formulaic writing, Wilbur Smith is the one!). I would, however, still recommend “The Sunbird”, a stand-alone novel that jumps back and forth between a modern archaeological dig and an ancient Phoenician (I think it was!) city in southern Africa.

    In my mid-teens I returned to Heinlein. I had read the “Heinlein juveniles” when I was younger but was drawn to his work of the 60s and early 70s which explored individualism, libertarianism, and free expression (from “Stranger in a Strange Land”, through “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress”, to “Time Enough for Love”). So, is it any wonder that, on the political compass, I am to the left of even Nelson Mandela and only The Dalai Lama is more Libertarian than me? (http://www.politicalcompass.org my score is Economic Left/Right: -7.75 and Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.59!)

    So, in summary, many books have made me what I am. I’m not sure I could say that I had ‘fallen in love’ with any, but a lot have been more than one night stands 😉 If any could be classed as a lover it would have to be “Time Enough for Love” as I have the title incorporated into one of my tattoos and I regularly re-read it. But I’m also always willing to fall in love with something new…

    • I always love hearing people talk about the books that they loved during different time periods of their life. Walking and reading at the same time!? I would have DIED if I tried that, I can hardly walk without falling over as it is. My mom is always making fun of me for “tripping over hairs”.

  11. Don’t worry i like Twilight too 😉 And HP! I actually watched BBC Narnia without reading the books, loved it! I loved Little Women, Famous Five and the Sweet Valley Books. But the first book I fell for and is still a favourite now is Pride & Prejudice!

    • Did you ever have those condensed classics, or whatever they were? Like watered down versions of real books? I don’t know why I had those but I remember reading thru the Little Women condenced classic in about a day when I was probably 10 or so and loved it!

  12. The first book I remember falling in love with I can’t remember the title and I never finished it. It was probably much too dark and gritty for me to ….. Suddenly I think it was called Found, anywau I was in third grade. It was about street rats and runaways who find a thrown away baby and try to raise it… Through the winter. I think it was set when trains were the main mode of transport. A few characters died.

    The book I really really fell in love with was Ella Enchanted. I read it over and over. Then, I met Artimis Fowl.

    • I’ve never read Artimis Fowl but I bought it a few years ago and set it on the shelf to be read but for some reason never seem to get to it.

      • GO READ IT NAO. RIGHT NAO.

        Well, if you want. The thing about reading a magical book when you’re younger and reading it older, some of the magic wears off. He’ll always have a special place in my heart.

      • No magic wears off for me, I am perpetually 12. I just happen to be able to do things like hold down a job and pay bills, but other than that.. I’m still 12 😀

      • That’s good. I can be so jaded. ;[

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