I read Beat The Turtle Drum the summer I was eleven. At the time, I was struggling to cope with parents who weren't getting along and the passing of my beloved grandfather, Pop, a few months earlier. Instead of talking about my feelings, however, I had pushed them way down inside and developed a hard outside, much like a turtle's shell. Luckily, I had received a journal for my birthday and I wrote down all my problems there. That helped.
When I read Beat The Turtle Drum, which is about two sisters, one of whom rents a horse for her birthday, I still hadn't properly grieved for Pop. In fact, I hadn't even cried. I wrote about my lack of tears in my journal.
"Why can't I cry?"
Well, while I read Beat The Turtle Drum I must have gone through two boxes of tissues. Constance C. Greene's story about loss and a young girl's grief was what finally allowed me to cry about losing my grandfather. I'll always remember that. And I read it over and over again that summer, as if those words were a direct connection to Pop. It was such a comfort. I'm so grateful that I learned the healing power of both reading and writing.
So that was when I first became serious about wanting to become a writer. I've always thought that when I was ready to have a blog is would be called Turtle Drum in honor of the book that helped me cope when I needed it most.
Julie Richie is a mother and writer who was inspired to write by the book Beat the Turtle Drum by Constance C. Greene when she was eleven years old.