National Book Lovers’ Day

Today is a day to think about how books affect us.

I’m a writer so I’m sure it comes as no surprise that I’m also a reader. Avid is the word I would use and sometimes obsessive is another phrase I’d tack on to my literary addiction. If you’re reading this, I assume you’re a reader, too. As such I’m sure you can relate to what I’m going to share with you.

Working on rewrites with book 2 in my series has brought about ideas for books 3, 4, and 5. At first I was over the moon that I now know the beginning middle and end of this series that has lived in my mind for so long. It’s become a very real place, this world I’ve created with characters I’ve come to see as old friends. I have glimpses of this world in my mind’s eye when I’m not writing and I’m struck by such a powerful urge to get back to my notebook and keep writing. However, I’ve also started feeling anxious about what happens next.

When I read a really good book, I invest not just time but emotions in the story. The characters become part of my day to day life and I wonder what they’re doing and what will happen to them. The phrase THE END becomes bittersweet and I miss those people I invited in to my consciousness. The same will happen, one day, when I finish this series. Years from now I will write that same phrase on a page and mean it. For the longest time I didn’t understand this sensation when I read, but now as a writer I know exactly what to call it. It’s loss and for a period of time, sometimes a few days sometimes a week or two, I grieve. I grieve by not picking up a new story and think about the events over and over again. I remember the sad bits, the parts when I couldn’t put the book down because I needed to know where I was leaving these friends before going to sleep, and I smile privately at some inside joke or moment of tenderness that I was allowed to witness.

I almost fear this with my own books. I know what will happen in book 5, but it hasn’t been written yet. So I can tell myself I have time. But the story continues to tell itself to me in quick snatches and long dreams insisting on being finished.

Just with the books I read, one day I’ll start to feel restless and unaccountable uncomfortable with my surroundings. I’ll tell myself it’s the weather or that the day to day hectic rush is getting to me. But I’ll realize I’m just missing my outlet—I’ll need a story. Only this time I’ll itch for a pen and I’ll meet a whole new batch of friends that I create despite knowing I’ll miss them terribly at some future date when I type the words…

THE END

That’s being a book lover. Enjoy the holiday!

Cupcakes should be real, but awards are nice, too

Warning: I’m doing it again!

To my great surprise I’ve been nominated for another award. I’m thrilled that my little dog and pony show is getting people interested enough to want to recommend my site to others. This one is called the Super Sweet Blog Award. Here are the rules:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you (this is just good breeding in my opinion)
  2. Answer 5 super sweet questions (now you can know more about me)
  3. Include the Super Sweet Blogging Award image on the post (which is cute as well as tempting)
  4. Nominate a baker’s dozen of other bloggers (always happy to pass on good fortune)
  5. Notify your nominees on their blog (see my aside for part 1)

Thanks to Swati Chavda from the blog A Dash of Magic, A Sip of Adventure

This award is all the sweeter for being unexpected!

Here are the questions:

  1. Cookies or Cake? Not even a contest. I always think of cookies as a waste of time. Cake so much depth…and layers (my only exception are rainbow cookies that are like mini cakes called a cookie)
  2. Chocolate or Vanilla? Definitely a loaded question! Well, if you’re talking about ice cream then I prefer a swirl, thank you very much. If you’re talking about a cake make mine chocolate. But if you’re talking about a drink vanilla shakes along with Licor 43 (vanilla flavored liquor from Spain) are definitely my choice.
  3. Favorite sweet treat? Anything citrus tends to be my Achilles Heel. My favorite…Lemon Chiffon cupcakes with lemon filling! My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
  4. When do you crave sweet things the most? Well this is just a silly question! Wouldn’t the better question be when I don’t crave sweets? To try an answer this question I’ll say the craving grows strongest when The Curse comes calling. Cliche, but true.
  5. Sweet nickname? Now that’s too much information but I will leave you with one of my favorite quotes: “Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker” – Ogden Nash (but I’ll admit I learned that quote from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory movie) Food for thought as it were 😉

Now for the blogs I nominate for this award:

  1. Simple Pleasures – photography & more
  2. Charlotte Hoather – Soprano
  3. Theodora Goss – personal author page
  4. Coffee Stained – musings on fiction
  5. Kristen Lamb’s Blog – writer
  6. The Lightrider Journals – Eric Nierstedt
  7. Sophie Bowns – short stories
  8. International Bellhop – fun armchair travel
  9. Bucket List Publications – more travel ( a passion of mine)
  10. One Cool Site – WordPress blogging tips, tools and tutorials
  11. Rebecca Hains – children’s media culture
  12. Streets of Salem – blog about Salem, MA and environs
  13. AP Roberts’ Stories – writings, musings and random updates

On Writing – The Tree

“Writers use words to create the tree under which readers take shelter.” – Me

Tree Canopy

Tree Canopy

I read a pretty good blog post the other day about how part of talking to others about your work is tell them how you work. I always thought of that idea as too self-indulgent – the proverbial Facebook post about buying socks – but after seeing it written out I see the sense in it. Writers like to read about how other writers “did it” for inspiration, for strength, and to feel as though we’re not alone in our craziness.

The above quote is something that came to me one morning after a productive writing session followed by a good night’s sleep. I fell asleep the night before wondering why it’s okay to want to be a writer. I’m essentially a practical person and the thought of making my life about writing sounded too ephemeral and (again) self-indulgent. There were other things I could do with my time to enrich not only myself and loved ones, but perhaps the world. Doing something that makes you happy should result in helping others…it should give back. I couldn’t think of how writing could do that. That’s when I imagined this quote.

I remembered all the times reading brought me, joy, peace, safety, and myriad other feelings of well-being. I’ve been transported, fallen in love, learned and caught a glimpse of the sacred. The written word has the power to make you feel whole, sane, connected. I’ll admit that it can also make you feel the exact opposite but the journey is usually invaluable. Priceless. Practical.

So, my moment of “why me” was answered in a cliché.

Why not?

Countless writers have given me pleasure and made me think and I can think of no better way of giving back than to return the favor. I hope to give other readers shelter where they can take a few moments to be more.

Why do you write? Why don’t you?