Listening to: The Starting Line, “Direction”
First off, thanks to everyone for the big congrats and everything. It’s been a heck of a week…still looking around myself in pure amazement from time to time.
So I just finished, around 2:30 a.m., Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments Series. I finished Book II on the way to the in-laws on Wednesday, and Thursday morning I made The Husband take me to a bookstore to get Book III.
Okay, I was gonna be laying by the pool all day, I needed something to read. Never mind that my mother-in-law has like a living room full of books.
Plus, you know, I could potentially be writing sequels/a trilogy/more than one book in a world before I’m forced to move on to another world and other characters, sometime in the near future. So it’s RESEARCH.
You know what I love about writing? Aside from, you know, everything. I love that reading is research. And NO, that’s not just a cop-out to get my husband to leave me alone when I’m reading or make him go get me the next book in a series when I’m hooked. It really is. I almost always “read like a writer”, as the creative writing profs put it in college–with an eye toward characterization, plotting, dialogue, description, symbolism, etc. Even as I’m following the story and getting caught up in the plot, a part of my brain is working to notice other things. It’s not really something I can control anymore–the writer part of my brain kind of took everything else over a few years ago.
Every so often I mourn this habit, as I love nothing more than getting so sucked into a book that I forget everything else around me. You know, when someone interrupts your reading, and it’s like waking up from an incredible dream–you have to re-orient yourself to your surroundings, figure out what time of day it is, and probably throw something at the person who interrupted you? But if a book is really good, like crazy good, it can still happen.
Mortal Instruments did that to me several times, which is why I re-read the first one–I wanted to read it with an eye toward style and plotting and all that technical stuff. The first time, I just got sucked in, occasionally stepping out to wonder how, exactly, she’d done it. Since I want to do that with storytelling, I have to figure it out, y’know?
It’s still the most incredible thing to me, that this thing I’ve done since I was tiny, this thing I’ve never been able to help doing, could be a part of my job. I always hated it when I was little or in my teens, and I’d be reading, and my parents would force me to get my nose out of the book and socialize or do chores.*
MWA HA HA! I say to them now. Just TRY and stop me from reading. I have the world’s best excuse now. “But I’m working!“
And speaking of which, since I spent yesterday at the in-laws, reading and getting a tan…it’s time to get back to work. The actual writing work, not the reading work. I can only use the “But it’ work!” excuse for so long, you know.
*My parents have multiple pictures of me reading on vacations, on holidays, etc. They’d turn the camera toward me and be like, “Oh, and here’s a picture of Kristy doing what she always does, but in a different place/on Christmas Eve!”