Taking Time Off
Posted May 15, 2010on:
For Mother’s Day, my sons bought me a bag of books. They even threw in chocolate. How well my boys know me. Books and chocolate are THE best gift ever. In the bag were:
- The Electric Church by Jeff Somers
- The Digital Plague by Jeff Somers
- Delicious by Sherry Thomas
- Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris
Left to my own devices, I’d have read all four books Sunday. But my little guy knows me well and held them hostage. He let me see them, smell them, fondle their spines and then took all but The Electric Church back.
He’s pacing me.
I finished the book Monday and it was freakin’ awesome! Jeff’s post-Unification world is a bleak ruin where everyone’s a bad guy, even (or perhaps, especially) the cops. I was sitting on my sofa, sweating and out of breath as if I’d just worked out. This story had me up well past my bedtime to finish it. I dreamed of Avery Cates that night. I think I feel sorry for him.
Tuesday, my son gave me The Digital Plague. (The book, not the illness.) Cates is back, this time, some six years later. From the first scene, I was hooked. I drove out to Borders for Book 3, but they didn’t have it. I was depressed.
Until I started Delicious. (Sorry, Jeff!) Sherry Thomas writes with such mastery over the language, it makes me sigh. In each of Sherry’s stories, she uses her characters’ interests to depict highly sensual love scenes. In Delicious, a cook in love with the titled man of the house woos him through her culinary prowess. Sherry manages to connect taste buds to both heart and groin without vulgarity. She’d done the same thing in Not Quite a Husband with a game of chess.
My son is still keeping the new Sookie Stackhouse away from me so I have something to read over the weekend.
He did let me have the chocolate. Godiva. (swoons)
With all my reading and book store trips, I didn’t touch Send this week, except to develop a one-sentence summary as part of an exercise over at Nathan Bransford’s blog. Okay, you twisted my arm. Here it is:
A teen who carelessly clicks Send and is branded a sex offender tries to bury his crime under a new name, at a new school, and meets a girl he eventually learns is his victim’s sister… but she knew all along.
Cheers or jeers? Be honest. Brutal, if you have to. I don’t learn anything from dead air.
After indulging in two of my favorite passions (reading and chocolate) to the exclusion of the third (writing), you might think I’d feel guilty, but I don’t, not in the least. I think it’s good, even critical, to take a break and do whatever works to remind you why you wanted to be a writer. For me, it’s reading a great story like Jeff’s or Sherry’s. I can immerse myself in the story and forget where I am, when I am, even what I am.
Don’t believe me? Okay… check out this Facebook post from my smart-ass amusing oldest son:
On Tuesday, I was hip-deep in Monks with Avery Cates and by the time I even saw my son’s post, I was salivating for both food and hero in Delicious. Damn good thing the boy’s self-sufficient now, or I’d probably have forgotten to feed him or something.
With each story I read, I form attachments to characters, spend a little time in their worlds, and return to mine recommitted to telling my story in a way that (hopefully) produces similar feelings in you.
How do you recharge your writing battery? Inquiring minds need to know.