When it comes time to write these posts, my habit is to open up my reading software on my cellphone — Kindle, the ePub reader, Acrobat, etc — and find what it was that I’ve been reading lately, and report on that.
Which puts me in an interesting position this month.
First up, I’ve been working my way through Time to Write, a how-to by Kelly L. Stone, which is really a compilation of time saving tips from other authors. I’m always interested in learning how to write faster, or find more time for writing, so this book was of interest. So far, I’ve learned nothing new. I’m hopeful, though…
I have been reading one book book — a print book. Fast Fit by Sandra Betzina, a sewing classic. (My other obsession – one I don’t get nearly enough time for.) If there is a reason print books will hang around, it’s because of books like this one, which wouldn’t translate well to ebook with the state of current technology. I could only read this on a big screen tablet, in PDF, right now. It’s super graphics heavy.
But the book IS making me wish I could offload some of my writing time and get back to the sewing machine. I don’t have any upcoming reader conventions to give me that excuse anymore…
I gave a copy of Fatal Wild Child to a co-worker for Christmas, and she started reading it before the holiday break. One morning she came steaming into work and confronted me at my desk, her hands on her hips, accusing me of ruining her sleep the previous night.
“I just got to the part where they’re in the room for the night. All that incredible tension in the restaurant and then she goes and does…that!” She shook her head. “And now I have to wait until my lunchbreak to find out what happens next!”
I blinked a few times in surprise. I was pleased, of course. What writer wouldn’t be? The news that I had deprived someone of sleep because of my writing is very hard to take.
What surprised me was the bit-that-came-next, after the restaurant. I had forgotten about that bit of that scene. During that day I kept trying to rememer the sequence of events and scenes in the book. I think you can guess what happened next. I gave up and loaded the book onto my cellphone and read it, to remind myself of the details of the story.
Yes, I do read my own stories every now and again. But I like to read them when they’re so cold they’re frozen: When I don’t remember who said what, and what comes next. Oh, I always remember the big sweeping movements of the story, but not the little things. The small moments. Bits of dialogue. Pulse pause moments I managed to squeeze in. When it’s been long enough for me to forget those things, then I stand a chance of being at least a little bit surprised and pleased, just like any other reader.
Reading Fatal Wild Child was a nice escape for a couple of hours, and a refresher. I had, indeed, forgotten some of the moments I’d got in there.