I read a couple books while in Hawaii and I read them slowly. The first was Twilight by Stephanie Meyers, a NY Times bestseller for the young adult market, but a book so well written it had my friend Megan Crane raving about the series while I was in LA on my Odd Mom Out book tour.
My new nanny (yes, I finally have one and her name is Summer and she’s wonderful) loaned me her copy for my Hawaii trip and it took me a few pages to get into it but once I hit chapter 2, I was hooked. Twilight is set here in the Pacific Northwest in the Olympic National Forest with its pools of dense mossy trees and endless rain–a place I love, not just vampires–and I can’t wait to read the second book in the series but won’t let myself until I get some writing done.
The second book I read was Seeing Me Naked by Liza Palmer, a fellow 5 Spot author and friend so talented it makes my teeth ache. I love the way she writes. Liza is so smart and this new book, her second book, hooked me right from the beginning. I wouldn’t call Seeing Me Naked chick lit. The texture of it is richer, thicker, the prose crisp and sharp. It’s just fabulous fiction.
The third book I started, and continue to read, is Eat, Pray, Love, the one Oprah made her book pick in October while I was in the middle of my California book tour and saw in the book stores in enormous piles. I didn’t want to read it because I was jealous. Eat, Pray, Love became an instant bestseller and every store had fifty, sixty copies on the front table while some stores had only four or five of mine. But that was months ago and the Hawaii Costco had copies of Eat, Pray, Love for sale so I bought one and am loving the book. It’s one to read slowly, one to think about carefully and it’s good. It’s a perfect read for where I am right now.
I’ve more books stacked next to my bed and filling the bookshelf, but won’t start them, not until I get some hardcore writing done, but I am writing again. And it feels surprisingly good.
It’s the kind of writing where I just relax into it. Where words come and they’re neither awful or wonderful, just words that create the foundation of the new story. I’m discovering my characters. Fleshing out plot. Learning things I didn’t know. I love this part of the writing. It’s quiet and smooth and seductive. The hard writing will come later when I cobble 350+ pages of scenes together, creating something taut and interesting from weeks of free writing, and junking fifty to one hundred pages and writing two hundred new ones instead.
But that’s later, not now, and right now I’m happy to be writing. I’m looking forward to writing every day. It’s probably the best thing I could do for myself right now besides exercise.
And I’m doing that, too. But that hurts a lot more.