Look to the right of the screen. What do you see? A ridiculously gorgeous girl, I know. But what you don't see lurking beneath that deceptively angelic exterior is a fiendish devourer of books. Day after day, week after week, that girl ruthlessly plows through books with an appetite that is no less than voracious. Why am I telling you this you might ask. Well, that's because this girl has found yet another wonderful read that has widened her eyes, her views, and her imagination.
Quite often (about twice a week) I pick up a book and allow myself to get swept away in a world of romance and fantasy. I often pause to ponder what about this one is capturing my attention? What is it that makes this one so special? The answer is, I don't know! It just has that voice, that unique quality that pulls at the strings of my imagination and makes me say, maybe I can write like that. And so, I do. Or at least I try. This is what I am always talking about, for hours on end, about challenging yourself. You will never know what you are capable of if you always stick with the tried and true. You have to expand. Try a different P.O.V., a new technique, a new "voice". Don't be afraid of failure. Honestly, what's the worst that can happen? You realize it stinks and scrap it? Now, to a writer, throwing that love child, no matter how deformed, away may be like cutting off your own arm. I know, but that's what file folders are for! It can sit there, hidden in the cobwebbed attic of your PC, indefinitely, or until you find a use for it. Either way, you tried, right? And now you are better for it.
So, this book that has me feeling so inspired....
Like most books I read (really, I don't seek them out, they find me. Honest!) this one is a vampire novel. Written by Mari Mancussi, Night School had me from its opening line. I realized almost right away that it was the second (at least) in the series, and, normally I would stop there and wait until I could go back and read the first, but that made absolutely no difference in this case. I couldn't put it down! It's a first--person with a deliciously wacky sense of humor. It takes stabs at Twilight (gasp!) and references some pretty famous people in history, rewriting everything we were taught in a fantastic way. The plot is simple enough, but who said a book had to be a brain teaser in order to be good. Point is, with each book I pick up, I take notes. I try to see how it works, why it works, and so on. I try to learn from it and apply that knowledge so I can shape my own voice in my work.
With all that said, I am going to spend the remainder of my morning finishing this book off, ruthlessly!