Thursday, February 11, 2016


Another repost from the YATOPIA BLOG.

Reading changes a person. Of course. We all know that.
But writing changes a person too.
It changes how an author reads. At least it's changed how I read.
Sometimes I'm not sure I'm happy about this.

As a child, I loved to read.

I read anything I could get my hands (and eyeballs) on.

Okay, that's not entirely true.

I've never been a big fan of "kissing books,"

Wait... there are exceptions...

but give me most anything else:
Encyclopedias, trips to Narnia...

Oh, how I longed to be Lucy...

Books about dogs.

Oh, how I longed for a dog of my own.

Books about brave young girls.

How I longed to be brave.
I supposed I should've spent my time longing for Gilbert to come around, but I was too busy trying to figure out my life's purpose. (Boy, did that take me forever. Want a piece of advice? JOB SHADOW in high school. No excuses. Get off your butt and do it. Don't wait until you're a senior in college to figure out you want to be a nurse, or veterinarian, or teacher, or whatever--figure it out when you're young.)

How I digress (but that was an important point, if anyone will listen).

Before writing, while it's true I liked some books more than others, I'm not sure I really understood why.

Why did I love the Chronicles of Narnia so much?
Only now can I fully marvel at the scope of C. S. Lewis' imagination. Story after story set in Narnia--just the mere idea of a seven or eight book series sends my stomach into an ulcerated knot.

But C. S. Lewis did it. (Of course, he wrote a ton of other books, too, but that's another story.)

Now, although I still love reading, I feel like the magic--although it might not be gone--has been altered somehow.

I can still marvel at a cliff hanger ending.
But then I'm off thinking about the craft instead of the story itself.

I can also still marvel at gorgeous book covers (see above). But then I'm off thinking about how I want my next book cover to look.

I can reread and marvel at lines I wish I'd written. But that makes me kind of jealous--I hate it when I'm jealous.

I can go back in time, enjoying the same book over again (although I'll admit to being jealous of the reader who's reading a gem for the very first time--there I am, jealous again--what a horrible person I must be).

What I really hate is the annoying interference of an internal editor, like a gnat in my ear, telling me "I'd put that line there" or "They use their quote signs differently than my publisher does" or "This is more tell than show." Ugh.

I LOVE it when a book is so smoothly written that my internal editor doesn't even make a peep.

What I want(ed) for Xmas:

1) more time to read

2) to tell my internal editor to shut the BLEEP up

Instead, what I got for Xmas was heartbreak, which is another story (check my POETRY PAGE and I'm sure you'll figure out why...).


  1. Sometimes I really do miss that unfiltered reading experience. Just for the love, without my critique glasses on. But it's the price of writing, so I pay it. And those books that go by smoothly, without your internal editor complaining? They are the best!

    1. I do hope that (at least) I'm more impressed than I used to be when I come across writing perfection, because so often my internal editor annoys me while reading. There has to be some benefits to writing, right?