Why I Love to Read Slowly

I have been thinking—dangerous, I know—none the less, I have. And this is what I have come up with:

Rome Was Not Built In A Day

When I’m reading, I have this image in my head—sometimes complete, sometimes not—of the characters, the way they look, the world they live in, and the cadence of their speech. As the story unfolds, I construct. I imagine their actions, their expressions, the rooms or scenery surrounding them, what they’re doing with their hands when they say something, and especially, the way they say said those somethings. (Every reader knows, tone is everything!) So I love it when the author uses meaningful description. i.e., details that would be important to the character.

But because of all this imagery, I tend to read a book at a more relaxed pace than other avid readers I know.

In fact, I am dumbfounded by some of you speed-readers out there. I have never been able to understand how a person can rip through a book in a day and be like, “oh yeah, it was really good.”

What the? Huh?

How in the world can anyone follow that string of words and make sense of them, paint the picture, feel the moments they create, and be done so quickly?

Maybe it’s different for me because I’m a writer and I tend to get stuck on the structure of a single sentence, or pick apart the way a character relays vital plot information. Or sometimes, I have to put the book down because I cannot understand how this imagined person I’m reading about can do what they did and still look at themselves in the mirror.

Yeah, I know they aren’t real people, but for the time that I’m reading, they are.

For Myself

Reading is an escape. I do it for me and I believe, at least I hope, it makes me a better writer.

Take my first novel, for instance. Between Octobers is my baby. I began writing it around Obama’s first run for the White House. I was entrenched in my manuscript while history was being made.

I was having trouble with structure, how to fit the chain of events together so that the reader would know what my protagonist, Grace, was facing right out of the gate, but I needed the events to be chronological, so everyone would hopefully understand her choices, even if they don’t agree with them.

But I wasn’t able to come up with the right composition until I read my first Nora Roberts novel, Public Secrets. And I can’t say exactly what it was that clicked inside me, but I was able to look at that book that was so unlike mine, and see the way it was brilliantly peppered with suspense, giving just the right amount of tension in all the right places….

And I had my “AH-HA!” moment. Then, I pretty much re-wrote my book.

My Hope

It is my hope that when all the wonderful readers out there in the ether find my book in cyberspace, that they will take their time reading it, absorb the world that Grace lives in, and take some time to understand her. I think it makes for a better ending when you take your time getting to it.

GUESS WHAT??

It’s one event in a string of events–probable, yet seemingly impossible. Am I better than I thought or simply lucky? Blessed beyond measure? Sure, but I’m no better than anyone else. It must be dumb luck. If that’s all this is, I’ll take it and relish every second.

This particular event started on a Monday morning. I was unpacking boxes–the hubs and I bought a house and spent the weekend moving and cleaning. I was very close to pulling my hair out, trying to simultaneously teach online home school without proper internet access. I was frazzled. Utterly exhausted, running on about four hours sleep over the past two days.

Then, came The Call. The Cold Call.

It was a woman. I remember, she said her name was Elizabeth. I don’t remember what I said to her when she told me how much she liked my book,  Between Octobers. I think I was having a minor coronary.

I mean, these calls are the things you read about on other people’s blogs. Usually people you don’t know, sometimes even, your own CPs. And you’re genuinely happy for them because, if they can crawl from the hellish trenches of Submission and Rejection, and rise up victorious, so can we.

Back to The Call.

I remember wishing I could sound as cool and nonchalant as I do in my imagination. I remember my hair, blanketed by sweat and my hands feeling clammy against my cheeks as I incessantly rubbed them. But mostly, I remember Elizabeth, of Take Two Publishing, asking me if I was happy that she loved my story and wanted to publish it.

The trouble with having an out-of-body experience is that it takes a while to crawl back inside and search out an answer to this unexpected question.

I think I told her, ‘Yes, I am very happy.’

The one thing I remember most clearly about that call, is how inadequate and lucky and completely overwhelmed I felt after.
As soon as the mysterious conversation was over, I hung up and called my husband. It couldn’t feel real until I shared it with him.

And every minute since, whenever I think of that short, mind blowing phone call, I see my target–the best-sellers list– and I hear the emotion and joy in my husbands voice when he told how proud he is of me. And how he knows this is just the beginning of many great things for us.

Please, gather round, and join me in a happy dance!! Because from now on, I am offically calling myself an AUTHOR!!

gif happy dance

A positive place for all bookish things

PoemShape

A New England Poet writes Poetry, Haiku, Fables & Criticism

book wish

the confessions of a bookaholic

Daily Dose Of Chaos

Welcome to my world (prepare for a pretty dull ride)

David Gaughran

Let's Get Digital

The Blog of Author Tim Ferriss

Tim Ferriss's 4-Hour Workweek and Lifestyle Design Blog

A Well Read Woman

Is A Dangerous Creature... Author Run Book Blog Featuring Reviews, Author and Character Interviews, Giveaways, Professional Beta Reading Service, and Expedited Book Reviews!

samaustinwriter

Tales of a paranormal and horror writer from England

G.L. Cromarty

Confessions of a writing addict

PostModernQuill Unbound.

Fighting, Fucking and Fiction.

Fyrefly's Book Blog

Sparking your literary interest...

Courtney's Book Thoughts

Everything Book Loving

Stories For Coffee

A home for our endless love of books.

susannevalenti

YA Dystopia Author

Author A.R. Rivera

A positive place for all bookish things

Writers Hate Writing

What do you mean "70,000-word document"?

losethebookmark.wordpress.com/

Sometimes, a bookmark isn't needed.

The Mad Reviewer

A book reviewing blog

Useless Book Club

J S Malpas - self-published author, reviewer of popular novels and creator of original short stories

Mariella Hunt

words of wonder

Booklovers For Life

Falling in love with romance one page at a time

Romance Novels for the Beach

Find out which sexy books to bring with you, or leave behind, on your next beach vacation.

booksandopinions.com

The Book Reviews You Can Trust!

PRINCESS KICK-ASS

Jean-Luc Picard.

Charles Ray's Ramblings

Views and Commentary on Just About Everything

JamesRadcliffe.com

James Radcliffe, Musician. Music, Blog, Pictures, Live, News...

Mandibelle16

Thoughts, Words, Expression, Articles.

Robert Pattinson Birthday Project

Celebrating through giving

I Kissed My Date Goodnight

A single thirty-something embarking on motherhood through the miracle of adoption.

Mollytopia

Fabulously Refined/Wildy Inappropriate

This Is My Corn

You people are guests in my corn

Puddintopia

The Ramblings and Ravings Of Author Jason A. Rust

The Disorder Of Things

For the Relentless Criticism of All Existing Conditions Since 2010

Longreads

The best longform stories on the web

junk

a literary fix

Books, j'adore

story lovers unite

Eleventh Stack

A books, movies, and more blog from the staff at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh - Main.

Dysfunctional Literacy

Just because you CAN read Moby Dick doesn't mean you should.

fictionadvocate.com/

book reviews, litblog, small press

The Misfortune Of Knowing

Books, Writing, & the Law

Rachel Author Barnard

Author, Reviewer, Donut Enthusiast

Reading Until Oblivion

"People never really stop loving books." -- David Tennant, Doctor Who

Penny For My Thoughts Book Blog

Connecting indie authors with readers sharing stories they love

citygirlscapes.wordpress.com/

two girls. one city... and a lot of books.

PoemShape

A New England Poet writes Poetry, Haiku, Fables & Criticism

book wish

the confessions of a bookaholic

Daily Dose Of Chaos

Welcome to my world (prepare for a pretty dull ride)

David Gaughran

Let's Get Digital

The Blog of Author Tim Ferriss

Tim Ferriss's 4-Hour Workweek and Lifestyle Design Blog

A Well Read Woman

Is A Dangerous Creature... Author Run Book Blog Featuring Reviews, Author and Character Interviews, Giveaways, Professional Beta Reading Service, and Expedited Book Reviews!

samaustinwriter

Tales of a paranormal and horror writer from England

G.L. Cromarty

Confessions of a writing addict

PostModernQuill Unbound.

Fighting, Fucking and Fiction.

Fyrefly's Book Blog

Sparking your literary interest...

Courtney's Book Thoughts

Everything Book Loving

Stories For Coffee

A home for our endless love of books.

susannevalenti

YA Dystopia Author

Author A.R. Rivera

A positive place for all bookish things

Writers Hate Writing

What do you mean "70,000-word document"?

losethebookmark.wordpress.com/

Sometimes, a bookmark isn't needed.

The Mad Reviewer

A book reviewing blog

Useless Book Club

J S Malpas - self-published author, reviewer of popular novels and creator of original short stories

Mariella Hunt

words of wonder

Booklovers For Life

Falling in love with romance one page at a time

Romance Novels for the Beach

Find out which sexy books to bring with you, or leave behind, on your next beach vacation.

%d bloggers like this: