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The first story that ever made me cry led me to writing. Unfortunately I can’t remember the name of the book, but I remember every other detail. I was in high school, staying the night at a friend’s house. She was taking a shower, so I was sitting in her room reading my book instead of being socialable with her family. (To Husband’s chagrin, I still prefer books to people most of the time.) It was the last scene of the book and the hero died. Tears welled, then slipped silently down my cheeks as I read the final pages. It was wrenching. When I reached the end, I quickly found the upsetting scene and read it again. And cried again.
I can get a little crazy when I find an awesome, can’t-put-it-down-for-a-second, don’t-even-think-of-bothering-me-right-now book. When Breaking Dawn came out my craziness went to a whole new level. I read in my car while I was driving. At a stop light or stop sign, of course, but still. Husband shouldn’t advise me to not text and drive, but to not read and drive. I read BD at work. Seriously. I brought the book in. The hardcover version. Seven hundred and sixty-five pages. A bit difficult to hide on my desk, but I managed it. Placing notebooks on top of it. Setting it in front of my computer screen, lifting the notebooks to read, setting it down when I heard someone coming or the phone ringing. I work in a high school and it did not escape my notice that if my desk had been placed in a classroom I would have totally gotten a detention. When I was reading New Moon, I skipped breakfast and lunch and ate dinner extremely late because I could not stop reading until Edward was back with Bella. My heart was aching throughout that entire book. It still remains my favorite of the series.
Those are my goals when I sit down to write every day. I want to make readers feel just from a collection of words on a page. I want my characters to become a part of their lives. To make them so memorable and fascinating that readers wish to live in my story world. I want my words to drive readers to not want to stop reading for anything. To make someone so obsessed that they bring my book into work with them.
BD was the last book I read at my desk. I’m still slightly embarrassed at the thought of what I did. What would I have said to my boss if I was caught? In the classroom if you get caught reading there’s really no reason to explain. Most teachers already know the shit they’re teaching is boring. Perhaps I could’ve led with, “Um, sorry, er, the students are rubbing off on me . . . Please don’t call my mom.” Of course now with the lovely invention of e-readers, I just pull up my Kindle Cloud and read off my computer screen. If I hear someone approach, I quickly click on a larger window placed strategically behind the book. No one’s the wiser. Well, I mean, not really. Some might get a bit suspicious since I’m always quickly changing the screen when they appear. . . Oh God, I hope they don’t think I’m looking at porn.