An Everyday Literary Miracle

Readers, the impossible has occurred.

But let’s start at the beginning.

I guess it started when I was in the midst of planning with whom I am going to see The Hunger Games.  We were trying to figure out how many people we could fit in the minivan and thus how many I could invite once we subtracted attending family members.

Me: So I figure I can invite five people, assuming it’s me and you and Brother 1 going.

Mom: Well, Brother 2 wants to come as well.  So you can invite four people.

Me: What?  Brother 2?  He’s too young!  This is why they put the whole 13 after the PG in the ratings.  He is not 13.

Mom: Is the movie going to be inappropriate?

Me: Mom.  You’ve heard me talking about this for, like, over a year now.  IT’S SUPER VIOLENT.

Mom:  Yeah, but it’s not going to be really gory, is it?  Brother 2 can handle a little violence.

Me:  Sigh.  Okay, Mom?  Here’s what we’re gonna do.  You’re going to read this book, and then you can see for yourself, and you can decide whether Brother 2 can see it or not.

Readers, what you have to understand is my mother does not read.  As far as I know, she has not finished a novel since high school, when they made her.  It’s always been a little frustrating for me when I’m excited about a book and she doesn’t really get it, because books have never appealed to her.  She’s a wonderful person, but yeah, she just isn’t the book nerd type.

You can imagine both my surprise and my skepticism, then, when a couple of days later she was all:

Mom:  Okay, I have some free time.  Are you going to give me that book?

And you won’t think it strange, readers, when I was subsequently all:

Me:  …What?!

She insisted, despite my astonishment, that she was determined to read The Hunger Games.  I wasn’t so sure.  I even went so far as to make up a schedule of how many chapters she would need to read each week in order to finish by the time we saw the movie.  However, she didn’t seem to need it.  By the end of that week she had read maybe eight chapters.

Imagine my surprise, then, when she finished it in the course of maybe another week.  And then when she asked me if I would lend her Catching Fire, the second book in the trilogy.

At this point I was thoroughly and pleasantly surprised by the turn of events.  I had never expected this.  She had finished a book, okay.  But then she liked it.  Enjoyed it so much that she now wanted to CONTINUE THE SERIES.  I was determined not to crush this little flame of literacy.  And so I gave her the second one.  And when she finished that a couple of days ago, I gave her the third.

That’s right.  My very own mother is reading Mockingjay.

I’m very excited about this, readers.  It’s always so awesome to see someone else enjoying a book I’ve recommended to them, but it’s even more awesome because this is my mom.  There’s absolutely nothing in the world like seeing her engrossed in the final book, asking me if so-and-so is still alive, wondering what’s going to happen.

Anyway, she’s on track to finish Mockingjay before we go see the movie for the first book next week (which, by the way, I will have a detailed and very fangirly post about the day after).  Which brings me to my next question: what should she read next?  I’d like to see if she would want to read any other books like she did this one.  She’s talked about trying Harry Potter since that’s another big thing in our house, and I think it’s a splendid idea.  However, I’d love a second opinion if you’d like to leave a comment.

Happy reading.

Citizen: Part 2

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Last week, on Citizen:

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This week, tune in as our protagonist finds out what lies beyond her door!  Which doesn’t sound sinister enough at all!  But still!

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Continue reading

Going Public and Reading For the Authors

Readers, today I entered a writing contest.  I wrote a short story, printed it out, and mailed it to people I have never met in the hopes that they might read it and enjoy it.  Needless to say, this wasn’t easy for me to do, given that I don’t normally like it when people read my stories.  I’ve never been comfortable with this.  Everything I put down on paper just seems too personal to give out to the world.  My friends and family will certainly attest that I’m reluctant to share my writing.

Why is this?  Is it because I fear they will tell me I’m a horrible writer?  Or some other reason?  I don’t know, but I need to get over this sort of literary shyness if I’m going to ever make it as an author without having nervous breakdowns every time something’s published.  Other people reading your work is inherent in being a writer, which is why I’m so puzzled by my inability to not get all nervous about it.

I think this was one of the reasons I started blogging: to get over this dread of people reading what I write.  After all, you’re all reading this now, and I’m perfectly okay with that.  I think this blog helped me a lot in getting to the point where I can do things like this contest.

My worries about this subject inevitably lead to the simple fact that writing is a very personal process.  Every time I write something, at least a fictional something, I leave a little bit of me in the pages, in the plot and the characters.  And that’s a scary thing, to put something like that, something I’ve worked on for a while, something I feel close to and am proud of, into the world.  To let everyone, from good friends to people I don’t even know, read it and comment on it and tell me what they think of this thing I’ve created.

Anyway, there you have it.  I’m planning to post that short story on Novel Journeys starting in a couple of weeks.  So I guess you have that to look forward to, if you like reading that sort of thing here.

ON TO ANOTHER TOPIC!

So, ever since reading The Fault in Our Stars, I’ve been basically on a literary rampage, trying to get my hands on every John Green book I could (admittedly, he’s only written three others, but still).  My school library has both An Abundance of Katherines and Paper Towns, the former of which I have finished and the latter of which I will finish in the next day or so.  I’m really enjoying both of these books, which is remarkable in that I don’t usually read books because of the author.  I read books for their story or their title, but here I made an exception.  I’m reading these because John Green wrote them, and I’m having a remarkably pleasant time doing so.

This has taught me that reading for the author can sometimes be quite rewarding.  I had known this before, and with some authors I’ll read anything they write, but this is different.  I was first introduced to John through his Vlogbrothers channel on YouTube, so I suppose you could say that I even read The Fault in Our Stars just because he wrote it.

It’s a different approach to a new book, but it’s been fun.  And that’s about all I have to say on the subject.  Tomorrow I’ll be posting for this month’s TCWT blog chain, so, at the risk of sounding clichéd, stay tuned!

Happy reading.