I don’t read. I devour. Unless I don’t like the first 15 pages. Then I shelve the book in my “TBR”* collection.
In the last two weeks I’ve inhaled the first two books in Rainbow Rowell’s Simon Snow series. I hope she takes time writing the third, because I seriously have to read something else occasionally.
Now I’m half-way through a memoire, which is odd since I hate them unless they’re hilarious, and I like plot, (lots of plot) and believe there should be a legal limit on the number of adjectives you can use per page. **
So when I tell you to read Four Seasons in Rome, by Anthony Doerr, you know how fabulous it must be. It has only a sliver of plot and it’s definitely over the legal limit for adjectives.
*This is a euphemism for “I’m never, ever going to open this book again, but it has a nice cover,
**I also love run-on sentences. This isn’t going to be one.
I’ve also heard people make this idiotic claim (writers shouldn’t read). For me, one of the perks of becoming a writer, was an excuse to spend countless hours reading. Research! So what if I’m sitting on a plane, reading a middle grade novel? Research! A Victorian romance? Research! Do I need to clean the house? So sorry. Too busy doing research!
So one of my two partners in my last critique group (which I loved) had the nerve to have a baby. So much for that group, which especially distressed me because a group (which I also loved) from a couple of years prior fell apart because both my partners had the nerve to prioritize their families and work over our meetings. I was bereft.**
Low and behold, a partner in one group suggested exchanging pages and a partner from the older group said “Hey kids. Let’s put on a show!” Or as we writers say it, “Put together a new critique group.” And everyone’s great and they better not have the nerve to find something more essential they have to do.***
*So are cute little puppies, kittens, and adorable granddaughters but they’re not a whole lot of help revising a novel.
**That may be a slight overstatement. I just like the word.
The new name will be “No Writing or Querying Day.” To make sure I don’t succumb to temptation, we’re going to drive to Frederick, walk through the amazing Carroll Creek Park, and have tea* and a bran muffins.
*When I have tea instead of a latté, you know I’m serious about taking a writing break.