Friday, November 12, 2010

How our experiences shape us...

I read a thread today on the blueboards (Verla Kay) that was so horrifying I couldn't process it. See there is/was a book for sale on Amazon for pedophiles. I should start this post by saying that I do not watch the news. At all. I used to, but the constant focus on the negative aspects of our world quickly turned me off. Instead, I generally rummage through Yahoo or MSNBC (but only on occasion) and then go about my day. Getting back to the point, so yes, some sicko came up with a sicko book and Amazon decided to allow it to sell on their site.

I will not delve into my opinion on this as I am a VERY opinionated person and this pisses me off to no end. But I will tell you this, prior to becoming a parent I was very much against the death penalty. I felt that God, and God alone, reserved the right to determine the life and death of human beings.

Then I had my daughter, Rylie.

I can now think of lots of reasons someone should die, and all of them revolve around my daughter. I find such changes in people when they become parents interesting. Strict nutritionists at the McDonalds drive-thru. Anti-TV folks singing the chorus for Dora. Changes like this are so common in the parenting world that we all just shrug and move on.

But the same seems to be true for becoming a writer. When I wrote my first book I became privy to some sort of understanding in what actually makes for an entertaining book. I still had the rosy glasses on, and so I was able to read books that were not quite perfectly written (or interesting). But now that I am knee deep into my second book, my entire outlook has become jaded. I see writing very differently now. I look for rhythm and beats, poetic language and sentence variations. These are all things that were blind to me prior to becoming a writer.

It's kind of like the bell in THE POLAR EXPRESS. Only those who know, who believe, can hear it jingle. The same goes for writing. I will never read a book the same way again. I suppose that's a good thing, but man, I used to be such a fast reader.



  1. Amazon blows my mind on a number of levels, but this one takes the cake!! Crazy! And, it makes me wonder what else is floating around on their self-publishing section.

    I totally agree with you on the reading thing! Right now I'm struggling through my current book-on-the-go. I know that if I read it this time last year, I would have breezed through and probably loved it. But I wish I wasn't one of those people who HAS to finish books, because I'm finding it painful.

    Have a great weekend!

  2. Melissa, that got me VERY angry too. I'm a fierce defender of children. I have two god-daughters and I could easily go to jail for them if anyone hurt them. I'm glad Amazon got a clue and stop carrying that horrible book. Ugh.

    I remember those days of reading for pleasure too! It's very hard to read a book without trying to figure out how the author did it. But I also think books are the best teacher to learn how to write better.

  3. Laura -- I know! I'm switching my online ordering to Barnes and Noble going forward b/c this is not the only book they have on the subject. It is horrible. Amazon justifies it by saying it is censorship to refuse the book based upon subject. Yuck! And I know just how you feel re: reading till the end. I have to finish a book, but lately it has become a painful process with some.

    Karen -- Funny that you mention jail b/c when I originally wrote this blog entry I mentioned that if anyone touches Rylie I'll have to write my blog entries from a jail cell. That book (and there are others on Amazon) disgusts me. I totally agree with you that reading is our best teacher. I'm reading THE LIGHTENING THIEF now b/c while I don't write MG it is so fantastically plotted that I knew I could learn a thing or two.