As you can see from the lack of posts, it is time to rethink this site. I was so excited to start a blog, but I'm afraid my heart just hasn't stayed with this particular theme. That doesn't mean I've given up on blogging--I just need to find a new direction. Until I do (and hopefully that will be sooner rather than later), please consider this site UNDER REVISION AND REVITALIZATION.
Adult novels are about
letting go. Children’s novels are about getting a grip.—Tim Wynne-Jones
An interesting thought,
but isn’t the reverse just as true? Isn’t part of every adult novel about the
MC struggling to get a grip? On their relationships, their job, their addiction
of choice. In the same way, doesn’t the MC in a children’s novel have to let go
of something in order to gain something else? Even the stubborn pigeon reluctantly
lets go of his dreams of driving the bus to focus on the possibility of driving
a fire truck.
Then I read
Wynne-Jones’s quote again and wondered if I hadn’t missed the point. I needed
to think about where the MC in each of these types of novels is on their life
journey. Children are just starting out on this journey. They are learning the
ropes when it comes to dealing with relationships, responsibilities, and the
sometimes cold, hard realities of life. The challenge is getting a firm enough grip
on those ropes to clamber up them into adulthood.
Adults, on the other
hand, have (for the most part) learned those ropes. Learned them so well, in
fact, that they have added walls, and facades, and a plethora of rules to keep
their death grip on those ropes from slipping. Now the challenge becomes discovering
how to let go of those constraints or risk hanging by those same ropes.
So, are adult novels
about letting go and children’s novels about getting a grip? I’d say “yes.” What
are your thoughts?
is not true we have only one life to live; if we can read, we can live as many
lives and as many kinds of lives as we wish.” –S. I. Hayakawa
I’ve always believed that reading
was a doorway into other lives, other worlds, but I’m not sure I ever really
considered the implications of that until my friend Marie entered a nursing
home. Active all her life and still doing volunteer work at 90 some years old,
Marie now has limited mobility. To many in her situation, this would mean a
life, a world, defined, for the most part, by the four walls of her room.
But Marie is a reader. And that
reading knocks down those four walls. With a book in her hands, Marie faces the
perils of a Montana winter while homesteading, foils the raiders of a vast
airship, or soars dragon-back to fight another insidious threadfall. She
inhabits bodies that walk, that run, that jump from windows or out of the way
of oncoming traffic. She lives in the present, the past, or the far distant
future. Transported by reading, she can be anyone and travel anywhere. And that
beats the hell out of where you can go with a wheelchair or a walker.
Two hours is nothing! Put a good book in this bookjunkie’s hands and I may not surface for days at a time. Well, except for things I can’t get out of—like work or sleep. Luckily, reading while eating is just bookjunkie efficiency in action. I do draw the line at taking a book into the shower or bathtub, but only because I haven’t discovered a good water-proofing method. I have heard of listening to audiobooks while sleeping, but I’m not convinced it’s as restful as true sleep. I like sleep.
I also like my job. So, tempting as it might be, I resist sneaking in a chapter when no one is looking. I’d end up like the character in the quote, losing track of time. Nor do I read that book on my breaks. Same reasons. Breaks are for books I don’t mind reading in bits and pieces. And remember, I work in a library. When not helping patrons with their various questions, I have collection development duties on the adult side plus duties on the children's side that include our weekly toddler/preschooler story time. In other words, between research, book reviews, and the books for story time, there’s very little work time when this bookjunkie isn’t reading. And while it’s not that good book I can’t wait to get lost in again, but it does take the edge off the craving. Kinda like nibbling on appetizers while you wait for the main course to be served.
While unwritten pieces cannot be rejected, neither can they be read and enjoyed. And I admit that I am one of those egotistical writers who wants her words to be read. And enjoyed.
“Failure is success if we learn from it.” —Malcolm Forbes
Did you ever burn your toast? I bet you didn’t keep on burning it.
“No one put a gun to your head and ordered you to become a writer. One writes out of his own choice and must be prepared to take the rough spots along the road with a certain equanimity, though allowed some grinding of the teeth.” —Stanley Ellin
Just be sure your dental coverage if paid up in case you end up needing a set of dentures.