I wrote a post way waaay back about my experience reading the Twilight series. I wrote about how it swept me up in the story- in spite of my critical opinion of the subject matter, in spite of my reluctance. I wrote about how I couldn’t put it down until I was finished, and how it drove me to distraction and made me surly when daily life had the nerve to demand anything of me that I couldn’t do while holding a full sized hardcover in front of my face- things like showering and driving.
But what I didn’t write about- was that this happens to me all the time. I will probably never read the Twilight series again- there are however some stories that call me back. Like comfort food for the brain in times of need. Times like these, where my immediate life is in chaos and my scrambled brain and emotions refuse to fall into any kind of order. Much easier to dive into a book- even better if there are 7 more waiting after the last page, and no, it doesn’t matter if I’ve read them before.
It all started at my mom’s, with The Sick- I needed something to do between checking on the horse and keeping the fire going. At one point, between us we owned the entire Outlander series, but mine are now long broken up and some of them mixed with hers- and as I crouched in front of the low book shelf I checked to see and sure enough we were missing one book and had two of another. “Damn- Oh! there’s a used bookstore on George st. HA” and I chewed my lip thoughtfully considering how many days I had still at Mom’s, and whether I could justifiably commit to taking on the series. (it is a commitment. I can’t just read one and walk away. Even when I know what happens- every read is a new adventure). I calculated my rate of consumption against time and things to do and decided 1 book:2 days was probably as good as I’d get- I would have to take the rest home with me. (ooh too bad!)
Fresh coffee and something to put my feet up on and I opened the book. Blammo- the rush of gratification was instant. (unlike a new book- where the satisfaction is held back by suspicion and speculation, “Will this get good?” and often I find myself rushing through the first few chapters waiting for the plot to take me or the characters to let me in). Alas, Claire Beauchamp Randall Fraser is a dear friend of mine and I tumbled through the stones into 18th century Europe hot on her heels and into Jamie Fraser’s life with the skill of a practiced Time Traveler.
(Let it be said that Scotland is my favorite imaginary place to be, and if I ever get to go there, I’ll be jumping through standing stones and shrieking like a fool- consider yourselves warned)
As it is, my Darling Husband is at least very tall, and I believe he would look rather dashing in a kilt- so while he suffered for not being able to sparkle like Edward, I can squint my eyes just so and pretend he’s a rugged Highlander and conveniently ignore the fact that I don’t think he can rrroll his rrrr’s.
Beginning the 4th book last night after a brief hiatus to consult the Outlandish Companion lest I miss anything important- I fell into a fitful sleep brought on by too much afternoon coffee and work stuff on my mind. I dreamed of Dougal MacKenzie and tossed myself awake this morning with dark thoughts of the scoundrel and then remembered who and where I was- snug in bed with my NotScot, and felt mildly disappointed.
Well, there is fiction and there are Stories. Fiction is a diversion in a way, but Stories take on a life of their own and carry on beyond the covers of a book. Stories take you places, and you meet people and make friends and enemies and have adventures.
In the midst of my chaos and piles of boxes, I have a door to a borrowed life looking over someone’s shoulder and marveling at how much more capable she is than I am. Crazy maybe(probably)(definitely).
But now, Life on this side of the page is getting antsy and would like me to return. Things to do- groceries to get, a kitchen to excavate, a BBQ to host and the ONLY advantage to putting the book down and getting to work, is that I can drag the adventure out that much longer.
“I’ll tell ye, Sassenach; if ever I feel the need to change my manner of employment, I dinna think I’ll take up attacking women – it’s a bloody hard way to make a living.” – Jamie Fraser, Dragonfly in Amber