I went to the library this afternoon to pick up a couple of books I need to research elements of my current WIP and started wandering around in the nonfiction stacks.
I know. Could I be any more of a nerd?
In in the 818 section (literature, humor) I found 84, Charing Cross Road. It’s a thin book of compiled letters (remember those? They came on paper, in a box outside your door, delivered once a day by a pudgy person in tight polyester shorts and a visor) sent between a writer living in New York and an employee of a used book shop in London. It looked…interesting. Letters, books, New York, London, I like all of those things. So I checked it out. There are two round benches outside my library and I like to sit down after I’ve checked out my books and flip through them. Just in case one’s a total dud. No point in taking it home.
I got two pages into 84, Charing Cross Road and burst out laughing. Thank GOD I was outside the library because I have a quite loud laugh. I might have been barred forever from my most favorite place after Starbucks. It took me less than an hour to read the book and by the end I was a little teary-eyed. I wanted to send it to people like my editor, and my friend Rob, with whom I had a love affair in letters back when people sent letters, and say “Read this! It’s great! It’s about nothing at all except books and friendship! Trust me! Great!”
I just finished working through the Discovering Story Magic class. It’s been extremely helpful for character development for the new book while simultaneously reminding me that people read (and especially read romance) for emotions. They want to go on a safe roller coaster ride, and that means big conflict, big emotions, big drama, WHHHHHHEEEEEEEEEEEE! But every so often I’m reminded that powerful stuff happens in the everyday, in the mundane exchanges about books (if such a thing is possible, of course). I think some of my strongest writing and characterization comes from that ordinary world, so it’s good to spend some time there.
Sigh. Any day when I read a fantastic book gets high marks. Today was an A+ day.