Monday, August 19, 2013

Finding No Fault In This Weekend

I've had a somewhat eventful weekend for a woman who did not leave her house. Between Friday evening and Sunday afternoon, I wrote 9762 words, typing THE END on book 3 in the Anchor Island Series. I had no idea I could write that many words in a weekend, but then again, maybe I wrote that many when I hit the downward slope into THE END with the last one.

Not sure.

So I finished writing my book. Hit my goal. That's awesome. But in addition to that, I read an entire novel. By someone else. I know, crazy, right?

My daughter fell in love with John Green novels some months ago. I encouraged this love, as I knew the books were amazing even though I'd never read one. After all, these are young adult novels. I'm not the target demographic. And I have so many romances on the TBR pile that I'm ignoring on a daily basis.

So I let her read them and descend the stairs a blubbering mess with each one to tell me about the heart wrenching stories Mr. Green tells. Because of this spoiler allowance (I wasn't really going to read them, after all) I knew how The Fault In Our Stars would end. Kiddo even forced me to read a couple pages once. Sitting at a gas station on a road trip, I read a scene she swore would make me cry.

I didn't cry. But only because I hadn't read anything that came before that scene. And part of me wishes I hadn't read that scene out of context first, or let her tell me about the ending. Because between Friday evening and Sunday night, I read The Fault In Our Stars. Every second of the reading I spent in awe. The language, the voice. Beautiful and ordinary in an extraordinary way. But the characters.

Oh, the characters.

So this isn't book review day and I didn't set out to make this blog a review, but more a moment of me sharing a great experience. It's not often that reading a book feels like a real, honest-to-goodness experience. Like I bought a ticket and boarded some form of transportation and for whatever time I spent with those words, I was somewhere else. Really and truly airlifted to another time and place.

The good thing is, I wasn't stymied by this experience. Am I critically and whole-heartedly aware that I will never write a book this amazing? You betcha. Did I come away feeling defeated, inept, and utterly worthless as a writer? Surprisingly enough, no.

I'm not sure what that means, but I'm calling it progress. A tiny step on my journey that gets me a little closer to where I want to be. But really, as I keep telling Hellie, it's all about the journey. It's taken me six years to get this far, and I see nothing but an endless road in front of me. But it's my road and it's my journey and I'm enjoying the hell out of it right now.

How about you? Are you a journey or destination kind of person? (If you're the latter, you probably don't like this blog very much. Sorry about that.) What was the last book that left you in awe? 

13 comments:

quantum said...

Great to hear that life is good Terri, and that the writing is blooming. You are clearly surfing the waves of success right now and deserve to wallow in a little adoration. *adoring smile*

I read book one and enjoyed it a lot. Is Anchor Island going to be a trilogy or is that ferry to the island sailing over an endless sea? I think Mo may hold the world record with her 37? book series!

I must take a look at John Green with a view to future presents for my grand!

I love an interesting scenic journey but the destination has to be worth the time!
I have just finished Jojo Moyes's 'Me before You'. It is about caring for a quadriplegic who is determined to end his life but agrees to delay six months. His carer falls in love with him and I felt sure that when the time came she would persuade him to change his mind. The book is funny and tugs at the heart strings in ways that I had not experienced before. The writing left me in awe, and the problems of quads and their family, friends and carers is still resonating with my thoughts.

Moyes is going to join you on my auto-buy list if her other books are as good. LOL

Maureen said...

30 books, Q. Right now, who knows what might happen as I get close to actually publishing the last few. I might decide to keep writing...

As for books this good...I can remember reading John Irving novels and just pausing now and then to appreciate the prose. But something that totally captured me in a different world? I don't know. Happens a lot in pieces, but probably more with a good movie than a book.

Which probably explains why I write like I'm watching a movie.

Gods, I'm shallow.

I love and hate the journey, sometimes at the same time. Right now, it's nearly 3am and I've been caught by book number nine and am 2/3 of the way through edits and my eyes are starting to threaten anarchy.

Time to head for bed! See ya all in the morning. Or afternoon...

MsHellion said...

*LOL* Glad I could blog-inspire you. *LOL* I'm more a destination person myself. I'm excited at the very beginning; and I'm relieved and happy at the end--but usually during the journey, I'm wore out. I have to summon up so much energy to get through the journey, I get bitchy about it...I don't enjoy it as much because I can't journey and relax at the same time. I'm too busy worried about the next part of the journey and if I have the energy for it, see? Now if I could journey and just BE, I would probably have a better relationship with journeys. But accepting where I am and that it's okay where I am, it's not a competition, and that airports aren't exhausting--I'm just not that evolved yet.

Congrats on the The End. I knew you'd be done this weekend!! Impressed you read the book too and love that it was a true reading experience. I read this book too, but didn't enjoy it as much as others have. *shrugs* I think I was jaded pretty much from the beginning of the journey, knowing we were going to travel to a rather "unhappy ending"--and this story was much more about the journey than the destination. :) I don't think I could explain my dislike of the book like that before--good blog.

Book that was that kind of experience. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I can't talk about this kind of subject and NOT mention it. But Marsha Moyer's books about Lucy Hatch were pretty awe-inspiring--I wanted to write like that. The book DAUGHTER OF SMOKE & BONE and the sequel/prequel (not sure which title I conjured up)--that one was definitely an experience.

I don't know if it's as hard for me to get sucked into a book experience. It's my usual mode of transportation. *LOL* But yes, books that alter me afterwards, those aren't as many I think...

Janga said...

Yay, Terri! You had an amazing weekend. Congratulations on completing Book 3.

I have The Fault in Our Stars on a TBR shelf, but, as I told Q about the Moyes's book, I'm not reading any major tear-inducers until things in RL are less difficult. I've heard nothing but good things about Green, so I'm sure I'll read his books sometime.

I reread an oldie, Judith Ivory's The Proposition, when I pulled it out to check something for an H&H post I was working on. I was awed anew by Ivory's prose and by her daring in making her hero a rat catcher. That he is one of the best historical heroes ever makes it all the more astounding.

Marnee Bailey said...

Great blog, Ter!

Congrats on getting to the END! :) With time to spare. You rock.

As to an awe inspiring book.... I haven't been inspired a lot lately. I haven't read a lot lately, though, so that might be it. I used to feel like that about Sherry Thomas's and Joanna Bourne's books. I haven't read a lot lately, though. I think Sherry Thomas has a new YA fantasy coming out. I will read that.

Terri Osburn said...

Q - Thank you for your adoration. :) The Anchor Series could very possibly be four books. More on that when it's all for certain.

That does sound like a similar kind of book to Mr. Green's. I'm not a huge fan of reading sad stories, but I think TFIOS made me realize that a story having a sad ending does not make it a sad story.

Terri Osburn said...

Mo, you're in luck as this book will soon be a movie. Feel free to wait for the trailer. I have a sinking suspicion I'll actually cry more watching the movie than I did reading the book.

Go you on all that editing. You are cranking these books out!

Terri Osburn said...

Hellie, that might be it. You couldn't enjoy the journey knowing there was a bit of a cliff at the end. Fair enough. But I so fell in love with the voice of this one, there was no way I couldn't stay with it.

And I did think of the HP books when I asked that question. That is very much the lift off to another place kind of thing I mean here, just on a grander scale.

Terri Osburn said...

Janga, I love that you read it again just from doing research. And a rat catcher hero?? I'm guessing this book was not written in the last couple years. ;)

And that's the good thing about a book. It's not going anywhere. TFIOS will be there waiting for you when you're ready to read it. Though I admit, it should probably come with a box of tissues.

Terri Osburn said...

BTW, I'm sure you all can tell I slept in. Today is a big day as I get kiddo back from her summer visit. I can't wait to get her at the airport this evening! (Which requires a bit of a road trip on my part. Sigh.)

Thanks, Marn! There was an ease in writing those last 10K words that I'm not sure I've experienced before. And, of course, today I'm questioning some of the choices I made, but I still love how the story turned out.

The new Sherry Thomas sounds like the exact thing you should read for inspiration right now. Maybe writing my own was easier because I was reading something so good. Huh.

P. Kirby said...

Even though I wasn't as in love with it as you are, I liked The Fault in Our Stars and powered through it pretty fast. I bought the ebook, no surprise, when it was on sale cheap, because the voice hooked me, as did the protagonist's sardonic mention of someone having "cancer of the balls."

Of recent reads, I was the most enamored with The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. I really glommed onto the characters in that one. Each is so well-developed and distinctive and I love great ensemble casts.

Interestingly, I'm reading Shiver by the same author, and although the book is really popular, I don't like it as much as The Raven Boys.

Going through my Goodreads profile, I see a ton of YA. Man, I'm sooo regressing. Heh.

Anyway, congrats on reaching...The End!

irisheyes said...

Congrats on the awesome weekend, Ter!!! I'm so happy you reached THE END on book 3, maybe selfishly more for us than you:). We're that much closer to reading about Randy and Will!

My daughter bought 2 copies of THE FAULT IN OUR STARS. One for her and one for her friend. They were going to start reading it on a weekend at the cottage in July but I don't think they ever got around to it. Jetskis, boating, tubing and boys got in the way! LOL I'll have to check in with her and see if she read it yet. I read an excerpt and that little bit was amazing, but I still can't bring myself to read it knowing what it's about and how it ends. I'm a real wuss when it comes to that stuff.

The last person to WOW me with their book? Let's see... I always come away with that feeling after reading Barbara Samuel/O'Neal and Pamela Morsi on the contemporary front and Carla Kelly and Mary Balogh on the historical front.

Terri Osburn said...

Pat, I did the same. Bought it for the kindle on sale then barreled through it at record speed. That just doesn't happen for me anymore. What is The Raven Boys about?

Feel free to have selfish motivations, Irish. I have no problem with that. Do nudge your daughter to read this, but be prepared for all the feels, as my kiddo calls them. I get a lot of "I just..." Which is good from what I can tell.