My mental vacation

So I’ve noticed several folks have called and/or emailed me to ask if I’m ok due to my absence of blogs last week.  To those of you who have sought me out, thank you and I’m fine, really.  More embarrassed than anything.  Give me a minute and I’ll explain why.

I love books.  I love old books, books that I’ve read a thousand times.  Books that I practically have memorized.  I love books that are exciting, that bring adventure into my office chair ridden life.  I love opening that door in my mind where all my imagination is and galloping in there.  I love books that are comforting, like a best friend, where you’re just happy to be around them.  I love books that make me cry, make me feel.  Even as a teen, I would read the same books over and over again.  I hate the library, because if I love the book, I don’t want to give it back.  I want it in my collection, to read over again someday. 

I love to find authors and exhaust their works.  I’ve done this dozens of times:  John Grisham, Dana Stabenow, Lynn and Gilbert Morris, T. Davis Bunn, Orson Scott Card, Sophie Kinsella/Madeleine Wickham, J. K. Rowling, Laura Ingalls Wilder, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Ted Dekker, Frank Peretti, Stephanie Grace Whitson, Christopher Paolini, Dean R. Koontz…I could go on and on. 

And I love most of all discovering new authors, new books, new worlds of imagination. 

Ahem, so here’s where my embarrassment is creeping in.  I found a new series by a new author.  I say she’s new, she’s new to me, but she’s been writing for several years and I can’t believe I hadn’t heard anything about her before now.  Her name is Stephenie Meyer.

Let me give you some background, because it’s really cool.  So, one night Stephenie Meyer has this dream, an extremely vivid dream of a conversation between a man and a woman in this forest.  The woman is a human, the man a beautiful, powerful vampire.  They have fallen in love, but they really shouldn’t be together because the vampire is especially attracted to her blood.  (Stop rolling your eyes folks, it was just a dream)  Stephenie woke up, so interested in that dream that she felt compelled to write it down.  Which led to trying to finish out the conversation, which led to the rest of the story.  Then she went back and wrote the first part of the story.  She wrote night after night until three months later she had completed a novel.  Her sister encouraged her to get it published so after three months of trying, Twilight was born. 

Now, for the faint of heart, this book is admittedly about vampires and their nature, but it’s not the blood and guts Anne Rice kind of vampires.  In fact, this particular vampire and his family don’t hunt humans, but endeavor to protect them.  So rest assured, you will not have nightmares if you choose to read this.

A friend lent me her copy of Twilight, the first in a series of four books.  I read it all in a night.  No small feat-it had around 500 pages.  But I could NOT put it down.  I read into the wee hours of the morning.  The next day, I read it again. 

Now, admittedly, this book is geared for young adults.  I am no longer considered a young adult, at least physically. But if you could crawl into my mind, you’ll not find a 32 year old wife and mother.  You’d probably find an awkward, uncomfortable 16 year old who is still trying to work out her hair issues. 

(I’m stalling, I’m not sure how to explain the impact without completely losing credibility.  You will all think I am utterly ridiculous.  Oh well here goes-)

I totally have a crush on a fictional character.  There I said it.  I am no different, it seems, than the thousands of girls who bought issues of Tiger Beat or Bop to find pinups of their favorite eye candy.  Edward, the vampire, is in love with Bella, the human.  I’m sure I am not the only thirty-something woman to say this but, why oh why can’t I live in a fantasy world with vampires and werewolves?  (Actually, in doing some research on this cool thing called the Net, I found a site dedicated to thirty-something moms who dig Twilight, aptly named “Twilight Moms“.  I’m not alone in my insanity, thank God.)

So I read Twilight twice in 48 hours.  In those 48 hours, I was whisked away to this fantasy world and I did not want to come back.  Who cared about laundry?  Who had time to eat?  (I totally lost my appetite last week-not complaining about that by the way)  I was so afraid that I might lose this sense of wonder and … (geez, here’s the embarrassing part) the sense of first love.

Do you remember when you fell for your first crush?  I can remember being in 7th grade, sitting in the gym in a cold, plastic chair pushed against the wall, watching Cole Brinson dancing with Allison Underwood.  My heart was breaking, because I crushed hard for him.  It was the only time in my adolescence that I cried like a typical teenager over a boy.  When I saw them kiss, it was like physical torture. 

Well, that feeling, that crush-hard-on-someone feeling, you lose it after 10 years of matrimony.  Don’t me wrong, what I have is better.  I have safety, trust, security, familiarity-all important too.  It’s sort of like two sides to a coin.  One side is the passion, the mystery, the intent on discovering everything about this person you love.  The other side is the commitment side-the trust, the intimacy, the comfort.  I don’t think a marriage can work without both sides.  My problem is, I really miss that first side. 

Poor Lance, all last week he watched me walk around with glazed eyes, watched me push my plate away, asked me a million times what was wrong.  How could I explain to him what was happening in my mind?  Without him thinking I was completely ridiculous, I mean?  Normally, I’m dependable, I’m predictable, I get the laundry done and have a healthy appetite. 

So I finally, timidly tried to feed him tiny snippets from the collage in my mind.  To give him credit, he did not ridicule, he did not get angry.  Instead, he picked up Twilight and began to read. 

So anyways, folks.  I took a break last week from blogging because it was hard to focus on reality when my mind was living in a town called Forks.  I had nothing of interest to write other than I was glued to my computer for two days, reading a partial draft on Midnight Sun, which is Twilight from Edward’s perspective.  I was not an active member of society.  I was no longer 32 and responsible.  I was 14 and reliving my first crush.

Rest assured, I am back, plugging away at life, albeit a slower pace.  Laundry is being done, food being eaten again.  I’m back.

So pushing all this embarrassment aside, let me ask you-when was the last time you were swept away by something?  What was the last book you read that peeled back the layers of reality and enjoyed a mental vacation?  Can you remember your first real head-over-heels crush?

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7 responses to this post.

  1. I don’t care if it sounds lame, I am constantly swept away by my family. I always take a mental vacation when I read, so the recent thanks go to Sophie Kinsella and Lisa Scottoline. My first crush was a boy named Brian and that crush lasted throughout years and boyfriends — I would have dumped ANY of the guys I ever dated if he’d shown interest in me. But I was a practical girl and knew that it wouldn’t ever happen, so I resigned myself to unrequited love. And I’m still not reading Twilight. 😉

    Reply

  2. Posted by trinette on September 10, 2008 at 7:12 am

    I start jonesing if I don’t read for a while…. say 4 days. Sad. I reread a lot because I go through so many books. Anyway, the last good series I read was the Galactic Center series by Gregory Benford. Very interesting.

    I almost picked up the Twilight books recently… Maybe I’ll take another look.

    Reply

  3. Posted by Natalie on September 10, 2008 at 9:40 pm

    I think they are making the book you are talking about into a movie. I am pretty sure I saw the preview on the Penelope DVD. I could be completely wrong…

    Reply

  4. Posted by soundsliketomatoes on September 11, 2008 at 2:22 pm

    Indeed they are. I shall be there, an old woman in the line with teenagers who can’t even drive.

    Reply

  5. Posted by Robin on September 17, 2008 at 6:17 am

    girl….i love reading those young adult / sci fi books!!! i have to admit tho….even the cover of twilight scared me and the lady at borders said it was about vampires…….i struggle with shark attack visions at night already and i don’t need to add vampire visions to the chaos….

    Reply

  6. Posted by Carrie on April 14, 2009 at 3:36 am

    Ok so I finally fell into the world of twlight and let me tell you….I’ve read all 4 books TWICE in two weeks. I’m currently re-finishing the 4th one and then moving on to begin reading Midnight Sun.

    Ugh. The coma.

    Reply

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