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41 // Finding Time to Read

Books have always held near mythical powers for me. From the minute I started knowing how to read, my love of words has only grown and grown. On family trips, when I tired of the books I had stashed in my backpack, I began to make up my own. Sir Chompers comes to mind as the most clearly-thought-out idea of my kid-writing days. I had pages of pages scribbled in a notebook about this dog, Sir Chompers, who accidentally becomes owned by a royal family. He becomes a detective with his Scottie dog pal, brilliantly named “Scottie.” They solve various mysteries in exotic locations. Sort of an Indiana Jones meets Wishbone meets Nancy Drew kind of deal, only the main characters are dogs. Why Sir Chompers is royal, I don’t know. Perhaps it was my 8-year-old brain’s way of justifying his costly travel plans with Scottie. I turned over this idea in my mind of really digging into the children’s-book-that-was concept at one point a few months ago. I had it in my head that I’d really flesh out this ridiculous series and try to shop it around as a children’s/middle-grade book. Somewhere along my scatterbrained dreaming, I forgot all about the idea. Until now, of course.

I’ve written other things in the past. Short stories for college, novels-in-progress that are still stick in an elusive, murky area of unclear plot direction. I’ve written tall tales of evil substitute teachers, scary Halloween happenings, elephants learning to roller skate. Being a writer is what I’ve always said I really want to do. One of these days, I need to make it a reality or my passion for creating worlds in which to escape will be wasted.

I had some downtime tonight where nothing good was on television, and my desire to go outside and exercise was low. I bought a new book recently at the Half Price Bookstore. Written by Steve Martin, entitled “An Object of Beauty.” Art-lit isn’t really my thing, usually. This whole novel circles around Lacey, and this narrator who I don’t believe really even has a name right now, and it gives readers a peak into the glamourous New York art-buying world. Sotheby’s. The like. Steve Martin wrote Shopgirl, which I never read. But I loved the movie. The cover grabbed me, so I purchased on a whim.

It has been nice reading something that challenges me a little. For the last few hours, I haven’t been sitting on my couch nibbling on chips and salsa. I’ve been traipsing through New York in search of the perfect Avery painting, jetting off to Russia with two creepy, sexually-deviant co-workers, buying an apartment due to my sudden wealth and success through some kind of illegal means. I’ve been traveling, breathing, loving, playing, seducing and critiquing my way through the New York art scene. It’s been a nice little vacation, though only temporary.

Words have that kind of power over me. Making me forget where I am and what my situation is. It’s nice to try someone else’s fictional life on for a while.



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