Tag Archive | reading

Books That Change Lives

A friend of mine posted on Facebook today about books that change your life. It’s no secret that we all have that special something that awakens a spark in us, and books are often the match that starts the flame. Her post got me thinking of the books I’ve read over the years and whether any of them have had an impact on me. It didn’t take long to think of which one did it, and it brought back a very fine memory.

When I was in my senior year of high school, I was loaded down with AP classes, student government, and prepping for university. There wasn’t much leisure time, and I was one of those teens that insisted on doing everything I could to make my transition to college easier. At the beginning of the school year, I was at the mall and heading out to go home, when I walked past a book store. There, on the front display, was a small shelf of copies of The Lord of the Rings with a cardboard advertisement from the upcoming movie.

It was 2001, so at the time, I hadn’t seen the movies yet. I knew nothing of The Lord of the Rings– in fact, I had never even heard of it! Despite reading tons of books growing up, my fiction was typically revolved around historical stories.

I stopped in my tracks, somehow drawn to the copy of The Fellowship of the Ring that was on display at the window. I can’t really tell you what drew me to it. The cover wasn’t anything fancy. But I felt like I had to see it. As strange as it sounds, I felt like I was meant to read that book.

I’m not one to do things on the whim, and when it comes to money, I don’t like to spend it on something I know I won’t use. But I knew I had to have it. I bought the book, went home, and started to read.

Now, I confess that I didn’t quite read a lot of it at first because homework took priority. Taking four AP classes, alongside a full high school schedule and volunteering, doesn’t leave you with much free time. Also, I may or may not have been going on a Sailor Moon binge at the time, lol! But when Christmas came and I got to see The Fellowship of the Ring movie, I was blown away. Immediately after seeing the film, I picked up the book and read it in a few days.

What followed was a thorough read-through of the trilogy, The Hobbit, and The Chronicles of Narnia (because you can’t read Tolkien without some C.S. Lewis in there, right?) But after reading The Fellowship of the Ring, a spark lit up inside me.

I wanted to write a story like Tolkien.

Characters like Frodo, Faramir, Eowyn, and Aragorn really resonated with me. All my years of reading books never transported me to a faraway world that made me want to live in it. To say that the stories changed my life and inspired me to be brave and kind is putting it mildly. I wanted to be just like the Hobbits and Elves and Dwarves and Men that I read about. And one day, I wanted to inspire other readers like Tolkien inspired me.

Grant it, my stories are nowhere near the level of Tolkien’s, and probably never will be, but there’s a special something about having your life impacted by such a small thing. Like the One Ring impacting Frodo’s life, Frodo’s story impacted mine (but in a good way). And now that I’m a writer, I hope my stories impact the lives of my readers as well.

Think about your favorite books or stories. What are the ones that have impacted your life?

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Weekly Update – Reading Time!

As a writer, I don’t have much time to read anymore.  Between working, volunteering, and activities with friends and family, I hardly can pick up a book without having to get up and go.  But writing, as we all know, benefits from reading.  Not only does it allow us to study and develop our craft to make it better, but it also provides a great break from constantly staring at a computer screen and typing all day.

And so, in the midst of writing Heir of Vengeance and editing Captain Patty and Veronica’s Vengeance, I decided to set aside some time to read.  Typically it would be before bed after Bible devotions or during breakfast as I ate.  The first book I’ve set to tackle on my list is J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Silmarillion.  Being a Lord of the Rings fan, I thought it fun to read the history of Middle Earth (and so far it’s been really good!)

It’s been nice to take the time to read, short as it is during the day.  I almost forgot how much I enjoyed the written word, how it takes me to another world and puts me in the middle of adventure.  I may not get to read as much as I used to, but I definitely want to make more time for this fun and relaxing activity.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to read more of The Silmarillion!

Weekly Update – 07/15/17

One of the hardest things about being a writer is finding the time to just sit back and read.  I’m ashamed to admit that aside from the occasional story, I’ve hardly read any books since beginning my writing career.  That’s unfortunate, as reading was what made me realize I wanted to be a writer in the first place.

So this week, that changed.  I sat down and took the time to do some reading.  And you know what?  It was fun!  It reminded me of the days when I’d sneak in pages to read between classes or curled up with a good book while everyone else was watching TV. It felt wonderful being lost in a fantasy world with new characters I’ve never met before, as if I was meeting new friends for the first time.

It’s easy to get distracted or overwhelmed when life gets busy.  Sometimes we can barely find enough time to eat or sleep, let alone relax.  But it’s always important to have that downtime…to have that time where you can sit down and enjoy the moment.  Reading is a form of entertainment that is as classic as time itself, and despite the fun found in our latest technologies, television and games can only go so far in helping us develop our imaginations to enjoy written worlds.  As you go about your weekend, I encourage you to enjoy a book or story and take some time to relax in this busy thing called life.