Well, I made it through the day. I managed to put three miles of treadmill under my feet - although not without some serious breathing and heart palpitations. Man, I used to be able to stop exercising for months and just pick up where I left off. What's with that, anyway? Anyway, I ran. I did my Tracy Anderson and discovered I could still touch my toes and do plies without great pain and injury. And I wrote. Not a ton, but enough.
Maybe I needed the break as much as my kids. It was the most productive day I've had in a while (laundry and cooking and party planning excluded).
So last night when I crawled in bed, my husband asked, "Are you reading long tonight?" I don't know why he asks this every night, because I always miscalculate how long I'm going to read. I mean, occasionally I'm nearing the last 100 pages and I know I won't be able to put it down and I say that, but usually, I don't intend on reading long. It just happens.
But last night I was starting a new book - The Time Traveler's Wife - and it almost always takes a night or two of reading a new book to get the the obsessively-I-can't-turn-out-the-light phase. And this wasn't one of my YA or thriller books. It's literary fiction. So I said probably only 20 minutes. Unless I don't like it and fall asleep in the first few pages.
Don't get me wrong. I love literary fiction. It's just not the kind of thing that keeps me up nights. And this one - well it was put on a list of 100 books you have to read before you die - right along with Shakespeare and Moby Dick and the Bible. I figured it was blown a little out of proportion, considering it was published in 2003.
But I was wrong. Well, I haven't finished it yet, so I can't speak to the total package, but Wow! I spent a lot more time than 20 minutes. I read until I could barely keep my eyes open, thinking, I have to get up tomorrow. Spring break is over! And the other part of my brain said, Just one more section!
What I find fascinating is how unique a story it is - not just the plot but the entire way it's written. And I wonder if the author was thinking the entire time: This goes against everything written about how a book should be written. I am going to be shot down all over the place. . Or was she thinking, "This is brilliant! It's completely unlike anything out there! It's going to be a bestseller!" I'm hoping it was a bit of both. Does an author really know what rules it's okay to break, and if they are doing it well enough for no one to care? I'd like to think I'm not the only one. Not that my writing is like this or anything.
And what I'd do to see that query letter! You think you are having a hard time getting your characters and plot summed up in a paragraph? This book blows my mind. I have no idea how you can get the amazing complicated plot and the depth of characters across in a query.
But then, maybe she just sent the first chapter with the query. Yup. That would do it.