Timing is important

You may know the song or the scripture it comes from, “…to everything there is a season and a time to every purpose…” this came to mind today when an author I follow posted in her group that “timing is important with books.”Timing is important_2

Yes! With books and so many other things….it has many names, serendipity, synchronicity, the right time (divine timing), and coincidence.

There are so many books that I read at the right time, books that the timing was important. Mud Vein by Tarryn Fisher is a memorable one. Mud Vein changed the way I connected with books; I viewed reading and writing from a completely different perspective after that book. (You can read my post love letter to Mud Vein here.)

I first noticed the importance of timing when reading when I was fresh out of college and taking the train to visit relatives in Chicago and to attend my first RWA literacy signing (imagine 500 + authors wall to wall signing books…with all proceeds going to literacy, check them out at RWA.org). Months before this I had picked up one of my favorite author’s new hardcover book (yes, because I was a HUGE fan I splurged on the hardcover!!) I still hadn’t read it. I had tried and tried again and just couldn’t get into it. I thought I was going to have to skip it and just chalk it up to bad writing…

BUT…

Here I was getting ready for a 5 hour train ride picking out my books for the trip (this is BEFORE ebooks…or at least before devices for ebooks were invented so physical books had to be planned ahead for the trip.) I was ready to try again with the spy-novel-romance book I had been trying to read for months. The night before, I forced (yes, forced) myself to read the first couple of chapters to get myself going.

The train was full and I ended up sitting next to a young gentleman who was nearly as well read as I was (he had just finished reading Tuesday’s with Morrie – one of my all time favorite books) and we chatted for the first portion of the trip (I wasn’t all that excited to get to my book, not at all like me…) he was heading to DC and then off to Germany for some sort of “training” and then he asked where I was headed…but my mind kept going back to the book I had started the night before…hmmm…the hero of my book was a former CIA agent….why would someone take the train from Wisconsin to DC only to fly to Germany?

At this point if you don’t know me, I have a VERY active imagination! So my mind was racing with all sorts of things between the book and the gentleman sitting next to me (whose name just added to the mystery – Sam Adams – yep, he was named after a beer! Couldn’t he have come up with a non-spyish name??!!!) Why did he have to go to DC to fly to Germany? Why couldn’t he fly out of Chicago? And his name is Sam Adams!

After that trip, I realized that had I read that book at any other time I wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much. It was the timing of it that made it a book that I ended up loving. It also made my trip all that more memorable. I was unfamiliar with downtown Chicago and I needed to walk from the train station to meet my cousin, Sam Adams, spy in training in my head, offered to walk with me to the corner my cousin specified. He did. And I never forgot his kindness.

I no longer force myself to read books if they don’t catch me. Maybe they will at a different time…a time when I NEED to read it. I also notice books that I am meant to read. Mud Vein kept popping up for me, it was everywhere…until I finally broke down and read it. Then it wouldn’t leave me along for another reason entirely!

But for reading (and with writing too!) there is a time and a reason and I’ve learned just to follow my heart and let the reason figure itself out….

(As I’m finishing this post Miley Cyrus is signing Younger Now, and I think, yes, timing is important. Younger Now: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LX2kpeyp80)

xo,

Christina2

 

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20 years ago today….

Twenty years ago the world was introduced to a little boy with round glasses and a scar. I remember seeing him on the shelf for the first time, I thought it was such a cute and wonderful cover…fast forward a couple of years and the third book of the series was just out and with a little nudge from our corporate offices (Borders) to have someone read the books, saying the books were going to be HUGE, I volunteered.

I had a 6 hour flight to Alaska on a family trip. So I purchased my very first Harry Potter book. HP_20 years later_2The truth is I don’t like to read on planes, I’d much rather listen to my music or look out the window. But I thought a children’s book would be a quick read and something I wouldn’t have to pay much attention. I have never been so wrong. By the time we got off the plane in Anchorage I was looking up every Borders location in the area…calling each to find out if they had Harry Potter books 2 & 3….we drove 50 miles to a Waldenbooks in Wasilla, AK. I finished all three books by the time my vacation was over and went back to work. I had to wait 10 months for the fourth book.

There is something special I noticed, I like to call it BEFORE Harry Potter and AFTER Harry Potter, simple but significant. What many may not have first hand knowledge of is the way these books changed readers, to say that it created a new generation of readers is not giving the books enough credit. In my nearly 20 years with Borders nothing can compare to it. Readers didn’t just change, the world of reading changed. Not only were there readers of EVERY age, gender, and background there were fans who came back for more of OTHER books and other authors…they couldn’t get enough of READING. We couldn’t keep up with recommendations for other “like” Harry Potter books. We created bookmarks, endcap displays, and front of store displays.

So when I think about Harry and his impact…he fundamentally changed the world of readers, regardless if you’ve read the books. There will always be a time before the boy who lived and an after.

I am immensely grateful for the after….Happy 20th Harry! And thank you, JK Rowling.

❤ ❤ ❤

xo,

Christina2

A Love Letter to the book Mud Vein by Tarryn Fisher: The Book That Changed How I View Myself and Ultimately Changed How I Read.

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Mud Vein: The icky vein on the back of a shrimp which is not recommended to eat and is usually cleaned out before consuming. Or better yet, for the context of this article, a mud vein is where we store all of our icky stuff that we don’t want to acknowledge we have within us…the human mud vein where all of our shit collects, our flaws, and our disgusting imperfections. We all have a mud vein, we all have parts of ourselves we turn away from and wish we didn’t have.

The book Mud Vein by Tarryn Fisher is far from anything icky or shitty nor is it your average fictional tale. It’s a love story. A love story of epic proportions. A story mud_vein_ebook-1-200x300about learning to love yourself completely, wrapped in the guise of a psychological thriller. At least that’s what it was for me. When you begin reading this fast paced mind-bender your only questions are “What IS happening?” and “Who did this to her?” but by the time the last page is consumed, you realize those weren’t the questions you should have been asking. Instead you walk away asking yourself; what darkness is inside of myself that I need to understand? What haven’t I accepted about myself? What are those flaws that I need to embrace as a part of myself in order to be completely me?

One of the best feelings is when a book stays with you and doesn’t let you go. It’s an authors’ true legacy, writing words that fundamentally change you from the inside out.  And not because you don’t have the answers but because you walk away with more questions about who you are and who you want to be.

Reading Mud Vein was the first time I ever realized just how much I was learning about life, learning about myself through works of fiction, of romance, mysteries, fantasy, and young adult; none of which would be shelved within the self-improvement section and much of which would be considered subpar as far as books and writing goes. ILikeMyScars_MudVeinFor self-improvement type of reading I tend to look to experts like Elizabeth Gilbert, Brene Brown, or even Steven Pressfield. And for pleasure reading I lean toward a romance or even a young adult fantasy adventure. But here I was reading this creepy psychological thriller weaving its message of self-acceptance through the pages filled with pink Zippos, and carousel horses. Maybe I should have paid more attention to the section headings like Shock and Denial, Pain and Guilt, and Anger and Bargaining; those would have been my first clues that this thriller was going to be anything but average. In reality though, I have come to believe we are drawn to the types of books, fiction or otherwise, that are going to teach us and change us. Sometimes it’s a simple lesson, recognizing an attribute that a character has is also something we have within ourselves, and sometimes the lessons are much deeper like self-love. I realized I was learning as much about myself, if not more, from fiction books than I was learning from self-improvement books.

There’s a line in the book about how there are strings connecting people who are meant for us.

“There is a string that connects us that is not visible to the eye. Maybe every person has more than one soul they are connected to, and all over the world there are those invisible strings… Maybe the chances that you’ll find each and every one of your soul mates is slim. But sometimes you’re lucky enough to stumble across one. And you feel a tug. And it’s not so much a choice to love them through their flaws and through your differences, but rather you love them without even trying. You love their flaws.”
~Tarryn Fisher, Mud Vein 

Maybe books have that same type of string the one that pulls us toward them for the lesson they have to teach us. Mud Vein not only changed how I view myself, but in the end, changed the way I read. I no longer think of a book as purely entertainment. I look for the subtleties of what is being shown to me through the characters. I feel the words after I finish the last page. I am a little bit more me.

If you think fiction is only escapism, look again; look at those stories that changed you on a deeper level. Fiction can sometimes lead us to the truth of ourselves.

There is a teaser quote on the cover of the first edition of Mud Vein that reads “Only the truth can set her free.”

Yes, it did, Ms Fisher. I am truly free.

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Note: The book teasers were made by me with mad love for Mud Vein because I simply could not let go of the story, the characters, or the words and had to create something for myself after I finished.

Big LOVE for your Mud Vein….

xo

Christina2

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It Ends With Us

Naked truth? I don’t write reviews. Not because I don’t want to shout from the rooftops how good a book was, but because I know that everyone reads a book differently, feels a book differently and is changed by a book differently.
 
Some books though, keep holding onto you after you close the last page, some books won’t let you go when go to sleep and continue with work and life the next day. Some books require you to write something about them because you are suddenly page by page changing as a result of how the book creeps into your heart and enters your soul and stays there. Forever. You are no longer the same person who read those first words.
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It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover is one of those books for me. It’s a book that defies category, so don’t look at the labels. I would even encourage you to go into it completely blind, without reading the blurb or back cover copy. Don’t read any reviews. Just open the book and read.
 
Read and be changed. Read and understand people a little bit more. Read and be a little less judgemental. Read and become more compassionate. Read and love people just a little bit more. Read and be forever changed.
 
I have been a life long reader and I have loved and enjoyed a multitude of books, talked about them, even encouraged so many others to read them. I’ve made a career out of my love of books. But there are very few books that have changed me from the inside out that rocked me to my core so completely. In fact, I can count those books on one hand and still have room to add It Ends With Us. It belongs there next to those books, a very special place on my “keeper shelf”. Someday I’ll meet Colleen again, purchase another copy just so she can sign it.
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Naked truth? I don’t write reviews, but I will for this book.
 
Allow Colleen take you on a journey, let her words sink in, let her change you. It’s worth every second you’ll spend drawn into the characters’ world of heartaches, dreams, tears, struggle, strength, faith, forgiveness, courage, hope, and love. ❤
 
It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
 
 
❤ ❤ ❤
 
xo
Christina2
 
PS After I finished It Ends With Us I couldn’t sleep even though it was 3:34 in the morning…so I put on my iPod and found a song that for me fit perfectly…all of the emotions and where I felt most changed.
 
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