Tuesday, April 17, 2007

A Character Sketch

I'm a horrible library patron. Oh, I check out books all right, but I usually fall in love with them and want them for my very own. Several months ago I tried to order Practical Tips for Writing Popular Fiction by Robyn Carr. I was reading the library copy and just itched to start highlighting good stuff. Don't worry, I ordered my own copy from Amazon. Unfortunately, it never came but the West Coast book seller kindly returned my $$. I kept thinking of some of the tips Robyn offered so a couple of weeks ago, I placed another order--this time choosing a southern bookseller closer to home. Whoooppeeee, got my copy today.

Pooh! Someone had already highlighted. Now I'm really distracted. I'm reading all this highlighted stuff and wondering why, why, WHY would a reader highlight that?


"And take special note here, it is a loose justification, and that's the fun."

What can we learn from that sentence? In my mind--nothing. To me it's completely meaningless without the rest of the paragraph which is NOT highlighted.

And how about this?

"Perhaps the memory of the thrill of one flying lesson is enough to draw on to write a great adventure."

What does that tell us? Okay, it's an interesting observation as a stand-alone highlighted sentence, but why would anyone mark such a sentence and not the entire paragraph?

Oh well, I'll have fun perusing the highlights in this book, and trying to visualize the who, what, when, where and why of its previous owner. A wannabe? And did s/he sell her copy of Practical Tips for Writing Popular Fiction because s/he gave up her desire to be a novelist? Hey, maybe she's a well known author and outgrew this book. If not, I wonder what's s/he doing now?

I love used bookstores and junk stores. My favorite Goodwill store in another city seems to get a lot of Gideon Bibles. They sell them for a dollar each. I found one that was inscribed from a grandmother to her granddaughter. I wonder how that New Testament ended up in a junk store. Why? This seems incredibly sad to me. Did the granddaughter die? Did she turn her back on God? What happened to her? Does her grandmother know? Is she searching for her? Hearts were broken--I have no doubt.

This post should explain at least three things about me:

1) I'm a procrastinator--too many things interest me.
2) I'm a packrat--too many things interest me.
3) I'm a writer--too many things interest me.

The world will never starve for want of wonders, but only for want of wonder. ~G.K. Chesterton

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