Monday, July 4, 2022

The Salvation of Writing (and Reading) Fiction

 I had no idea when I began writing fiction that it would one day become a lifesaver, a protector of my own sanity. I just thought I'd set down words to tell a story, entertain some people, and satisfy my need to be creative.

Now I find that both reading and writing fiction serve to keep me sane in a world gone crazy, to pull me back into the world I can create and choose from the creations of others. I'm so grateful to authors who offer me that escape: Lisa Scottoline, Linda Castillo, Mary Kay Andrews, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Elizabeth Berg, Susan Mallery--just to name a few. What wonderful gifts you share with me and others.

I've been locked into the writing world lately, feverishly working on not one but five books, each very different in plot and characters. I open my laptop, retrieve the file, read where I left off, then let myself slip into the words like one settles into a warm bubble bath. I hope my readers have that same experience with my books.

Of course some authors don't make that settling so easy. Yes, Lisa Scottoline, I'm looking at you. What Happened to the Bennetts is extraordinary--and has me on edge constantly. I'm gonna need a few xanax before it's all over. But, still, I am grateful for the distraction and immersion into such great writing.

Most of my own stories are women's fiction or romance that always has a happy ending. Romance novels require this--even though it's not always true to life. After all, it's fiction.

So, if you're stressed by the happenings in the world and need a respite, take a step back and fall into a good book. Let it hold your attention and lead you through a story to a hopefully satisfying ending. Light a candle, pour a cup of tea (or coffee, or glass of wine), relax and let the author's words transport you. Reality will still be here waiting in the end and, until we can change that reality, we can at least dream.

Sweet dreams, my friends. Grab a good beach read.


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