Killing 2 birds…

Almost daily I get a wave of guilt about neglecting this blog.  It’s not that I think anyone is particularly heart broken over the fact that I haven’t written since October, but I have all these thoughts that I want to put on “paper” and every time I let one slip away without recording it, it’s gone forever.  Writing truly is therapeutic for me and I think the year I spent writing regularly turned out to be a pretty great year.

Another thing I used to do a lot of that I let slip through the cracks is reading.  I’ve read 1.5 books in the last 2 years.  I should clarify: 1 whole book (Insurgent), and a quarter of 2 other books (Allegiant and Midnight in Austenland).  They now sit on my bedside table, unfinished, staring at me with judgmental eyes.

Well I have great news.  Not only did I just finish a book (a GREAT book I might add) in only 3 days, but I am going to WRITE ABOUT IT!  This weekend, my conscience will be clear.

While dancing with my college contemporary dance company many years ago (13 years?? ugh), I met a girl named Sarah.  She was confident and fun and hilarious…and so intimidating to me.  Luckily for me, I got a crush on the same boy that she had a crush on and in the process of vying for the affection of this soon-to-be-out-of-the-closet male dance partner of ours, we formed a close bond.

The next year, her younger sister Holly started college and also joined our dance company.  The three of us, along with our other amazing friend Donna, proclaimed ourselves “The Fab Four” and had all sorts of adventures together.  Among these adventures was story time with Holly, who was not only a beautiful dancer and as funny as her sister, but an amazing writer.  One night while we were waiting to leave for the airport at four in the morning, we stayed up to listen to Holly narrate her latest Horror novel.  We couldn’t wait to find out what happened and continued the story on long bus rides in place of sleeping.  These are memories I will never ever forget.

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We also have really great fashion sense.  You can see where we got our name from…

So this year when Holly had her very first novel officially published, I couldn’t wait to start it.  And now that I have finished it I can’t believe I have to wait months for the next one!  I almost want to call Holly and just have her tell me what happens.  I loved the book so much in fact that I called Barnes and Noble yesterday to ask them how one becomes a featured author in their store.  You know, like the front-and-center displays that jump out at you as soon as you walk in the store.  I was told that typically the author works with a professional PR person who contacts the store headquarters and arranges for things like that.  I ensured them that no one put me up to this, and I said “Well can’t I just tell you it was really good and ask you to display it in the front?”.  He was nice and he laughed at my “joke” and apologized that that’s not the way it works.

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The book, entitled Foreshadowed, is “a well-plotted story of suspense and potential murder, hinging on the unique and endearing relationship of two darkly gifted teens…Left me guessing until the end…and still has me speculating.” (Brief plot synopsis and review written by the book’s cover artist, Lyndsay Johnson, who said it as well as I ever could).  The characters in this story are so well developed.  They’re the sort of characters that you care about because they care about each other.  And because who doesn’t have something weird about themselves that they think makes them a freak?  The book may not jump out at you when you walk into the book store.  But it most definitely deserves to be best seller.

I feel honored to call Holly a friend and to have “known her when”.  I have all my fingers, toes, and anything else crossable, crossed that she becomes a huge success.  Go get your copy for Foreshadowed!

 

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Chapter one: The Boy Who Lived…

In the late 90’s, I was nearing the end of my secondary education.  I had precisely 3 interests: Boys, dance, and a social life…with boys.  Reading was definitely not on my to-do list.  So it wasn’t even on my radar that suddenly every person of every age in every country became enamored with a book called Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

I don’t recall even being aware that this was a book until 2001 during my first year of college.  This was the year that this first book in the series became a movie.  A good [21 year old] friend of mine, Traci, was obsessed with this series.  We were in the dance company together, and at the end of the year we had an assignment called musical mapping.  The assignment required us to choose a song, “map” the dynamics of the song out using the medium of our choosing (pipe cleaner, macaroni noodles, string, etc…you know, college student stuff), and choreograph a dance to go along with our 3-dimensional music map.  We then presented the entire project to our class.  Traci chose the Harry Potter movie’s theme song, which at the time was unrecognizable.  She incorporated a magic wand into her choreography with which she led us through her map.  If that wasn’t enough to get me to read this book, I don’t know what is.

Over the years I received a lot of criticism for having never read this series.  About 7 years ago, I rode along with Aaron when he went to dig a grave (yes, this actually happened).  I had some time to kill while I sat in the car, and the Sorcerer’s Stone happened to be sitting on the bench seat next to me.  Aaron really loved the series and has read/listened to each book at least twice.  I picked it up, thrilled that I was finally about to jump on the HP band wagon.  I got to about the part where (spoiler alert, if you haven’t read it) Harry makes the glass disappear at the zoo and releases the snake.  That was where the wagon stopped for me.

Since that time I’ve been the epitome of a crazed YA fantasy fiction fan over all the big-time supernatural, dystopian, sci-fi, love-triangle type books and their movie adaptations (you should see my “I’d rather be in Forks” t-shirt).  All except Harry Potter.

Last fall, Jade started kindergarten.  I’ve been reading to Jade almost every night since she could sit up on her own, so it didn’t come as a surprise to me that she picked up the ability to read very quickly.  In October at her last birthday, she was given her first set of chapter books about fairies.  We devoured them and went back for more when the school book fair came along.  Suddenly books didn’t need pictures to be interesting.  This was my cue.

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“Jade how about we read Harry Potter together?  I’ve never read it before.”  I fully expected her answer to be, “You haven’t read Harry Potter???  Even I’ve read Harry Potter mom!”  But instead she answered yes, and our journey began.

Last night, we finished the first book.  I almost cried!  Literally.  And for more reasons than one.  I just finished a very long book with my first child and she sat still and listened and comprehended just about every word!  But I was also sad to close the book after that last page.  What incredible writing, and what a fun story!  We do own all 8 movies, but to be honest I don’t think I’ve sat through most of them and the ones I did I either fell asleep or didn’t have a clue what was happening.

But the best part about the whole thing is that I’m experiencing these books for the first time with my daughter.  How many parents of my generation get to say that?  I kept thinking what if I’d given in and read the series a long time ago?  I get to do this 6 more times!

Do you have any movies or books you wish you could experience again for the first time?  And its sad because you never will be able to!  You’ll keep re-watching Titanic hoping it will be as good as that first time, but it never will be.  Okay maybe that’s just me.

Chamber of Secrets here we come!

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