Friday, July 20, 2012

Are Your Words Effective?

As a fledgling writer, I have grand thoughts of leaving behind a legacy in words that bring readers to tears, either of sorrow, or hilarity, depending on the situation. Barring a sob fest, I would at least like to think that at some time or other I give my readers something to think about. I want to connect with them on an emotional level that will help them remember me, or something I said, and look forward to my next book.

That's going to take a while, probably. So in the meantime I am reading as much as possible in an effort to find writers whom I can connect with. Last night I picked up Jerry Spinelli's Wringer. After only a few short chapters, I had to put it down. I just can't read that book. Too much pain. I have read several of his other books, however, and I enjoyed them quite a bit.

Mr. Spinelli definitely touched my emotions with Wringer. Little Parker, or Snots, drove a spike right through my heart, and I had to get away from him. I hate that, because he undoubtedly has a lovely and evocative story to tell, but he'll have to share it with someone other than myself.

I turned, instead, to Alice in Blunderland, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. This was my first Alice book, and I fell in love with her. She's an endearing little nine-year-old, just like Parker, and she's motherless, so I couldn't help but be touched by her plight. But Ms. Naylor's writing style is so lighthearted and her sense of humor so resonated with me, that I laughed through much of the book. She took me back to my own childhood and I saw how life experiences that were devastating and earth-shattering at that time, are common among young people and simply a part of life. I especially loved the Tarzan game that Alice and her boyfriend, Donald, played. When I played Tarzan, it was with the boy next door, too, but his name was Ronald, rather than Donald. But still, way too close for comfort. Although the kissing scene never entered into our game at any time!

What about you? have you read anything lately that has brought a tear to your eye and closed up your throat? Or that made you  laugh out loud so that other people in the room gave you strange looks? That's what reading is all about for me. It's what keeps me returning to the shelves.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. Try to stay cool, and share a smile or a touch with someone. You might make a new friend.



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