Could Your Book Obsession Be Lethal?

I’m quite comfortable with devising tortuous and deadly encounters for my heroines, I certainly put Tyler through the wringer in Lost Reaper, but it never occurred to me that reading books can be just as dangerous.

I mean, you would think reading is a fairly passive exercise. Then I thought about the reading habits I cultivated as a teenager (many years ago) and realised just how wrong I was.

Most book lovers would be familiar with the one-handed mode of operation. I could make a cup of tea, water the yard and complete most of the chores my mother set me with a book in one hand. I might have risked scalding myself with my tea, but at least my life wasn’t in danger.

At high school I would often walk from classroom to classroom while reading and I could not count the amount of times a teacher would confiscate my book because I’d been reading during class. Other than walking into a pole or winding up in detention, again, not so bad.

On sports days my friends and I would skip school to hang out at the library. We were such rebels. No smoking behind the toilets, skulking around the shopping centres or running wild in the streets for us. No, we rebelled by expanding our minds, escaping into other worlds and feeding our imaginations. It wouldn’t have been fun to get caught skipping school, but I could have lived with the punishment.

It was when I was on the way home from the library that I really put my life on the line. Unable to resist the lure of a new book, I would ride with one propped open on the handlebars of my bike. I have no idea how I did not have an accident whilst engaged in this most precarious of reading situations.

That gets me to wondering, how many other avid readers out there have risked their lives for the sake of a good book?

Does anyone else have a tale of death-defying book devotion to share?

How far would you go to read just one more chapter?

Multi-Tasking and the Muse

As I write this I am at my desk, sandwiched in the dining area, while two metres to my right builders are hammering and sawing away as they work on a room extension. Not exactly the best environment for me to be creating the sequel to Lost Reaper, Winged Reaper. I’m three quarters of the way through the first draft and continually getting distracted by anything and everything, not just the building project happening in my backyard.

I can console myself with the knowledge that the building project will not last forever, and that at the end of it not only will I have gained a new bedroom, but this will free up space for me to create my very own library/study that I can read and write in to my heart’s content. But even though the builders will eventually leave, many other distractions remain.

As a stay-at-home mum, with one child at school and another at kindergarten part of the week, the hours I have to write without interruption are few and far between. I try to set myself goals for each day, gluing myself to the desk until I’ve achieved my word count, but some days it is a struggle to even get near the computer. My family and friends all know I’ll be home so some days I have a stream of visitors popping in for a cuppa and a chat. Then there are the days the school or kindergarten rings and I have to race off to pick up a sick child. And don’t get me started on the phone calls. I mean, seriously, some days I swear the telemarketers have my picture up on the wall and are throwing darts at it, I get that many calls.

So I’ve learned to steal a few moments here and there. Doing the dishes, washing my hair, getting the washing in, these are great times to ponder a plot point or work out the kinks in a bit of dialogue. Driving in the car, radio off, once I’ve dropped the kids off or I am on my way to pick them up is another great moment to consider what happens next in my story. But more often than not, it’s after I’ve gone to bed that my muse starts to fill my head with ideas. I keep a notebook handy for late night flashes of inspiration and wake up the next day eager to get to the computer and turn those flashes into a story. I’ll be even more eager to get to work once I have a brand new study to hide away in.

So, what keeps you awake at night? Is it your muse or are you too tired from a day of multi-tasking to do anything but sleep and dream big?