I hadn't planned to blog today. Truly. I should be writing--well, on my WIP, writing. You knew what I meant, right? Cool. But it's been one of those weekends, and I've gotten up early two mornings in a row, this one starting with baby feeding, baby rocking, laundry, coffee, and... sigh. I've made a habit out of checking Betrothed's Kindle sales, and while doing so this morning, I noticed on my "recently viewed items" at the bottom of Amazon's front page rested an entire string of R.A. Salvatore novels.
"Oh, yeah!" I thought. "I was looking up some of his stuff, wasn't I?"
When I was in my late teens/early twenties a person who shall remain nameless introduced me to the fabulous, deep, adventurous world of a dark elf named Drizzt Do'Urden. I started as I should have, with Homeland, then Sojourn, then Exile--better known as the Dark Elf Trilogy. With the exception of Tolkien's saga, which I read as required in high school, I had never thought to pick up a fantasy novel. I mean, the covers were gorgeous, yes, but what could I possibly gain out of reading about elves, goblins, orcs, and dwarves? After all, I wrote romantic stories about kings and queens, princes and princesses. I studied British history, not Middle Earth or, in Drizzt's case, Menzoberranzan, Northern Faerûnand, and Icewind Dale (to name but a few).
But here's what I gained from stepping out of my comfort zone: the incredible, talented work of R.A. Salvatore. I really can't say enough about this guy. What's funny is that, like so many readers and writers, I fall into reading ruts. You know how it is, when you can't find a decent book? Every one reads the same or doesn't read at all, because the writing is like... well. Not that mine is awesome, mind, but you follow me here, yeah?
So, I cross the threshold of my friendly neighborhood secondhand bookstore, shuffle right of the counter for a change (I always go left, because it'll take me to romance and young adult), and what do I find?
The Lone Drow by R.A. Salvatore, hardback, pristine condition, $3.
I open the cover. It creaks. And I can't suppress the smile crawling across my face, because I love it when that happens. I flip a couple pages. Land on one of the many things I love about Salvatore's Drizzt novels. Ever so often the drow (that's dark elf for you non-fantasy peeps) makes a journal entry of sorts, and it's the reader's opportunity to slide deeper into his intelligent, sharp mind.
And so, I read.
And then I think, "You know this. You know he writes so beautifully your jaw falls open and drool splashes on the page while reading. You know this, so why the heck were you complaining, albeit mentally, about a reading rut?"
Yes, yes, it's taken me forever to get to the point, but I entitled this post "Revisiting," because that's exactly what I do when I'm deep into the creation process of a novel. I revisit the people I admire and love most. Those whose writing moves me to drool and tears and inspiration. Janet Mullany, Kristan Higgins, Simone Elkeles, J.K. Rowling, and, yes, Rob--did you know his first name was Robert? Robert Anthony, actually--Salvatore. There's a deep comfort to be had within the writing of those authors you treasure, whose works appear proudly upon your Keeper Shelf.
Whom do you revisit? Who stands out among the crush of talented authors?
Peace, Love, and Junior Mints,