Thanks to Mother Reader, I have spent a completely blissful and glorious weekend doing something that I adore: reading. I hope she knows how much I appreciate her giving me an excuse to be so self-indulgent. The past 48 hours curled up in my chair with a teetering pile of books beside me are the real prize of the contest.
As I wrote my dashed-off summaries to get in under the 48-hour wire tonight, I kept swirling that old chestnut around in my head - "books can take you anywhere." Yep, they surely can. In the twenty books I read this weekend, I met a girl in ancient Persia, a Vietnam veteran, and Dale the Chipmunk. I traveled through time, stopping off at various cities, countries and stars in the universe. I experienced the pain of love, the power of family, the brutality of dishonesty, the promise of friendship, the exhilaration of self-discovery, the electric jangle of a first kiss. I solved mysteries, flew with dragons, talked to potatoes, hoped for equality, and prayed against a killing frost in a peach orchard. Every book was something to be grateful for.
Yet every one of those adventures is the work of an author. Their spark of imagination, their long hours writing and revising, their hopes and struggles for the birth of what began as a single idea and was crafted into one of the amazing books I read this weekend.
So, I thank each of the authors who granted me such a wonderful prize this weekend: the joy of living with and through the characters you created. Your talent and creative tenacity is more appreciated and treasured than you will ever know. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
And please, keep writing......