Monday, September 8, 2014


It's no secret I'm a fan of Catherine Ryan Hyde.  I've often said one of my favorite aspects of reading a new book by Catherine is that I always walk away from it having learned a writing lesson.  TAKE ME WITH YOU is no exception.  This time around, though, in addition to a writing lesson, I also got a bit of a life lesson that I'm taking to heart:

As a writer, one of the aspects I found fascinating about this novel was the pace.  There's a discussion in the book about RV travel--and a line about it not being about getting to a destination in a furious rush.  Instead, RV travel is slower, and all about finding a place you enjoy and staying there for a stretch, appreciating where you are until you get the urge to move on again.

In some respects, I felt like the pace of this book mirrored this sentiment.  When August takes off with the two boys, they do have an ultimate destination, but reaching that destination doesn't take over the book.  Instead, the characters explore each other and their surroundings in a way I haven't seen in many contemporary reads.  It made for a different--and lovely--experience.

But doesn't the pace and philosophy of RV travel also make for a great metaphor for life?  How many times, as writers, do we finish one book all in a rush, anxious to meet a deadline, only to rush to the next project?  How often do we see where we are and wish we were somewhere else--at a larger house, or seeing better sales numbers?  How often do we allow ourselves to simply enjoy our current place in life?

I'm in the midst of doing just that--allowing myself to enjoy where I am right now, in this my career and in my life both.  I'm taking the time to enjoy my writing process, to enjoy my family and friends like I never have before.

Thanks, Catherine, for reminding us all how delicious the ride can be.


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