Tag Archive: dreams

The Magic of Books

I love books. I can’t even explain the feelings I get when I’m in the middle of reading a good story. It’s like I’m a new person and there’s an exciting adventure beginning to unfold. Even after I finish, the excitement lingers. I lose myself in the story.

Maybe that’s why books are so popular. You can BE the protagonist. You can feel their pain, follow their story, imagine them however you like. TV is great— I won’t deny that— but by seeing the characters and having every image shown to you, some of the magic is lost. In a book, I have to interpret the characters and settings. I can imagine a character’s school like my old school. The nasty grin of a character’s aunt might cause me to remember the creepy grin of an old teacher. Memories from your life can be intertwined into a book’s story, because the interpretation is left to the reader. TV shows… yeah, not so much.

Why do we feel the need for the escape of stories anyway? Why can’t we go on adventures in our real lives? Perhaps it’s because we’re afraid to make the story permanent. What if something goes wrong and we can’t return to the satisfying life we used to have? Books offer a temporary release from our humdrum and droll lives. We get to experience that which is impossible or frightening from the safety of our own homes (or school or office or movie set depending who you are). However, there is more than fear that drives our desires to escape through stories. Sometimes books impart an emotion we would otherwise be unable to comprehend. Love. Pity. Fear. Determination. Emotions are transitive. I’ve never been in love and don’t really understand it, but through books I can edge closer to the mystery of falling for someone who I don’t want to live without. It’s a chance to discover more about the world around us, even if that opportunity simply isn’t available in real life… yet.

This post seems pretty scattered, doesn’t it? I promise there’s a point. Just keep going.

I started thinking about why I love books so much yesterday while reading Rick Riordan’s The Son of Neptune. I couldn’t stop speaking to the book like it was a friend I was having a discussion with. There were several times I squealed like a little girl, stood up, and had to go tell my roommates the exciting things I had just read (don’t worry, I didn’t actually give away the plot). I get so into books that sometimes I forget they’re just stories. I begin to imagine that they’re real and affect me. I see the connections and foreshadowing and announce to the book, “So, yeah, I think I know what’s going to happen. But I don’t want to say anything in case you decide not to go that way. But you will. I know you will. You’re amazing! I love you. Maybe such and such could happen too? If I were there I would totally do such and such.” It goes on and on, with me telling the book not to worry, because everything will turn out for the best.

Yes, I’m a loser. Stop laughing at me. 😛

I see books as more than just stories. I see them as extensions of myself, entwined with my memories. I see them as safe escapes, chances to face the unknown. I see them as friends that are always on my side. Books are amazing, but not everyone appreciates them as much as I do. Some people just don’t like books. I won’t hold a grudge or anything, but I can’t help wondering if they dislike reading simply because they wanted to rebel as a child. Or maybe their parents didn’t encourage reading so as a child they never bothered to read non-school books. Some people simply have trouble focusing or understanding words. It’s unfortunate, but not everyone is as lucky as we avid readers.

There’s one final group of non-readers I want to mention. The people who cannot afford to buy books. They may love reading, they may crave a temporary escape from their lives, but they don’t have the money for these simple paper luxuries. You can help. Throw a book drive. It’s not hard to do. Place cardboard boxes all around your town, labeled with fliers asking for “new or gently used books.” Find an orphanage, school, church, synagogue, homeless shelter, club, ANYWHERE that supports less fortunate people by providing books. I have held several book drives throughout my life and they’re actually very simple to organize. My favorite was the one where I collected books to begin a library for the local Police Athletic League, which I was invited to visit afterwards. So ask around and share the joy of reading with those less fortunate than yourself.

I wish that every single person in the world could lose themselves in the excitement of reading, just as I do. That’s why I’m a writer. I yearn to create that thrill and those feelings. I dream of bringing about that escape. I fantasize that someday people will talk to my books like they’re alive. Because stories are definitely alive, and they live within the flimsy pages that make up our books.


My Dream…

Eep!!!! This is my first post as a blogger on WordPress (with the exception of a group project during my first semester of college where we created a comic book and a lot of drama…. ugh). I guess I should start by identifying myself. My name is Alissa and I have always had a fascination with dreams. Weird dreams. Which I have a lot of. Hmmm…. maybe that says something about me.

Anywho, I wrote a book last November for an event called NaNoWriMo. After months and months of heavy-duty editing it’s finally at a point where I can proudly stand up and say “This book is worth reading. I want to share it with people.” And so I did. My friends and family gave me great feedback! But that’s not really what I had in mind. I want to be published. I want to inspire people to love reading as much as I did when I was younger. I want them to be banned from bringing books to school, because they can’t pull themselves out of those amazing stories (happened to me in sixth grade. No joke). I want people’s mothers to tell them “Put down that book and go watch TV” (this happened to me as well. Several times). I want to write a book that will inspire others to lose themselves in new worlds with new experiences and insight that reflect back on their own lives. That’s what stories are to me. They’re an escape, an education, a journey. They’re magical.

My novel is a contemporary fantasy novel for teens (58,000+ words. I wrote that! Insane!!!). I don’t want to say what the story about quite yet, but maybe in a later entry (That should keep you coming back. Am I right?).

Needless to say, I have no idea what to do with this blog yet. But I’ll figure something out. I recently refurbished my old, unused Twitter account to keep a record of my progress as I seek a literary agent to represent my novel. You can follow me at https://twitter.com/Dreamliss . So far I’ve queried three agents, and received one “no.” The other two haven’t responded. It’s been less than a week, but both of them say no by simply not responding… I guess I won’t know I’ve been rejected until several weeks have passed. But I’m not giving up. I keep rewriting my query for each new YA agent I discover that seems to be a good fit for my novel, and someday IT WILL HAPPEN!

I know it will. It will happen. Someday, no matter how far away, I will be a certified creator of those magic stories, bringing others into my world. It will be a dream come true.