“Reading is the sole means by which we slip, involuntarily, often helplessly, into another’s skin, another’s voice, another’s soul.” — Joyce Carol Oates

I have certain habits that will always calm me down when I am overstressed. And they rarely fail me. Setting up the garden in the spring, cleaning up the garden in the fall, reading something before I go to bed. It cannot just be any book or item with the written word. A novel, something I can get lost in, someone I can momentarily become or a place I of which I can dream.


There are only 2 times I disappointed myself with a book choice. The first was How Stella Got Her Groove Back. by Terry McMillan. I loved the story, but after working a 14 hour day and wanting to just disappear into the words and to stop every run on sentence already going on in my head, Miss McMillan's 1st person narrative was just too much for me. She got into Stella's head so well and wrote like most of us think. One big run on sentence, changing gears often. I was up till 3 am and couldn't fall asleep-I wasn't sure which was worse-Stella's thought running through my head or my thoughts running on top of stella's at the same time!


The 2nd was by Rochester, NY native Phillip Tomasso III, titled Third Ring, and I was excited to read it. I am one of those readers that need to read a full sentence. It takes me a while to read a book because the structure of a well put together sentence is so amazing, calming for me. I was in shock. Again, a great story, set in my hometown so I could vividly see in my mind where he was. Every other "the" was spelled "teh" and they're, there, and their were used interchangeably for each other. I could not focus. Unfortunately for this author I was not able to pick up any of the other 5 novels his has written.


I find it amazing that published authors still remain standing and continue to write after all the agonizing hours to get it just write, then the editorial rewrites, and multiple publishing houses meetings, the more rewrites, then the endless promotion and reviews.

Writing is a tough career choice. Staying in it is admirable. I respect anyone who can stand up to the hard times they have to get through to become published.

I may not go back to a certain style of writing or reread a certain book, but I need my books. they are my escape so I can rise the next morning and handle my stress.