Friday, November 4, 2011


     Call me a nerd. I've spent the majority of these past few days in Colorado reading and writing. In fact, I've read about one thousand pages over the past three days. Quite the luxury. One thing that I struggle conveying to people is the degree to which I get involved in books. I know it's true for me and several others I've met, but I'm not sure if it's just a literary nerd trait. When I read a book, I am startlingly close to living it. I take the time to learn the characters as intimately as I know my friends and feel the emotional struggles as closely as if they were my own.
     I'm sure most people have read about a character that attaches him/herself to the recesses of the mind. The character lingers like the sweet, earthen smell of rain for hours or days after the storm has passed. I'm currently having that particular reaction in a book I am reading. Whether I'm driving to a nearby town to eat or walking our dog, the girl in this story travels with me, all but tangible in my day to day life.
     Perhaps that's the sign of a well-written book. Perhaps of a novel idea. I'm going to guess, however, that the truth is behind imagination. What a great aspect of the human mind: Imagination. From all the knowledge people have gathered regarding life on this planet, I'm not sure we've come across another being that had imagination other than ourselves. We can see words, formulate thoughts, envision characters, and on top of it all, imagine every aspect of that character's life, written or unwritten.
     That's the beauty of stories. At the heart of it's conception, process, and ultimate interpretation lies imagination. The story can literally and metaphorically be whatever we want it to be. A protagonist is a protagonist, but MY protagonist will forever be different than any other reader's, and there is immense beauty in that realization.
     My trip is more than halfway over and I will be returning to grad school, work, and a near infinite number of other obligations upon my return, but I will be at least one haunting character, one thought-provoking plot, and one enlightening story richer.
     Here's to imagination.


  1. So who are some of your all-time favorite characters?

  2. Anonymous -

    I figure if I'm going to answer this question I better answer it right, so I'm going to make a list. Hopefully you find it satisfactory:

    Joe Christmas
    Miss Havisham
    The Invisible Man
    Professor Snape
    Beatrice Rappaccini
    Annabel Lee
    The Giving Tree
    Miniver Cheevy
    The Dude
    Cookie Monster
    Opus the Penguin
    Scarlett O'Hara
    The White Witch
    and I'll end the list with Hamlet.

    Bonus points if you can name all of the works! (without google of course)

  3. You've got a beautiful way with words! I know what you mean when you 'live' in a story, or rather the story lives outside. I do have that too, but it does take a well-written book indeed. I become the character and expect things from the book to happen, people from the book to appear, etc. But when I allow myself to stay in the reality for a bit longer, I relise it was just a very vivid daydream of some sorts. It's wacky what a good story does to your mind ;)

  4. I'm reading a book currently that sums it up as well as I ever could. I can only hope to paraphrase currently since I don't have the words staring me in the face, but I'll give it a go:

    "Every hint of truth our world has to offer is hidden in stories."

    Beautiful, yes? And at least for me very true. Stories bend the mind in ways I have never found elsewhere. Glad you enjoyed reading!

  5. Hi Matt! I came over to visit after your comment on my review of Rick Riordan's Son of Neptune. I have enjoyed exploring your blog and your work! It's quite beautiful, and I love your way with words. Keep up the good work, and I hope you have more time to be a literary nerd, as you say. I know I'm one! Oh, and many of your favorite characters coincide with my favorites, even some of the more obscure ones. We must have similar literary tastes!

    Courtney @ Fuzzy.Coffee.Books

  6. Clearly so! And I may not have much time soon, but I will make time for it. Gotta find what's important and run with it. Life's too short, to get more than a little cliche haha. Glad you stopped by and even more so that you enjoyed it! Thanks!