A Tale of My Epic Quest to Find One of Those Fabled Bookstores of Olde

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in the land of olde, there were plenty of bookstores across the land. However, something called the economy turned beastly against them, and these castles of literary magic were defeated by power greater and darker than their own.

It is in this environment that we find our heroine–me, in case you were curious. No, I’m not going to speak in the third person, I just really wanted to call myself a heroine and live out a few literary fantasies of my own. Ahem, anyways! My story begins at an ungodly hour of the morning, because that’s when any smart person begins their quest because of how freaking long they always are. It almost ends before it begins, however, because I had to wake the monsters my brothers up hours before they ever become coherent. However, having bravely fought them into wakefulness, my motley crew of family could finally hit the road.

If this were to be a real dramatic quest we would have walked, and if we’d been really smart and awesome we would have just rode our flying eagles. But no, we took the middle route and drove. And drove and drove and drove. Onwards and onwards we drove, down winding roads and dirt paths (mostly because our GPS doesn’t believe in main roads, ever). We left the small hamlet in which we live and traveled to the greatest city around us.

And then we kept going.

Why keep going when we reached the greatest city around us? Why, because the end goal of our quest what one of the Fabled Bookstores of Olde, and this great city did not HAVE one! It had a huge malls, multiple shopping complexes and enough restaurants to wrap around the world, but the Borders that had once been was no more. Once, my quest could have happily ended here. But no. It was time to burn up more gas, spend more money on travel and pollute the earth even more. All for the sake of a Fabled Bookstore of Olde.

Our journey went on hours more. It was not to end even in the Great State of New York. Instead, we had to race our car to the ferry crossing of the Magnificent Lake Champlain, just manage to back the on-the-hour ferry and then wait as the boat crossed the Great Waterway, being buffeted the whole way by rain, waves and water spray. Unfortunately I can’t add “and we were pushed there by an old man with a long white beard and a pole,” because modern technology isn’t conducive to writing Epic Tales. After this long and arduous (read: fairly short and boring) water journey, we found ourselves in the Great State of Vermont.

But our trek was far from over, oh no! It was time for yet more back roads excursions, twisting and turning down dark, deserted paths in the rain. (Seriously, we need a new GPS that knows about highways.) It took a grand travel time of four and a half hours to reach heaven, nirvana, Eden, perfection:

A TWO STORY BARNES AND NOBLE. COMPLETE WITH ESCALATORS.

For one such as myself, who has too long been subjected to the evils and detachment of online book buying, it was the greatest gift of all. Some readers of today may be content with objects such as e-readers and websites like Amazon.com, but never I! Give me a bookstore any day, and quick! Before they go the way of the dinosaur too, eaten by the Internet dragon.

My New WIP: A Mental Challenge in Not Thinking and Having Too Much Fun

Well, if you guys know anything about me, it’s that I’m always, always coming up with new ideas and writing too many books at once. (Right now, it’s four. I think. Are we counting thought processes?) Anyways, after a fifty billionth breakdown over “WHY I HAVE NO PLOT?” and “WHY THESE CHARACTERS NO WORK?” and “WHY IS THIS THE SUCK?” I finally called it quits. Not on writing, mind you. THINKING.

Yes, I’ve talked about this before, especially during NaNoWriMo. But this is a level even I’ve never reached before. As it turns out, this is the first book I’ve ever written where there is a certain time when I can write it: when I’m flat-out, drooling, giggly tired. Sound whacked out? Possibly. But I bet you’re jealous of all the fun I’m having.

If I were to read this WIP while sane awake, I would know–as I know now in the back of my head–that this book is rather plotless. In fact, the entire beginning of the book doesn’t make any a lot of sense. Best part? At the moment, I don’t care. I introduce two new characters in situations where I can’t name drop without making it sound force, and in all seriousness they go through the chapter being called “Scaly-face” and “Gandalf Guy.” My MC is actually crazy enough to make that work for me, which is awesome. I’m not even 3 chapters or 10,000 words in yet, and she’s already referenced Disney, Pocahontas, the Wizard of Oz and the Lord of the Rings. She says things that I doubt are going to be funny to anyone but me. But I DON’T CARE.

Maybe this book will never be anything. That isn’t the point here. The point is that I’m fed up with taking writing so freaking seriously. This started as fun, didn’t it? So I want to keep it that way. Sometimes you just need to break away from your real, serious WIP and write something that makes you laugh at yourself. I think of it like a writing exercise–and also somewhere to store all those jokes that I think are hilarious but no one else seems to. The greatest thing is? My short attention span is actually remaining excited about this project. So at least if I’m not writing anything that will ever get me anywhere, I’m WRITING. And that’s the important thing.

And who knows? Maybe this’ll turn into something that is better than any WIP I’ve ever tried to think about!