Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Refilling the Tank

I'm on a small hiatus this week. I took myself off to the Kripalu center in Western MA to celebrate finishing my edited draft of Cloudland (yes, I really am DONE. It's a miracle), but also to rest, recharge, and refill my tank - and, I hope, to work some more on my new book. Refilling our - well, for lack of a better term, even though this one makes me cringe a little - wells of creativity ok no I really can't say it. Refilling our tanks is essential for everyone, not just writers, and it's something we all tend to forget to do. We work and work and give and then we wonder why we cry at TV commercials and feel like swearing at the poor kid at the movie theatre who asks for our ticket, because why is one more person asking me for something?? Not that this is what happens to me. Ahem.

So, I've gone off to avoid yelling at people, and to refill. And so this post really will be brief. No seriously, Melissa, it will. I swear.

I once posted about the books that changed my life, and turned me into a writer. Like most highly organized, mildly neurotic people, though, I really really like lists, and so I have a lot of other "favorite book" lists. Here's another one for you: my Favorite Childhood Books. Some of these my parents read to me, and some I read on my own. (Yes, there's crossover from my first list. What can I say? These books just rock.)
  • The Anne of Green Gables series, by L.M. Montgomery
  • A Little House on the Prairie, by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • The Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis 
  • The Lost Prince and A Little Princess, by Frances Hodgson Burnett 
  • The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeline L'Engle
  • The Phantom Tollbooth, by Norton Juster
It's funny; when I was coming up with this list, I thought of a lot of books that I really liked - I may or may not have been one of those be-spectacled kids who got nicknamed 'bookworm' when I was little - but they didn't make the cut, because while I liked them, they weren't my favorites. The ones on the list are the ones that I read so much that the covers fell off, and the pages all curled up at the edges, and the paper took on that warm, woody smell of all well-loved books. They're also all still on my bookshelf, barely held together with scotch tape, with the exception of the last two. I don't know how that happened, but I need to buy new copies. 

And that's it for today, folks. I'm off to read, hike, yoga (yes I made it into a verb), rest, and refill. 

If I don't get to your blog this week, I'll be there next week, I promise. In the meantime, all you commenters, what books do you love when you were a kid?

42 comments:

  1. The Chronicles of Narnia would be on my list as well.

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    1. I love those, still. Every once in a while I'll pick one up and reread it, and love it all over again.

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  2. Liz, I'm with all the ones on your list, except that I never got around to Anne of Green Gables or A Little House on the Prairie. I'd still like to read those one day. And I've been thinking it's time to RE-read A Wrinkle in Time.

    My additions (what I can remember anyway):
    The Pushcart War
    Oliver Twist
    Sherlock Holmes stories
    The Chocolate War series (actually VERY grim reading, but very compelling too, and unforgetable)
    The Dark Is Rising
    Tuck Everlasting
    Judy Blume stories
    Ramona stories
    Matilda

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    1. Matilda and Ramona were THIS CLOSE *holding up index and thumb a half inch apart* to making it on this list, actually. Great minds think alike. The Dark is Rising is on another list of mine... which I'll post, um, later.

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  3. I loved the Little House series when I was a kid. I wanted to be Laura! Also loved the Winnie the Pooh books. I also wanted to be Christopher Robin LOL.

    Take care and enjoy your break. I hope you come back ready to go with a full tank. :)

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    1. Haha! That's great. I think I might have wanted to be Laura and CR, too, funny enough.

      Thank you!!!

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  4. Congrats on finishing your WIP, and do make the most of your break. It's important to recharge. :))

    And when I was a kid I loved Roald Dahl's books. Give me James and the Giant Peach or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory any day.

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    1. You know, Matilda almost made it on this list. I did love that book, and James and the Giant Peach, too. There were too many books I loved!! I had to narrow it down.

      Thanks, Luanne!! I'm back and recharged and ready to PLOT ;)

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  5. Hahaha - very funny. :P

    I'm with you on Little House and Chronicles. Excellent list. :)

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    1. Thanks, Melissa. I couldn't resist! ;)

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  6. I loved Phantom Tollbooth and A Wrinkle. A few other faves were the BFG Matilda and all the Lord of the Rings and The Dark Is Rising series.

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    1. The Dark is Rising - I LOVE that series! It's on another list of mine. I can't tell you which one, though, because then I can't use it as a blog post ;)

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  7. We share some favorites. I had the flue in college and a friend came by with an armful of books, tossed them on my bed, smiled down into my flushed face and said, "Read these. You'll feel better."

    I did. And I did.

    After grad school I starved in Lynchburg, VA on $6K a year, paid monthly. But every month I scraped together enough to buy a HARDBACK copy of one of the Narnia books. My favorite is The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, but my very favorite speech is in The Silver Chair. But they're all fabulous, every one. Indispensable.

    Go fill your tanks - and have fun doing it!

    Diana at About Myself By Myself

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    1. Oh my God - 6K a year? And you still bought hardcovers? That's a real testament to the power of good books.

      The Dawn Treader was my favorite as a kid, and still is now :) And now I'm really curious which speech you love in the Silver Chair..

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  8. Have a great time and WHOOT! Finished edits!!

    I have a subset of books from your childhood list on mine. Anne of Green Gables and The Little House series being the heavies. Enjoy your time off. I'll try not to be too jealous.

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    1. Thanks!!! Don't be jealous; for one, it's already over (it was rather brief), and two, you should get some, too :)

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  9. Re-fulling the tank is always needed! A must! :) Love the list. Have a great weekend.

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    1. Thanks!! It was wonderful :) You, too!

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  10. I should refill the tank more. LOL. Perhaps when I am not in school, I will be able to do this more. Great post!

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    1. LOL, yeah, I think school might get in the way sometimes!!!

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  11. Have a good time tanking; we all need to every now and then. And you have a great book list :)

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    1. Thanks! I like the verb form, 'tanking'. Makes it sound like I sort of just fell face down and slept for a while. Which isn't terribly off the mark...

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  12. Yoga away!!! And I love your list of books, I share some of your favorites - Chronicles of Narnia, Anne of Green Gables, The Hobbit.

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    1. Oh I did, with great pleasure! ;) Thanks for coming by!

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  13. Congrats on finishing your book! I hope you come back amazingly refreshed :)

    I love books so much, to the great detriment of moving day whenever I have to get the heavy boxes from A to B.

    Those are all awesome books you listed! I'll have to list mine sometime :)

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    1. Oh yes, I totally hear you! I think my boxes of books outnumber my kitchen boxes when I move. It might be a small problem ;)

      You should list yours! I love seeing people's favorites.

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  14. I seriously need to refill my tank! I'm running on fumes.

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    1. You do!!! It's amazing how much easier everything seems, now that I actually have some fuel. I hope oyu get a chance to soon!

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  15. I have read every one of those!

    My favorites were always the Anastasia series by Lois Lowry, Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar (who wrote Holes, another excellent book), and every Ramona book ever by Beverly Cleary.

    Enjoy your break!

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    1. Ooo, I actually don't know the Sideways Stories. I'm going to have to look those up!

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  16. Hear hear on refilling the well. We all need to do that more often. What a great book list. Two of those titles I loved so much when I was a kid that I credit them for igniting the spark in me to be a writer. The Phantom Tollbooth and A Wrinkle in Time. I feel like running off to go re-read them right now! :)

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    1. Oh I love that - you totally should!! I haven't read either of them in so long, either, that when I was writing this I had the exact same thought :)

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  17. Congratulations on finishing your edits. You definitely deserve a retreat after that. It is extremely important to refill the tank. Happy yoga-ing:) As for childhood favorite books, I really loved The Pinballs by Betsey Byars, along with many you mentioned. The Diary of Anne Frank was on my list, too. I guess I liked the heavy stuff.

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    1. Thank you!! I'm happy and refilled :) I don't know the Pinballs - I'm going to have to look that up!

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  18. Way to go on the edits! Enjoy your respite. I read The Hobbit every year with my 8th graders, and I never get tired of it. (Hated the movie.)

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    1. Ugh. Yes. The movie stunk. It also bore very little relation to the actual book. I'm afraid I'll probably still go see the second one, because I can't help myself.

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  19. I was obsessed with RL Stine and Christopher Pike as a kid. I would also play this game of "don't look at the author's name" when I picked up a book. I would just read the first line and not care who wrote it! And good for you for taking a break. We all need one every now and then.

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    1. Haha! That's great. We should all try that game, actually, and see how it changes things...

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  20. I was a weird kid. The Three Musketeers, Sherlock Holmes, and King Arthur.

    Have a good rest!

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    1. Either that's not weird, or I was a weird kid, too, because I like your list.

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  21. I'm going to use your list for my kids, since I actually never read any of them. I went from reading picture books to R.L. Stine and Piers Anthony. That's probably not the path I'd recommend for my daughter. :)

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    1. LOL, I dunno, it sounds like a pretty awesome path to me!

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