I love books. I devour them, sometimes at an embarrassing rate. Also embarrassing is when I get so involved, they make me analyze my own life and drudge up old issues. Or when I become too attached to a character. For instance, Anita Stanfield's characters all stem from the two stars of her first novel, First Love and Forever. Their names are Emily and Micheal Hamilton. All of Anita's other character's are friends of Em and Mike's, or relatives...save like two series. So, in a recent book, Anita kills Micheal with cancer in his 60's. This sent me into a serious grieving period that lasted a week after the book was closed. Fictional? Bah!
But, I digress. I love books. I remember the first novel I devoured. It was a manuscript from a man my mom worked with at Nordstrom's. He asked her to let me read it and offer my 7-year-old opinion. I think it was about a girl who was sent to live with her cousins...I only remember it was brilliant. Very "Anne of Green Gables-esque." I've since tried to find it, hidden in that shiny silver and gold box with the "N" on it, but alas. Next, obviously, was the Anne of Green Gables series. This was followed by Julie Andrews' Mandy and The Last of the Really Great Wangdoodles. Then, The Babysitter's Club series, all 200ish of them. (I just realized I read by author, sorta like how I have to eat only one thing at a time.)
As I grew older, so did my taste. In puberty years it was Lois Duncan and her stories of teenage tragedy, starting with Don't Die, My Love. Of course, there were a few non-series books sprinkled in between, like Cages, Number the Stars and The Giver, I Know why the Caged Bird Sings, etc. I loved the bookmobile.
Finally, Anita entered my life. Oh how she spoke to me! She is my inspiration. For my 18th birthday my uncle actually got me one of her original manuscripts. It has pizza stains on it. I said, "OMG! She eats pizza!!" I love those stains. Recently, my sister introduced me to an even bigger obsession. I read Stephenie Meyer's Twilight in two days. Yep, two days. I plowed through New Moon and Eclipse and I am craving the fourth like a heroine addict!
Yesterday I read The Five People You Meet in Heaven in one day. I was sick, granted, but still impressive, right? In this book, each person has their own pocket of heaven, based on their life's experiences. For example, the life of an amusement park owner's wife is changed forever when her husband is hurt trying to save the park from burning down. She met her husband as a waitress in a diner, when her life was simple. Her heaven is her diner filled with every single person who was ever hurt at Ruby Pier (the amusement park) safe, well-fed, and happy. Another woman didn't get her dream-wedding, so her heaven was a room full of doors that each led to a wedding reception. It got me thinking about what my pocket of heaven would be like. I suppose it will change as I grow, but right now my heaven would be this:
Life would be like a video sequence with pause, rewind, and fast forward options. It would start at Bullen Hall, where Spence and I spent much of our dating lives. It would continue on, most likely with some fast-forwarding, to my wedding day. I would rewind a lot and live it over and over again. Then, our honeymoon, where I'd pause at Disneyland and build us a suite in Sleeping Beauty's castle to live in. When I was ready for a change, we'd get on our cruise ship and maybe I'd pause there for a while. Then I'd definitely pause on Catalina Island and build us a beach front house, filled with beadboard and brightly colored walls, a turret, a garden with a hammock, and a huge library. Then I'd start the whole thing over again, changing little things for variety, except my wedding day. On that day, I wouldn't change one little thing.
Last night, pillow talking, I told Spencer that and asked him what his would be like. He said we'd live at Fenway Park with the Ninja Turtles and Cru Jones. After chastising him with a nudge in the ribs and an "I'm serious!" he said mine sounded perfect. Of course, his heaven would be me having my heaven. I told him we could alternate.