Monday, October 19, 2009

Tripping Over Non-Fiction On My Way To YA

A terrible dilemma has found me, and I have to say, “It’s not my fault.” (That’s a perfectly serviceable beginning to any story, I think.)

So, here’s what happened.

As posted on the blog, I have been reading a wonderful book called Hush, Hush (which I will be blogging about very soon) and I finished it (was on some serious pins and needles for a while there). That seems like a good thing. Right? Anyway, I had my next book lined up, and oh, my was I excited. Scott Westerfeld (of Uglies fame and the subject of my first official blog post) has a new book out called Leviathan. With my trusty coupon in hand, off I rushed to claim my copy of the newest book from a favorite author, and after inviting it home and ogling over the amazing cover, I realized I was in a bit of a pickle.

During the hours between finishing Hush, Hush and purchasing Leviathan, I had picked up another book on the pile, a book recommended to me by a friend and former back pain sufferer, called The Mindbody Prescription by John E. Sarno, M.D. It had me at "hello," or more specifically, “...people who were hardworking, conscientious, responsible, compulsive and perfectionistic were prone...” to problems like back aches and migraines.

Okay, so, wow. (And I am not compulsive... I swear. Except, if you read my post on how much I like planning, I fear the evidence is already stacked against me. And honestly, this conundrum wouldn’t exist if I weren’t the tiniest bit compulsive.)

So, the dilemma: Do I read and finish The Mindbody Prescription or do I launch myself with all due haste at Leviathan? It’s so pretty, I tell you.

This might be a good time to share that my writing journey has moved in tandem with another journey I call Mission: Get Healthy. Along with finding my voice to write, I have started to listen to my body, giving up many of the things it doesn’t want, listening to what it does want, and I’ve made steady progress toward feeling better than I have in years. The one thing that is still a work in progress deals with constant back pain. I don’t take meds (too many side effects). I’ve seen spine doctors, chiropractors, and even acupuncturists (I say unto you, “ouch,” but I’ve had acupuncture before without pain, so it might just be me), all without lasting improvement or even a significant diagnosis. The most helpful of all the treatments has been massage, but that might just be because, for a compulsive person, the hour I spend at the massage place is the only real relaxation I get during the week. So, this book and the possibility that it might help where nothing else really has make me lean toward finishing it first.

But then, will Leviathan think I don’t care? Will it not feel loved? Perhaps vengeful? To invite a book in and then ignore it seems rude... oh, no, it winked at me.

What to do? Help. Possibly cure the back or disappear into beloved YA?

Quote for the Day by Robert Frost from The Road Not Taken

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--” ... have no idea which one I’m taking. So, help already.


DebraLSchubert said...

This one's a no-brainer. Sarno the Magnificent, of course! Once your back is ship-shape you'll read through Leviathan so fast it'll make its head spin. (Think Linda Blair.) I'm tweeting this, btw. ;-)

Bella Stander said...

Fix your back first. But maybe I'm prejudiced because I had surgery on a herniated lumbar disc 11 days ago. Now I have LOTS of reading time because I'm laid out flat 23/7.

Julie said...


Are you saying I have no brain? :)

Okay, so if I follow your advice, what can I do to let Leviathan know that it is still important to me, valued, and adored? Do you think resting it on a pillow or giving it a flower will do the trick? Maybe I should take it for a walk (the dogs love that).


So sorry to hear about your back. Yikes. You have provided the cautionary tale portion of the guidance to be sure.

I'll try for a second to distract you from your current unpleasantness by saying (very honestly), your workshop at the Backspace Writers Conference was the absolute high point. I learned an amazing amount and was fortunate to have the chance to present my pitch.

Thanks for sharing your time with us then and also for stopping by the blog. Rest up. Things will get better.

Indigo said...

I have this thing, sorta, habit more or less, if I start a book I have to finish it before I can possibly move on. Maybe I'm a tad OCD on reading, who knows.

Then again if your the type of person who can easily read two books at once, your in luck. I have several friends who have this strange ability. They read one book while waiting in the drs. office, in lines, etc., and have a whole different book they might read before bed.

On a vote, I usually take care of the mind first which is whatever reading pleasure appeals to me more (winks). (Hugs)Indigo

Chuck Schubert said...

I am a doctor and I say, "heal thyself." That book has changed my life, no kidding. Back pain is debilitating and healing it will change your whole perspective on life.

Julie said...


Thanks for your thoughts. I have read up to three non-fiction books at a time, but once I start a fiction book, it is my everything until I get to the end. And I believe a "tad OCD" goes a long way and helps with finishing things. (Most of my friends would say I skip right over the tad and head directly toward the "a lot" OCD.

Dr. Chuck,

Thanks for the book recommendation. I'm almost finished with it and think I will read Healing Back Pain, too. I think I need more... but will probably read Leviathan first. :)