Let the Books Cry Out...

I have to confess I feel queasy in a Books-A-Million. Well, any bookstore to be honest.

It's the smell.  It wafts through the air the moment I tug open a heavy glass door.

I smell crisp pages of fresh faced hopefuls standing shoulder to shoulder with fellow comrades of unbroken spines.

I smell spineless paperbacks dying in a mass grave called a "Bargain Bin"

But there's one peculiarly odious scent that reeks every time I walk in a bookstore.

The smell of Fear.

Unfortunately, it's something I produce when I walk over the threshold.  It's embarrassing.

I've done my best to control it, but I just haven't found a deodorant that can mask this odor, much less get rid of it all together.

And books...

...books can smell Fear.

As I walk by - trailing that nasty smell behind me - a book screams, "You associate with Tree Killers!"

Another one howls, "You're too late. It's all been written before!"

A chorus of sticker-shocked Reduced Price Books pick up on the agitation. "Away with you!" they shout. "Save yourself from this carnage of cheap priced clutter!!"

"Goes aways!  Goes aways!" wail a group of baby board books.

I try to calm them all down the best I can, but then my smell of Fear turns to sweat and starts running down my spine, arousing even more books to wail.

The din is deafening.

Why do I even come here and put us all through this torture?  The books are right.  If it was worth writing, it's already written - and what's left become a wreckage of unwritten reads.

Why should I kill one more tree - just so I can add to the forest of words already on these shelves?

If I did publish a book and it was lucky enough to be deemed worthy of shelf space, I imagine other books slowly inching away so they couldn't brush their covers against mine.

"Guilt by association," one of them whispers.  "We haven't got a chance if we touch her.  Move over."

I snap out of my reverie when I feel the paperbacks in their en-masse glass coffin sneer at me.

"Who's the spineless one now?" they jeer.

Disheartened and defeated, I slump out of the store.

This is my life.

At least, it is now.

I never had this problem until the day I held a pen aloft like Mufassa lifted up Simba in the "Lion King".  With a mighty voice, I cried out, "I am a writer!" upon which elephants trumpeted, lions roared and zebras bent their kn....

Oh wait.

That's not right.

I remember now.

As I lifted my pen to proclaim myself a writer, it slipped out of my hand and poked me in the corner of my eye.

"Oh well," I consoled myself as I rubbed my eye.  "This pain won't last forever..."

Little did I know.

Bookstores which once fueled my determination became my nullification.

*It's already been written.

* You don't have a platform.

* You don't even have the floor.

* You live on a dirt floor

* Why try

* Why bother

* Why worry

But then I hear a whisper.

"Why not?"

And therein lies the stupidity of being a writer.  That dang smidgen of a mustard seed called "hope".

Hope sends me to bookstores to face my fear.  Hope sets me down and has me typing aimlessly till something starts forming and convicts my heart.  Hope tells me that someone needs to laugh; to cry; to reminisce.  Hope tells me that many other people can do these same things for the same readers.

But then Hope snuggles up to my heart and whispers, "But only you have your unique voice and perspective.  Someone needs to hear your voice.

Don't neglect the one in hopes for the masses."

You know what?

I don't have a platform or a following or a crowd or so many people who wanna be Facebook friends that I'm forced to make a Page instead.  I'm not a Promoter, Publicist or a Progenitor.

I'm a Period.

I write in order to write.


Let the books keep cryin'.


Rebekah Hopkins Thompson said...

Thanks for tagging me! I wish we had gotten together to write those kids' books that you had ideas about based on your children! Are you still interested?

Holly said...

Love to! Send me an FB message on it. :o)

Anonymous said...

Holly, I wanted to re-read and re-read your post instead of just telling you that I loved what you wrote. I did not want it to be because I love you that I responded. I do, you know, love you a lot but I wanted to think about what I said.

I love the content of your writing, the way it looks on the page. What I always love most about your writing is that it speaks to me. What good is reading something that never touches you and what you write always does. In addition, I like the way you use words and put them together, the way they seem to flow from your mind to mine. I like that the words encourage me and give me hope. Please keep looking at writing a book or doing a line of cards I still like the idea of Belle's Blessings.

Holly said...

I JUST NOW read this. I don't know how I missed it...but I knew I needed to read your words today.

Holly said...

I JUST NOW read this. I don't know how I missed it...but I knew I needed to read your words today.

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Feel free to comment, and God bless you! ~ Holly

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