I often wish I was a cow. It's not only that I look good in black and white (but I do), it's also because they have two stomachs. TWO STOMACHS. Just think about the possibilities! The damage you can do to an all you can eat buffet. The baked goods that could be made and consumed. If I had to peg myself as one of the kids in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (not Charlie, that's cheating) I guess I'd be Augustus Gloop (with manners, I hope), but less spherical.
Which, in an extremely convoluted way, brings me to having TWO BRAINS. I wish I had two of those. I wish I had a writer brain and a reader brain. You hear about putting on your drafting hat, your editing hat - but you don't have a reader hat, do you? I don't. And that's why I wish I had a Reader Brain. Now that I write, I can't turn off the writer part of my brain. I see patterns. When a character is introduced, I'm asking myself - is he a catalyst for the inciting event? Or, "The MC has mentioned her college sweetheart twice now. Dollars to donuts, he's going to appear in a few chapters and it will be TROUBLE. I'm more sensitive to bad writing, too. Bad writing can stop me reading what is essentially an interesting story. I'm also more sensitive to good writing - I started reading WHEN YOU REACH ME by Rebecca Stead (which is awesome so far) and it's depressing me because I can't just enjoy the story, I have to beat myself up with how gooood it is. I can't help but compare it to my own work. Guess who's work is seen in a more favorable light by my inner editor. Exactly.
If there were only a switch I could flip in my brain that would allow me to read a book like the good Lord (insert other deity/belief system here) intended - to get completely immersed in the story, so that I don't even feel like I'm reading words - just seeing pictures. I really miss that.
Do you have trouble leaving your writer brain at the door when you read for pleasure? Can a writer even read for pleasure anymore?
Oh! My friend Bob Shea (who my youngest daughter calls Giant Shea) posted a video of his upcoming book, DELICIOUS MYSTERY. It comes out in January 2014 on Hyperion. Seriously, I can't remember the last time I was this excited about a picture book.