So for the last few hours I've been in the idyllic town of Whisper Hollow, Tennessee. Don't google it, it doesn't really exits. I'm deep in the heart of The Sweet By and By, a novel by Sara Evans and Rachel Hauck, one of my personal faves. The story is like honey, sweet and rich and sticky, by which I mean I've been reading for two hours and am pretty sure the book will be done before the bottle of Sangiovese. I probably won't go to sleep until I finish tonight.
There is something completely freeing about losing oneself in a novel. It's not that all problems disappear, because any good novel is rife with problems. It's just that it allows you some distance and freedom, since someone else has to deal with them and, in general, that someone has bigger issues and more strength than real-live people.
As a novelist I have a harder time reading without agenda than I used to. But there are a few authors who make me forget to watch their scene set up and their character arc and lure my imagination into the heart of their story, where I can get stuck for days. It's fabulous when it happens.
Dear Jesus, thank you for the amazing talent you have lavished upon your people. Thank you for an imagination that makes the fantastic seem possible. Thank you for stories that fill a Friday afternoon.