Saturday, April 4, 2020

When You Wake Up in a Story

By Maureen Bonatch 

I love to read. Some of my favorite genres are fantasy, paranormal and horror. One of my all-time favorite books is The Stand, by Stephen King. In fact, it’s one of the only books I’ve ever read twice—although that’s because he released a version with additional scenes years after the initial release. 

Otherwise, my TBR list is usually far too long to have time to reread books, despite how much I might want to return to visit those characters. Usually I hope for a series if I want to get to know the characters better.

Not My Story

Lately I’ve felt a bit like I’ve woken up in one of the books that I love to read or write. Unfortunately, this ‘world’ isn’t one with magic like Harry Potter or even the Kim Harrison’s series. It feels a lot more like The Stand—a world with a weaponized strand of influenza—although so far I haven’t noticed any of the supernatural elements.

One of the reasons I, and probably many people, like to read stories that are different from our ordinary world is that we get to experience them without having to experience them in our reality. Because we get to be a different person. Maybe one who has a different personality, is a little bit more resilient, or braver than our everyday persona. Thus, as much as I enjoy the stories, I don’t want to live them in my reality.

Dealing with Change

I expect that this unexpected veer from our normal everyday will most likely leave many of us, and the world, changed. I’m hoping that some of the changes will be for the better in the long run such as appreciating time with family and friends, and the value of everyday items and experiences that we’ve come to take for granted. 

Until that time, many of us are often feeling stress, or anxiety, about uncertainties and unknown changes we may have to adapt to. Much of this is out of our control, but how we react to the situations is within our control and that often starts with self-care and nurturing our anxiety . One of my stress relievers is, of course, reading.

Tips for reducing stress, and gaining accurate COVID-19 information:

I’m proud to be a part of the NextStep team. Take advantage of our course COVID-Ready Caregiver Certification designed to for caregivers- but also helpful to family and friends who want to learn how to keep themselves, and those they care for safe. The course free for a limited time- check it out here. (P.S. The course also includes some great tips on relieving anxiety and stress with mindfulness)

Here are a few articles I’ve written on dealing with stress:

 Until next time- try to stay physically and mentally healthy. 

What 'book world' would you like to wake up in?

Author Bio: Maureen Bonatch grew up in small town Pennsylvania and her love of the four seasons—hockey, biking, sweat pants and hibernation—keeps her there. While immersed in writing or reading paranormal romance and fantasy, she survives on caffeine, wine, music, and laughter. A feisty Shih Tzu keeps her in line. Find Maureen on her websiteFacebookTwitter

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Diane Burton said...

I read to escape, too. Been doing a lot of that lately. I want to read about strong women, women who are scared yet forge ahead anyway because that's the right thing to do. That's bravery. That's who I want to be, and can in books. Right before our schools were closed, I'd finished Cindy Dees' Fever Zone about a pandemic caused by a manufactured virus. I am so glad I wasn't reading it later. It was scary. I see enough of that on the news.

I hope you and your family are staying safe.

Nancy Gideon said...

Maureen, The Stand is also my absolute favorite and yikes, to think we're living it (closer than I'd like to believe) is beyond creepy. Fear and uncertainty brings out the best . . . and the worst in humanity, which is becoming more evident by the day. I tend to look on the bright side and try not to be disheartened by the dark by limited my news sources and the amount of time the take up in my day. Business as usual is becoming more and more difficult (I placed a pick up order for groceries and have to wait a WEEK to pick them up!). But sunshine is bringing out the grill and the patio furniture and I can see neighbors over the fences so that lightens the heart and the mood. Everyone hang in there. Look for those simple joys (close to home)!

Maureen said...

It is nice to have a little sunshine here to brighten the mood. Thanks for stopping by ladies!

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