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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Mental Health, Happy Places and Expectations

Today I did something I haven't done in a while.

Despite all the work I have piling up, I took a mental health day. Partially due to health reasons, but partially because I just wanted to veg and do nothing.

I spent the entire day reading in bed. Seven blissful books. Well, sorta. Two completely sucked, three were okay, one was good, and the last was AMAZING.

Seriously, if you have not read Deanna Raybourn, you are missing out. Now, for my CBA friends out there, I will say that she writes for the ABA. However, I don't find anything in her books objectionable. Her writing is so beautiful and so engaging that I hate for her books to end. They have a very Gothic feel, which I love, but unlike the Gothics I ate up in my youth (and frankly still adore), her heroines are strong, brave women who are willing to fight for themselves, and for justice.

That said, I probably won't be able to read or write anything for a while because her books are so amazing that nothing can come close to being as satisfying.

I'm so glad I saved her book for last.

I've been raving to a couple of my friends, who wanted to know which of her books to read. I say, read all of them. You need to read the Lady Julia Grey books in order, IMO, so start with Silent in The Grave. Her book, The Dead Travel Fast, is what I read tonight, and that one is unrelated to the Lady Julia Grey books.

Which leads to my thoughts on expectations. Yikes! I hope, now that I've raved about these books, you don't read them and hate them. But you know, it's funny, I've had The Dead Travel Fast since it came out, and I've been afraid to read it. I've LOVED the LJG series for so long that I didn't want to read this other book. Let's cut to the chase here. I am so sick of vampires. I hate vampire books because I am so sick of them. I refuse to read the Twilight books. You seriously cannot pay me enough to read one more vampire book. So when Deanna said something about this being a vampire book (and I honestly don't remember her exact words, just that they included the dreaded V word), I hesitated. And I've held off on reading this book because I couldn't bear the thought of hating something Deanna wrote because I didn't want to pollute my precious LJG books.

However, book #6 in my reading binge sucked so heinously that a.) I couldn't get any lower in hating a book, b.) I knew that even though I hate vampires, I adore Deanna's way with words, so there had to be something redeeming about this book, and c.) none of the 33 books in the TBR stack by my bed looked any better. (Just to be clear here- the 33 in this TBR stack is only one of many TBR stacks. I was too lazy to get up and paw through the others) So I took a chance. And I'm very glad I did. LOVED the book. And, to be clear, it is not your average vampire book. I won't give it away, but it was perfectly brilliant in how she handled the vampire element. Sometimes, even though you think you know what you're expecting, they are blown away beyond your wildest dreams.

So now I am in my happy place. I've spent an entire day doing nothing but relaxing in bed with my heating pad and TBR pile. Dr. Pepper and chocolate may have also been involved.

Technically, I got nothing productive done today. But I am feeling much more "me" and much less the frazzled mommy with a million things on her plate and not enough hours to handle it all. I have a feeling that my mental health day will pay off in the coming days because for the first time in a long time, I actually feel happy, relaxed, and ready to handle all the junk that's been coming my way.

How about you? How do you cope with things getting a little crazy?

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