Change is Hard

The longer you write, the more you see yourself returning to the same themes, over and over again, like a river slowly carving its way through rock. Certain ideas are pebbles that catch in your mind. Over time, they become smooth and polished, but the process is long and hard.

There’s something rewarding about returning to the same themes, though. Discovering that you still have something left to say after feeling like you said it all the previous time is a small miracle indeed. Writing a book can feel like exhausting your soul. In the end, is there anything left? Fortunately the answer always seems to be yes, though time is required to unlock the reserves and discover new treasures. We may return to familiar territory time and again, but seen through different eyes, it’s a whole new world.

I find that I’m drawn to the same familiar paths in my reading life as well. I read widely, and I am fortunate in that regard. Between my wonderful women’s fiction book club (shout-out to the Novel Bites!), my library, my kid’s various projects and my ever-expanding home library, I end up visiting all kinds of stories, both real and imaginary. But even when my reads seem varied, there are often these subtle (or not so subtle) connections to theme.

A big one for me is change.

Change is hard. It’s always been hard for me, and I imagine it always will be. I am slow to adjust to a new direction. I feel unmoored. Shaken. My internal compass is a slow and tedious device that lags far behind the pace of the real world. Or maybe it’s just that I’m an introvert. :)

Change has been a theme in my reading of late. You could argue that every story is ostensibly about change, but these are some of my recent reads that really knocked this particular theme out of the park:

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Wish by Barbara O’Connor

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Being Fishkill by Ruth Lehrer

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Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly

The Ship Beyond Time by Heidi Heilig

The Ship Beyond Time by Heidi Heilig

Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall

Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall

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