Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Elvadine, what’s you gots to write about?

By: Guest blogger, Brandy Groce Pruitt
I am the type of person who loses themselves in a book.  I am the person who wants to finish “just one more chapter” before turning in for the night even though I am struggling to stay awake. The person who subsequently wakes up at three in the morning, drooling on the pages of said book.  When I read a good book, I feel some sort of odd connection to the characters, a connection that lingers with me long after I’ve finished reading.  I find myself contemplating their lives after the happenings in the book, and sometimes even what their lives were like before I met them. 

And as much as I enjoy and love this pass-the-time hobby of mine, it has not always been the case.  It shames me to admit that I would actually avoid many of the reading assignments during school.  I would (GASP!) result to watching the movie after choking down two chapters and hope that my BFF would fill me in on how it differed from the book so that I could pass the exam.  Oh, forgive me English and Literature teachers of the world.  If it is any consolation, I have now read-and quite enjoyed- To Kill a Mockingbird, The Scarlet Letter, and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.  I even tackled Gone With the Wind, even if I did stretch it out over the span of two summers and had to start over several times due to information overload.  Oh, and if that doesn’t redeem me, I sometimes find myself honestly longing for those vocabulary books that I would have classified as cruel and unusual punishment in high school. 

My growing love of reading stemmed from many things.  First, I felt a desire and obligation as a parent to have intelligent and insightful conversations about literary works with my son and not appear completely unsophisticated.  Secondly, my guilty conscience got the better of me for scraping by all those years of high school without finishing the book. (Clarification: I did actually finish some books.  I didn’t skimp on every one of them.)  And the biggest contributing factor was a life that was falling apart. 

I have experienced a life that, at times, has overwhelmed and nearly broken me.  There have been times that my heart, soul, and body were in turmoil.  I have stayed sometimes when I should have gone; gone sometimes when I wished I would have stayed.  In rebellion, I’ve hurt people that I truly cherish, done things I pray every night my children never ask me about, and had my feelings crushed so often I wasn’t even sure I still knew how to feel hurt, sadness, or disappointment.

Books became an escape, a therapy technique that I unknowingly devised for myself.  I would read to stop thinking.  I would read so that I wouldn’t worry.  I would read to not fall apart.  Because, well…falling apart just isn’t really an option.

Life gets a little messy and hectic sometimes.  I am happy that I found a healthy release, something that lets me forget how stressful the day/week/month has been.  I hope everyone is able to find something that makes the strains of life bearable.  And if having a library card in three counties just so happens to support your stress relief, you are in good company with me. 

“It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it.” ― Oscar Wilde

We aren’t just a bunch of bookworms at my house; we speak fluent in movie quotes too! 

Here are just a few little gems that lend themselves into our lives on a regular basis:
“It’s so FLUFFY!”-Despicable Me
If you love it, can’t live without it, need it in your life…it is “fluffy.”  Example: Bacon.  It’s so fluffy.

 “My pinky promises.”-Despicable Me (Seriously, watch this movie!)
 If your pinky can’t promise, well then…you are a liar.

“One time, at band camp…”-American Pie
If you have never used this line, I’m seriously concerned about you. 

“Ice cream…Lieutenant Dan, ice cream!!”-Forrest Gump
No one at my house asks for, mentions, or even thinks of ice cream without channeling Forrest Gump. 

“Don’t talk about me like I’m not here.”-Steel Magnolias
Ok, so I’m truly the only one in my house who has seen this movie or uses this line.  You ladies know what I’m talking about though.

Every time we see one on the road or someone loses focus of the conversation, which happens a lot to us, we remember good ole Doug the dog.

Pretty much everything Dory says in Finding Nemo can fit into daily conversation, wouldn’t you agree? I know finding P.Sherman 42 Wallaby Way Sydney is top on my bucket list. 


  1. "Bacon. It's so fluffy." ... maybe the best line on Pillow Book ever.

    Can't wait to post your other entry, Brandy. You are a wonderful writer, the kind that impresses people, but also that we can relate to. Thank you for your honesty, humor, and insight.

  2. WOW! Brandy, you are a great writer!! Loved your guest blog! (Just noticing I use a LOT of exclamation points!!) LOL!!!

    But seriously, I am in the same boat as you as far as not enjoying reading until recenlty. Now I read all the time! What were we thinking back then?!

    Do you REALLY have library cards in three counties though? :-)

  3. Brandy,
    Great post! Reading is definitely therapeutic and a great form of escape. I love how we can explore places and cultures and situations that help us understand the “human condition” beyond what we know in our own little worlds. And, don’t worry--I think we all balk a little at reading what our English teachers ask us to read. (I certainly “skimmed” a few chapters when I had those same titles in Mr. Frederick’s Honors English. Shhhh—don’t tell. I promise, I also read them later!) Besides pushing us out of our comfort zone in a time when we’d rather be thinking about something else, many of the required-reading texts for high school students are best understood when we are a bit older, a bit more mature, with a few more life experiences under our belt. I couldn’t relate much to Daisy and Gatsby, Hester Prynne, and Ethan Frome when I was 15, but I’m glad to have come back to them.
    Love your writing style and your sense of humor! We are also a movie-quote family. Napoleon Dynamite is one of our favorites (“Can bring me my chapstick? My lips hurt real bad!!). I knew my children had inherited my odd sense of humor when they joined me in channeling Napolean.

    Good to hear from you!
    Melissa Ashby