But the thing about settling for second best, and knowing you're settling, is that it never feels like enough. Doesn't bring you true happiness. Especially when the dream clings on to you even when you think you're letting go.
I excelled at my job and was progressing well, fast, but it wasn't what I had passion for. So it wasn't making me happy. Not as happy as when I used to spend hours writing my "novel". But I just couldn't write a single creative sentence, now. Plus, the cold and flu became my constant companion, thanks to the air-con in the office, blasting freezing air from the vents directily above my head all day, every day, all year ~ summer and winter ~ and it was getting me really depressed.
I was actually recovering from a cold when I went shopping with my best friend in the winter of 2009. I needed new winter work clothes (or maybe it was just an excuse to indulge in one of my favourite past-times, shopping?) and I also had a book token left over from years ago when I'd won a poetry competition and I wanted to spend it, buy some books to read over the coming Christmas break, get back into reading. I knew I was going to buy Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code but the rest... I'd see what caught my fancy in WHSmiths.
What caught my eye at the book shop was... yes, you've guessed it, the Twilight book cover. Gorgeous. So striking and eye-catching.
Now, confession time: I didn't know much about the Twilight Saga back then, had no idea how big the Twihard fandom was. Sure, I'd seen the Twilight film trailer on TV, and I even saw the film poster for New Moon (Twilight Saga, Book 2) that had/was coming out that winter at the book store, but that was it.
I couldn't resist not picking up Twilight, but the blurb didn't scream out "read me!" to me, so I put it back on the shelf. My friend approved of this action ~ she said she'd heard about the book and it wasn't all good. But the cover was so pretty... I can't remember the number of times I picked it up and how many times my friend urged me to put it back on the shelf.
Stephenie Meyer's The Host was on the same shelf and my friend said she'd heard good things about that book, and that I should get that one if I was determined to buy a Meyer book. Not Twilight. The blurb for The Host however, didn't appeal to me at all. Witches, vampires and fairies I was down with, but sci-fi and aliens? No. It wasn't my thing.
My friend couldn't convince me to buy The Host and I couldn't help picking up Twilight and putting it back on the shelf. After I decided on my other buys, I put Twilight in my basket, much to my friend's dismay. The cover was stunning and it would look great on my new book shelf!
Come Christmas, I was of course, in bed with flu. I'd so been looking forward to reading Dan Brown but I wanted to be 100% better before starting it, give it my full attention, so I opened up Twilight. I probably wouldn't like it, as my friend had warned, but I just needed to kill time until I shrugged off this annoying cold.
But I loved it, from the very first sentence, the first page. I was addicted and it made me feel better, physically and mentally. It will sound strange, but something inside me changed as I read this book and got caught up in the romance and drama. I fell in love with Edward of course, and by the time I finished it, I had a huge grin on my face. I went back to the beginning and re-read it. Then, again. And again. It was a great feeling, and I had to go back for more.
I felt better about myself, my life, my job (even if it meant suffering under the air con vents in the office), and my depressive slump was over. I wanted to re-read the book again but I refrained, else I'd get fed up of it, bored. I didn't want to get fed up. I vowed to read it again next Christmas and a tradition began.
At this point, most readers in my position would order the rest of the series from Amazon, right? Not me. I just ordered book 2, New Moon. I knew that if I had the whole series at my fingertips, I'd finish it within days, and I didn't want to fly through them. I wanted the feeling I got from reading this series to last as long as possible.
This post will continue next Monday. I hope you enjoyed Part III. If you're interested in my novel, click the image below to learn more about it:
Like all my other books, it's also available on:
iBooks | B&N Nook | Kobo | Smashwords
And the first two books in my teen urban fantasy/YA paranormal romance series, the Poison Blood series, can be downloaded for free via:
Amazon US| Amazon UK| iBooks US & UK | B&N Nook Store | Smashwords