My husband may not be happy to learn this, but he’s not my first love – and he’s not my only love. No, that honor goes to words, to language, to the way that 26 random shapes form letters and those random letters can merge to create reality. Every day, I feel like we are letting words die. We’ve lost our true passion for language, because to savor words, to immerse yourself in the images that can be designed in the slow building of sentences, is to pause – and our world hates pausing. We need to move ceaselessly, because pausing means appreciation and appreciation is the antithesis of consumption. We are consumers, not connoisseurs.
Everything in our lives is a competition. Who can own more? Who can read more? Who can push the envelope further? Instead of picking up a book and losing ourselves in the simple magic of words weaving a new world for us, we skim, looking for a quick fix, so we can check off the book on a list and brag about how much we consumed. It’s disheartening for a writer and for a reader. People don’t have time to sit with a novel by Bronte and just enjoy her subtle use of language to break apart the lies of her age. We would rather have a story outlined for us by an author than take hours to enjoy the way that Dickens can transport us to a London street with only a turn of phrase.
Immolate. Translucence. Incandescence. Paroxysm. Cacophony. These words make my heart happy, but not because of their meaning. They’re just fun words to say, words that feel impressive rolling off your tongue. But it’s easier to say burn, sheer, light, fit, or noise. Those words don’t stay with you. They don’t sing in the spaces between stimuli, but they also don’t require anything from you as a reader and therefore, you can continue with your day, unaffected by words. You are not inconvenienced by coming across a word you don’t know, but you’re also not inspired.
One of my absolute favorite books written in the last few years is Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor. Her images are burned inside my psyche, because she created a world that my brain hungers to return to. It isn’t just the story and the characters, both of which are amazing, but also the way that the pages feel full of life. I recommend it – and the whole series – as well as putting aside the time to relish in the power of language, not just its purpose. ~Sarah Daltry
Bio: Sarah Daltry is an author who writes in many genres and for a variety of age levels. Her first novel, Bitter Fruits, is an urban fantasy romance published by Escape Publishing (an imprint of Harlequin). She is also the author of the New Adult contemporary series, Flowering; the gamer geek comedy, Backward Compatible; the recently released YA fantasy, Primordial Dust; and two novellas inspired by classic literature – The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock (inspired by the poem of the same name) and The Quiver of a Kiss (Helen of Troy’s POV during the events of The Iliad).
Sarah has been writing her entire life, but she started publishing in early 2013. A former English teacher and YA librarian, she is passionate about books of all kinds!
A princess, trained to behave. An assassin, betrothed to her. A thief, whose eyes she dreams of at night. A kingdom at war, torn apart by the suppression of magic and truth, as well as family secrets that threaten to destroy decades of peace.
Questions of loyalty, of morality, and of free will culminate in a fantasy novel about forging one’s own path and choosing one’s own destiny.
Amazon to come
Read the first chapters for free: http://sarahdaltry.com/primordial-dust-first-chapters/
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***Images and information for this post were provided by Ms. Daltry’s PA.***