Monday, May 17, 2021

Finding Happiness as a Writer and a Reader by Debra H. Goldstein

Finding Happiness as a Writer and a Reader by Debra H. Goldstein

When I read people’s Facebook posts about their pets or look at pictures of dogs and cats, I understand why, in 1962, Charles M. Schulz published a book with the title, Happiness is a Warm Puppy. Simply reading those five words make me happy.


Lately, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to happiness. Next week, my fourth Sarah Blair mystery, Four Cuts Too Many, will be published. As an author, holding a final copy of any of my books evokes that warm puppy feeling. There are also lots of other happy things already happening related to Four Cuts – it is going to be on the back cover of the Woman’s World Summer Reading Edition, the editor of Modern Cat picked it as one of her recommended five summer reads, and most of the pre-reviews have been favorable. I’m also excitedly anticipating several virtual bookstore and library appearances alone and with other writer friends.

On another note, last week, I turned in the manuscript for Five Belles Too Many, the fifth Sarah Blair book, which will be released in 2022. Finishing it ahead of deadline was exhilarating. From an author’s perspective, writing “The End” is grounds for a happy dance.

Before I became a writer, I was an avid reader. Sadly, my schedule doesn’t allow me to read as many books as I did in the past, but I still find joy when I take the time to read for fun. Reading makes me forget the many pressures and tensions I now feel in my life. The feeling of happiness I get from a reader’s perspective is different than how I react to that concept as a writer. It’s hard to put the warm puppy distinction between being a reader and a writer into words, but loosely borrowing my favorite statement in Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart’s Jacobellis vs. Ohio opinion addressing pornography, “I know it when I see it.”


Tell me: what makes you happy as a reader or a writer? More importantly, what makes you happy in life?


KM Rockwood said...

How wonderful you've found happiness in your writing, as well as your reading!

I've thoroughly enjoyed your books; I'm looking forward to this one. Congratulations!

Kait said...

What a great post and congratulations on all your successes!

Happiness in life, being content. I often think of the FB meme of "I wish you enough." Enough is happiness to me, and a nice glass of pinot noir!

Jim Jackson said...

Congratulations on your most recent successes.

I'm happy any day I can be up at my place in Michigan's U.P. and look out at the lake, walk in the woods, listen to the birds -- and I'm there now.

Shari Randall said...

I'm happy dancing for you, Debra! Congratulations on all that well earned success!
As a reader, finding a new book in a beloved series is a joy. As a writer, opening the box of books is a treat (you know that feeling!)

Margaret S. Hamilton said...

Congratulations on your latest release!

I'm happiest at the beach, but my garden serves as a good substitute.

Molly MacRae said...

Congratulations on the whole litter of warm puppies book news, Debra!

For me, happiness comes through connections. The connection I feel to the characters and places when I fall into a book I'm reading. The spark of connection when my own characters and their surroundings come alive. Hearing from readers that they feel connected to my stories. And my real life connections - including connections with warm puppies modern cats.

Debra H. Goldstein said...

Isn't it nice to see the variety of what makes us happy? From human connections to plants, from the beach to the woods/upper Peninsula, from what we read, what we have, and a good glass of wine. Thanks for the kind words and sharing your thoughts.

Susan said...

Good luck on your newest Sarah Blair book!

Unknown said...

Debra, nicely said. Warm puppies certainly make me happy. Writing makes me happy. I'm really enjoying bringing another world to life, even when my characters misbehave. Querying agents, not as happy a feeling. Congratulations on all of your success. Hopefully I'll get a chance to chat with you in New Orleans.

Darlene Dziomba

Liz Boeger said...

Debra, I count the Peanuts books as my gateway to having a sense of humor and compassion. I loved the work of Charles Schultz. I agree-the memory is a happiness trigger. Your point about finding a balance between reader and writer is one I've considered since I started this learn to write journey. My happiness in writing is when my characters take over the story and gift me with an unexpected scene or plot twist. My happiness as a reader stems from reading with a writer's eye. I love finding great examples of craft in the books I read for pleasure, that are instructive to me as an emerging (in skill) writer.

Congrats on book 4!