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Learning Lessons from Transformation on the Page by Sia Huff

Sia_Huff_croppedI’ve been going through some major life changes since the beginning of the year. Job changes, the possibility of moving to another state, the teenager graduating from high school and getting ready for college, the Marine, who’s been in and out of our home for years, taking steps to permanently go, and our beautiful fur-baby passing on. Most nights it’s just hubby and I–we’re in the new stage of pre-empty-nest-syndrome.

A myriad of emotions ran through me from shocked and confused—Where had the time gone?—to scared and irritable. Life was changing so quickly from what was normal and comfortable. My orderly plans were run over and splatted to the side.

As the realization set in, I understood, this is what we do to our characters. We purposefully put them in difficult situations and make them react. And they make decisions and grow. Their arc of trail-and-error finally gets them to their happily-ever-after. No rain, no rainbow.

How many romance books have shown me that important lesson? Thousands. Isn’t that why we read in the first place? To see people overcome what’s thrown at them.

This weekend, I finished Ain’t She Sweet, by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. A story of revenge and redemption so masterfully written, I’m sure to go back and re-read Sugar Beth’s story again.

Share with me one book that resonated with you so much, you’ve read it more than twice.

Walt Mussell - August 5, 2014 - 7:08 am

Though it’s not a romance, the book I’ve re-read the most times, I think, is The Hobbit. It’s definitely a story of adjusting to changes in life. :-)

Sia Huff - August 5, 2014 - 7:43 am

You are so right, Walt. The Hobbit is an excellent example of changes. I’ve never read the book, just seen the movie. I think my boys were to the point they read well enough and wanted to read The Hobbit on their own. But we have it around here somewhere. Maybe I should check it out. Thanks for the suggestion.

Marilyn Baron - August 5, 2014 - 8:26 am

I read so many books each week, I don’t have much time to read a book twice, although I will say that I loved Ain’t She Sweet and may have reread that because I forgot I had read it in the first place.

I’ve lost a pet and gone through the empty nest syndrome and it was difficult. A group of authors from Georgia Romance Writers are presenting a panel on this and other subjects at the Decatur Book Festival this Labor Day. It’s called Tackling Difficult Topics in Fiction. It will talk about overcoming obstacles and coming out with that happy ending. If anyone is interested in that panel here’s a link
I think romance novels are wonderful not only for the escape factor but for lessons learned and hope that difficulties in life can be overcome. Great post.

Maxine Davis - August 5, 2014 - 8:32 am

Sia, some will not surprisedd when I say my choice. It is, of course, the Harry Potter books. Yes I read them for the story, but I read them because I am always amazed that a person had the imagination for all the strange words, places, things. I want to be a good writer but Ms. Rowling has a gift few people have. I’ve read all of them more than twice each. If I have a heavy heart, I like Wisdom for the Way by Charles R. Swindoll – very short, less than a page each of a very small book that says, ” Wise Words for Busy People.”

Sia Huff - August 5, 2014 - 10:04 am

Hi Marilyn,
Sounds like a great panel. I’ve never been to the Decatur Book Festival. It run Labor Day weekend, doesn’t it? This may be the year. Good luck with the panel. I’m sure you all will do great!

Sia Huff - August 5, 2014 - 10:08 am

Hi Maxine,
The Harry Potter series is a great one. I love it too. So many lessons throughout. Wisdom for the Way, sounds about what I need. I could always use more wisdom. Thanks for the suggestions.

Sandy Elzie - August 5, 2014 - 10:09 am

I don’t reread books so much as rewatch movies. I love Lord of the Rings because he’s constantly overcoming challenges, yet I hate the end of the last one. I wanted happily-ever-after for him, but alas….

Those of us who know you know how much you’ve been through, yet you’ve come through stronger for all the trials and bumpy places. Proud of ya.

Sia Huff - August 5, 2014 - 10:24 am

Thanks, Sandy. I appreciate your kind words. There are a ton of challenges to overcome in Lord of the Rings. It gets a little too violent for me to re-watch. But when the it’s on I’ve learned when to turn my head.

Carol Burnside - August 5, 2014 - 5:23 pm

Honestly, Sia, I don’t know that I’ve read a book twice. I wouldn’t mind revisiting Morning Glory by LaVyrle Spencer, just to see if the scenes that stuck in my mind are really as good as I remember. She has a talent for taking the most mundane thing and making it an emotional turning point in the story. I admire that.

I’m sorry you’re going through such a rough patch. Been there. Some things just take a while to weather. Here’s hoping you see silvery sunlight peeking through the clouds very soon. (((Hugs)))

Susan Carlisle - August 5, 2014 - 5:32 pm

I’ve read very few books more than once but a I have read a couple. Something foolish, Something guy which I read in the 8th grade and it is still a cute story of real love, Shana which is my all time favorite and Ashes in the Wind. I love the civil war as well as the love story. I hope when I’m old my grandchildren will come read to me some of my old favorites.

Sia Huff - August 5, 2014 - 6:26 pm

Ahh, Carol, I love LaVyrle Spencer. Hummingbird & Separate Beds, I read several times each. Thanks for the encouragement. I hope to feel the sunlight soon. {{{Hugs}}}

Sia Huff - August 5, 2014 - 6:34 pm

I’m with you on Kathleen Woodiwiss, Susan. I’ve read Shanna more than three times.
It seems I’m in the minority re-reading the same books over again.
I hope your grandchildren read to you too. It would repay you reading to them now.

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