When your escape sends you back to reality, say thank you

Because the first season of “A Game of Thrones” was such a cliffhanger, I promptly borrowed the 5-book series from my sister to read.  It was so engrossing, it managed to pry me away for good from the Facebook game “Cityville”, which I had been obsessively playing for over a year.

Books and the Internet are my escape from the trials and tribulations of everyday life (Ha! I seem to imply I lead a hard and complicated existence when in reality, my life, though not simple, is not too bad at all!).  They help me relax at the end of a tiring day, easing me into sleep at night.

Then came this book series.

I get to know the characters and their families, their values and fears.  I accompany them through forest and desert and snow for days on end.  I see them through hunger and a thousand moral dilemmas.  I cheer them on to battle.  Then before they (and I) can even straighten up to savour a victory (not to mention gloat), it’s taken away by a host of foes or a scheming fiend who turns all their dreams and hardships to naught.  Dang!

But, fine.  Sometimes, that’s just the way it goes, even in fiction. I tell myself, you just have to plod on towards that happy ending made much sweeter by everything that went before.

And THEN (and this is really the thing that gets me), the author decides to snuff out my most loved characters, just when I’m already so emotionally invested in them.  I scream – What kind of warped thinking is that?! Did he have a childhood deprived of fairytales?! Doesn’t he know the rules of fantasy writing?! Aaargh!

My escape is leaving me spent and sad.  I am on the fourth book now (Yes, I’m still at it — I WILL see my heroes avenged!).  When it gets too much, I put it down for a bit and reach for a brief I have to read, or that project bid I’m supposed to be writing, or the budget that needs sorting out.  Aaaah, that’s so much more relaxing.  Thank you.

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