How My Obsession with the Not-so-Impecunious Robert Pattinson Has Made Me a Better Reader (and therefore a better writer!)

My age is swirling around in a little filter-like funnel cloud above me right now reminding me that at thirty-six, I am a grown woman and no longer a Bop reading young girl.  I should not be obsessed with teen idols. 

Okay, now that I’ve gotten that out, let me say it…who cares?  He’s cute and interesting.  No biggie.

But I do want to give credit where it is due and so here is why I feel compelled to admit to you all what my brain does when I find something or someone fascinating.  It goes into absolute devouring mode. 

I’ve been like this as long as I can remember.  At ten, I fell in love with Sal Mineo’s Plato and read Susan Braudy’s 320 page Who Killed Sal Mineo?

Can obsession really be that bad if it’s motivated me to become an avid reader? 

Here’s what I know.  Today I read a page in Guy de Maupassant’s novel, Bel Ami, where I stumbled over a word I was unfamiliar with.  Impecunious.   Had to look it up.  Turns out it means penniless. 

Have you ever heard that phrase, “There’s what you know.  Then there’s what you don’t know.  And then there’s what you don’t even know you don’t know?” 

Well, today the obsession that sometimes leaves me questioning my own sanity knocked a little piece out of that “what you don’t know” stuff. 

Today, this blog is a spin zone.  I’m inviting you to come out and 1) admit your own guilty obsession and 2) explain (fabricate) how it has made you a better person! 


My Robert Pattinson Reading List:

Twilight, Midnight Sun, New Moon, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn and The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Meyer.  Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen.  Bel-Ami by Guy de Maupassant.   Cosmopolis by Don DeLillo.  Doomed Love by Virgil. The Ballad of the Sad Café by Carson McCullers.  Maniac Eyeball by Salvador Dali & Andre Parinaud.  The Bad Mother’s Handbook by Kate Long.

20 thoughts on “How My Obsession with the Not-so-Impecunious Robert Pattinson Has Made Me a Better Reader (and therefore a better writer!)

  1. Carlene – LOL! I do the same thing – happen upon one thing (actor, book series, tv show) and I have to gobble up everything that has anything to do with it. Here are my examples:

    I discovered “Bones” when I was home recuperating from surgery and watched 5 seasons in three weeks.

    I read the “Hunger Games” trilogy in one weekend.

    I fell in crush with Alex O’Loughlin and I collected/watched everything he’d acted in (including a hard-to-find indie film that cost a pretty penny)

    I don’t know what I’ve learned except that reading good books, watching a well-written move or TV show helps me learn skills that improves my writing. And by watching ‘Hawaii 5-0″ I’ve learned a little bit of the Hawaiian language.

    How’s that?

  2. Robin that is awesome! Especially the Hawaii 5-0 part! I really love that! Thank you for being the first one to bravely admit all that! I had forgotten the foreign languages I’ve learned because of cute boys:
    Spanish because of Puerto Rican 80’s singing group Menudo
    Russian because of a cute penpal sailor from Vladivostok!

  3. I have too many sources of inspiration to count! I’ll try to pick just one. Let’s see…

    The night before I took my SATs in high school, I stayed in and rented a little movie called Sense & Sensibility, which I absolutely fell in love with. That love spiraled into researching Shakespeare, particularly his Sonnets. “Love is not love which alters when it’s alteration finds….”

    From there I was obsessed with Kate Winslet, especially when she teamed up with another obsession, Leonardo DiCaprio, in Titanic and I went nuts learning all about that disaster.

    Not done with Jane Austen, I then read Pride & Prejudice and fell massively in love with it. So I watched the BBC version of the movie and met Colin Firth. I started following him around the silver screen through Shakespeare in Love (that tied in nicely with my Shakespeare obsession above & I started taking Shakespeare classes in college), a British book and movie called Bridget Jones and finally another movie set in England, What a Girl Wants with Amanda Bynes. I’ve now been to London three times and am also a die-hard tween/teen movie junkie, even if I don’t always admit it. But hey, those movies always have happy endings and isn’t that just like romance novels!

    I’m exhausted!

    1. P.S.
      Don’t even get me started on The Tudors and how that little show changed my life!

  4. Man Kerri, I’m exhausted too! That’s just what I was wanting from you today! Isn’t it funny how one obsession just leads you to yet another?

    The Brits are pretty entertaining, I agree. Won’t even start talking about Depeche Mode. Oh shoot, I just did. “Touch the Hem of His Garment” by Sam Cooke is one of the beautiful songs I discovered after hearing it was a fave of Martin L. Gore. See, it’s all good–we’re just expanding our horizons!

  5. My latest guilty obsession is Archer (thank you Netflix). My God, it is so wrong and I laugh so hard. Has it made me a better writer? It’s made me a more relaxed writer, doesn’t that count for something?

    1. Avery–I have not seen Archer so i’ll go out on a limb and agree with you, it counts! Now please tell me what I just agreed to! Is it pretty bad?

      1. Wait, is that a network-mate of Wilfred and Sons of Anarchy? If so, it’s all good!

  6. I have become extremely obsessed, over the years with british movies set in waaaayyy back time periods….anything Jane Austin, (also love her books), pretty much anything from that time period….I make my kids watch them with me and Jada has “comic books” based on some of Jane Austins books (easier to read), which she loves and rereads all the time…..little known fact is that we homeschool and we will be learning about Kings and Queens of past and how they came to rule and what their downfall was…..
    My newest obsession has been none other than Harry Potter!!! It has givin me the idea than nothing is impossible (even hippographs and unicorns existing–heehee) and I find myself talking like them…..MERLINS BEARD!!! hahahaha

    1. oooo and hanging people upside down by a leg…..I would love to have this power sometimes to shake the senseless out of them…. lol

      1. Hahaha, well it’s official. We yanks remain in awe of our british roots! That would be a very cool power Dana! And that is so awesome to hear about Jada’s comic books. Very cool!

  7. Who says obsession is a bad thing? I usually go on kicks where I watch a ton of Hugh Jackman movies or read a ton of books by the same author and then I move on to the next obsession. That is just the way my brain digests things…saturation.

    1. Hi Dana! I also enjoy moving on to the next obsession, whatever that may be. I think we must crave the excitement of learning something new.

  8. Hi Carlene, I originally started watching Twilight movies in order to connect with Tracy (granddaughter), and that started me thinking about my favorite soap opera from the 1960’s – Dark Shadows. So I started searching the internet to see if I could find some old episodes, maybe on youtube. But low and behold I found out that Netflix offers the entire series from beginning to end, so my current obsession is watching as many episodes as I can fit in every day, each one is only 20 minutes…plus I repicked up watching All My Children, One Life to Live, and General Hospital EVERY day. I guess it’s making me a better person because I’m staying home more instead of going out shopping every day 🙂

  9. Plus, I found out the Dark Shadows story was also available in paperback, so I’m sending Tracy a couple to read in preparation for the movie coming in May 2012, starring none other than Johnny Depp.

    1. Aunt Terry,
      Thank you for stopping by! See how one thing leads to another leads to another? I love your spin on how it’s made you better by not shopping so much!!! If we think about it long enough, we can always find a great reason to be obsessed! And I loved Dark Shadows too!

  10. I had to think about this one and then it hit me! I became a reader during my study abroad in London. I had an independent study class that required me to read the newspaper daily then write about what I read as my weekly assignment.

    Not only traveling throughout Europe for three months but traveling with two literature majors also made me want to become a reader.

    I know it sounds so elementary but one can learn not only language but historical and cultural information as well by reading. Both my parents were readers and I never realized how important it was until a few years ago.

    I used to read a lot of non-fiction about the war so my dad & I could discuss it but then my guilty pleasure came to be trashy romance novels (no offense meant). I have two dear friends to thank for that! I love becoming lost in the stories and relating to the characters like they are real.

    As far as becoming a better person…I feel I’m a better writer, I feel more well-rounded and cultured and I feel I’m able to actively participate and form my opinions in social situations a whole lot better.

    I love reading now, especially from aspiring authors (uh-hem…), and wish I had started earlier.

    After spending so much time in London and in Europe, I love me some Brits too! 😀

  11. I just realized, was I too serious? My obsessions are Mark Wahlberg, Depeche Mode, and Dexter.

    I’ll pretty much travel the globe if I have a chance to meet any of them.

    1. Hi Kathleen! Glad you dropped in! I love both your answers. It just goes to show that you can be educated, enlightened and entertained with just about any obsession. And I really like that weekly reading assignment you had in London. Very cool!

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