My Date with Jennifer Cruise by Rachelle Yousuf
My Date with Jennifer Cruise
by Rachelle Yousuf
I have never been one to read blogs or to follow my favorite artists, singers, or writers obsessively. I don’t have a Tumblr, I never know when my favorite band is in town, and I frequently forget to check the release dates of books written by my favorite authors. My best friend tells me this makes me a bad fan. That in order to be a “good fan,” I have to be well versed in the world of “shipping” characters together, GIFs, and blog posts. I, however, attribute my lack of knowledge more to my short supply of free time and my desire to have one less source of distraction, and less to my apparent lack of devotion.
So it came as quite a surprise when I found out that Jennifer Crusie, the writer of some my favorite novels, such as Faking It, Bet Me, and Agnes and the Hitman, was going through a major medical problem that would eventually lead to the loss of her eyesight, and subsequently, to the end of her career as a writer. I found out while browsing through her website. Instead of finding out if she had a new book coming out, I found her blog and the heartbreaking news previously mentioned. So like any “good fan,” I started reading her blog to find out more about what was happening.
I started at the beginning. I went all the way back to 2005 and read the hundreds of posts she had written. They ranged from posts about her cleaning her office, to how to read a review, to her latest television addiction. Over the course of two weeks, I learned more about her than I had learned in years of being a fan of her writing. I also learned very little about her vision problems, when she would be forced to stop writing, and what this meant for the books that she was scheduled to release in the upcoming years.
What I did discover, however, was much better. Reading her blog was like discovering that my favorite characters had come to life. It was like giving a face to the countless protagonists in her books. I suppose on some level I knew that the way she wrote was a reflection of how she spoke, but I was amazed at how after spending years reading her books but neglecting her blog, her voice seemed so familiar to me. As a reader, I have always known that a big part of the connection I feel with a story comes from characters that are larger than life, that become my best friends, that make me cry, and that make me laugh. And I’ve always known that the writer, as the creator of these characters and their worlds, brings his or her own style and thoughts into the mix. But I have never combined the two and seen how connected the two are, how the creation of one is reflected in the words of the other.
I doubt my brief trip into the blogosphere has convinced me to change my non-blogging ways. I doubt it has magically created the free time I would need to stay up-to-date on my favorite writers, shows, and musicians. But I know that it has given me the opportunity to rediscover an old friend.
Rachelle Yousuf is the vice president of the Women’s National Book Association, Los Angeles Chapter. She works as a PR associate for Julia Drake Literary PR and is currently working on obtaining her Masters in English Literature.
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