I found an old notebook recently. It was from when I was a pre-teen. I'd made up a survey and had taken this survey about myself every year. The surveys ended a couple of years after I married.
It was very interesting to see how some of my tastes changed over the years, but some were always the same. I will probably always consider daffodils to be my favorite flower and I will ALWAYS love books.
One of the questions that I asked my self was what my dream job would be. There were several answers - librarian, book store owner, editor, etc. It's pretty obvious that my dream job involved reading if at all possible.
Several months ago I noticed that a blogger friend had posted several book reviews on her blog. I hit the link and immediately signed up to receive free books in exchange for my honest opinion on my blog.
But this wasn't enough. Oh no, I had to google book reviews and see what else I could find. I hit a gold mine. There was a blogger who'd written a blog on all of the sites he knew that sent books to bloggers in exchange for their honest opinions. I emailed every one of them. Only one responded right away and I loved the publisher. I sort of forgot about the other sites. Two of them have since contacted me and somehow this put me on the book reviewer radar. I've had two authors contact me and another publisher.
Yesterday I finished up a book review and when I checked my mail I found four more books to review. Wow! Between the publishers, authors and two book clubs I felt a little overwhelmed. I started to complain to Jon and then I stopped. I remembered that notebook from long ago and I realized that I'm living my dream. I owned a bookstore before Dominic was born, for about three years, and realized that I couldn't have a store and children so I gave it up. I felt a little sad, but figured I could start again when they were gone. I waited a long time and prayed a ton for these kids. It wasn't really a hard decision. And now I'd been given an opportunity to have both of my dream jobs at once.
As with all dreams, this one has some rough edges. Last night I had to email an author and give him my review that I'd posted on several sites. It was very difficult to write that review. I HATED that book. The author did a great job, but I wasn't fond of the subject matter or the style it had been written in. But there are others out there that will love the book. My review is supposed to be honest. How could I be honest and not hurt his feelings. People love to complain and have no problem blasting a person they can't see. It feels "safe". You would be amazed at the things that some people write. It's malicious and evil. As a amateur writer I know how it feels to receive feedback and even when we have tough skin it can still hurt. So I had to really put effort into not putting my own dislike into the review. My review needs to be honest, but not hateful or hurtful. And it somehow needs to convey to others a true sense of what the book is like so that people like me will realize by reading my review that it might not be the book for them. I wasn't prepared for how hard that would be.
So yes, I'm living a dream. It's hard work, but how many people can say that they read books and play with kids all day long for the fun of it? Life just doesn't get much better than this!