Book of Dreams
I’m not on a mission to dissect, pull apart, and explain Bruce’s lyrics or song titles. I’ll leave that up to the music critics. Instead, I turn to Bruce’s brilliant lyrics and titles for inspiration. The stories he tells through his music help me tell my very own stories. Bruce offers me a helping hand…. among other things (therapy, sanity, motivation, happiness).
This week the help comes from a song off the Lucky Town album- “Book of Dreams.” It’s the song title actually that’s the inspiration. It ignited some questions in my wacky brain. “Book of Dreams”- Do books help us dream? Are books an escape? Are dreams meant to be fiction? One thing’s for certain, books allow me to dream, think, and wonder.
When I asked the “star” of this post – Robin Kall Homonoff , “Are books an escape?”… her answer was both impressive and thought provoking.
“Reading is not an escape for me. I’m not looking to get away. Reading enhances life. I love getting lost in a story. It makes me think. I reimagine my own story. I’m so connected to character and storyline. I can’t believe hours pass.”
My thoughts exactly!!!!!…. with regards to listening to Springsteen!!!!! LOL
Bruce enhances my life, makes me think…and I feel so connected. With regards to books however, well… I tend to get so captivated by the story unfolding that most of the time it somewhat feels like a dream. Truthfully, I’m often looking for an escape. If I’m immersed in a book, the words… the feelings… the story…it’s my break from reality.
Robin and I may answer the “books as an escape” question differently but we share so much in common… especially our love of storytelling. She’s all about books, high energy, extremely motivated, very warm, engaging, well traveled, and she’s most definitely a “gets things done” type of person. I like to think I hold some of those characteristics. I instantly knew we had a strong connection when she proudly announced that she feels as if she’s “wasting time” if she’s not doing something productive and meaningful. Amen Robin! Again, my thoughts exactly!!!!
By the way, Robin and I just met a few weeks ago thanks to an email introduction by a mutual friend- Monica. After a few friendly email exchanges, I arranged a meeting at a local coffee shop. I couldn’t wait to meet Robin. I’ve always admired her. She hosts book events with best selling authors and has had her very own radio talk show- Reading with Robin. Talk about taking your passion and making it happen! As I mentioned…she’s a “gets things done” type of person!
At our initial meeting, two hours of coffee talk led to… you guessed it…. a Bruce connection…her very own BRUCE moment and story…
Robin “gets” my Springsteen obsession. I was so comforted when she told me, “ I appreciate fully the passion of connecting with an artist.” See… I’m not crazy!!!! I am crazy jealous though…. Robin met Bruce back in 1994 in New York while shopping. She decided to walk right up to him…she says, “he was humble, adorable, approachable, and gracious.” I’m freaking out as I type this!!!!!! AND…during this wonderful shopping event she also told the Boss about her friend Jodi (one of my Bruce Buds now). Robin told Bruce that he was Jodi’s idol and that Jodi was his biggest fan! (I beg to differ…I’m his biggest fan!!!). Anyway, of course, my boy from Freehold, New Jersey grabs stationary from the store register and writes a note to Jodi. UGH! This story is killing me!!!! Seriously, it’s just amazing! Shopping, Bruce, New York…oh my!!!! To admit I’m a little jealous is just an understatement! I need to continue saying my Hail Marys and maybe… just maybe… one day… my prayers will be answered! All I can do is dream about talking to Bruce! That story would end up in my Book of Dreams for sure!
Okay, now that the Bruce story is out there, it’s time to focus on the highlight and “star” of this post- Robin.
Robin’s originally from Long Island but has called RHODE Island home for the past 28 years. She’s a wife, a mother, and a voracious reader. She inherited the reading gene from her mom Carol. Her mom was the biggest influence on her life. Reading was Carol’s favorite happy place and Robin always remembers seeing stacks of books on her mom’s nightstand. Carol never left the house without a book. It’s a rule that Robin obediently follows. “Mom had rules. Always have a book.” Even while waiting to cash out at the supermarket, Robin won’t hesitate to grab a book out of her handbag and read a few lines. Carol left Robin with so many positive traits and memories. “My mom is part of all of my stories and all of my days.”
Carol was ahead of her time too. Long before the Book Club craze, Carol was involved with “The Reading Circle” at her Temple where she met and discussed books with fellow members.
While growing up on Long Island, Robin loved visiting her local library. She says Librarians were her best friends. Although she never aspired to become a librarian, she loved the ambiance, the smell, and the aura, just everything about libraries. She considers bookshelves artwork.
Robin calls her favorite childhood author, Judy Blume- “THE QUEEN.” In fact, Blume still tops her list. She was fortunate enough to meet Blume in person and proudly admits, “I practically curtsied in front of her!”
Another proud admission- “I keep a list.” It’s a list of books to read based on the valued opinions of other avid readers and authors. Robin doesn’t mind sharing her list. After all, she knows, “It’s impossible to read everything!”
She reads one to two books a week and can’t put an exact number on the amount of books she owns. Robin does part with some of them. Big Sisters of Rhode Island and the Women’s Prison benefit from her numerous book donations. However, Robin can’t part with the books signed by the authors. Those signed copies are her treasures and rightly so!
Robin would love to write a book but the task seems a bit overwhelming at the moment. She has been published already though. Back in 2009, her story was featured in “Chicken Soup for the Soul- Power Moms.” Robin is the Radio Mom in the book. Her chapter tackled how to juggle family and a new career.
About that family and new career…
Robin spent her early years in Rhode Island raising her son David and daughter Emily. She devoted her free time to their schools and became involved with several philanthropic endeavors. Robin also enjoyed volunteering at her temple and at the local hospital as a patient advocate.
Robin loves being in the know and involved. Back in 1999, she made a habit of calling a local talk show to offer her opinions and thoughts. She loved joining in on the conversation about the topic of the day. As a frequent caller, she soon developed a connection with the show’s host. Not surprisingly, Robin became the first caller ever to be invited “in studio” for a segment.
She captured the attention of the radio host and the programming director as well. Robin was quickly offered a segment producer position at the station. But her big break came in June of 2002. It was Father’s Day to be exact. Robin was enjoying a get together when she received an emergency phone call. The host needed a host!!!
Robin recalls feeling so nervous and telling everyone she ever met to call into the show. It was a tough task but she pulled through successfully. This big break led to the creation of her very own show at the radio station- Reading with Robin.
Reading with Robin launched in the fall of 2002. Every Saturday morning, she invited authors onto her show to discuss and promote their latest book. The show went on to become a very successful morning talk show for 10 plus years. The show is currently on hiatus. It’s evolving and under a so-called renovation.
Meantime, Robin continues to discuss books with authors through her special events known as “An Evening with the Author.” The events attract best selling authors and always sell out. All of the evenings are held in memory of her mother. It’s a loving tribute to Carol who lost her battle with Breast Cancer back in 1997. Robin founded the Love, Carol Foundation for Breast Cancer Awareness. She also organizes “Walking with Robin”- a charity walk to raise funds for Breast Cancer.
Needless to say, Robin is truly an inspiration! I’m so glad that my biggest inspiration- BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN- allowed me the opportunity to share Robin’s story. It’s all so wonderfully connected thanks to the song title, Book of Dreams. The fact that Robin just happened to bump into my idol while shopping just makes her story even more fascinating!
Thank you Robin! I must end this post with your last thoughts during our incredible 3-hour interview- “I’m trying to do things that matter.” Amen to that! Amen!