Month: August 2011 Page 2 of 3

I think I'm addicted…

… to reading.

Back in July when I was making my push-to-finish-the-novel (which turned out to be a push-to-“finish”-the-novel) I started going to a nearby coffee shop to see whether leaving the house would increase my productivity. (Answer: somewhat.) Well, just down the street from the coffee shop is the library — i.e., my crack house.

Once I realized I would be driving by there pretty much every day, I went online to see if the library had any of the books I’d been wanting to read but wasn’t quite curious enough about to actually buy. And they did! So I put a few — okay, SIX — of them on hold, and I went on with my life.

Then the emails came. “Your book is here! Come pick it up! Yippee!” Or something to that effect. One after another after another. Soon I had a stack of 4 books next to my work station — okay, my COUCH — at any given time, and they were all beckoning me to read them.

Normally I’m a huge proponent of reading — it is, after all, a gateway drug to other wonderful but dangerous activities such as broadening one’s horizons, sympathizing with people different from oneself, and even developing an imagination. But I was getting in too deep. I would stay up late to get to the end of the chapter. I would blow off my morning writing session, telling myself that what I was reading would stimulate my mind for the afternoon. Then I would blow off my afternoon session, reasoning that I still had all evening to work. Then I would read through dinner and after, and the book would be done, and I would feel such an immense sense of satisfaction and accomplishment that I didn’t even care I had lost a whole day.

Until, of course, I looked at the calendar and realized that I had lost a whole day. MY NOVEL had lost a whole day.

So I’ve come to a decision. From now on I will only check out ONE library book at a time. When that book is finished, I can return it and check out another one. No more binge-reading an entire stack in a week. If I should run out before the next book comes in, well, then I will just have to content myself with something from the substantial piles by my bed. (Oh yeah, I OWN plenty of unread books too. The library’s just a bonus dealer.)

Above all, I must combine this new policy of book monogamy with SELF-DISCIPLINE. (Putting it in all caps make it more serious, right?) No more blowing off writing sessions. No more negotiating with myself. The most important book in my life IS MY OWN.



Good. Now get to writing!

Or else he's invisible

“The wind makes the leaves go swishy swishy. I hear a kid shout, maybe in another yard behind the big hedge or else he’s invisible. God’s yellow face has a cloud on top. Colder suddenly. The world is always changing brightness and hotness and soundness, I never know how it’s going to be the next minute. The cloud looks kind of gray blue, I wonder has it got rain inside it.”

Inspired by Room, I’m over at We Heart YA today, talking about unusual points of view.

Things I'm loving

Whoops. I totally meant to blog today, but I was reading this instead:

Room by Emma Donoghue

Mildly disturbing, but also wildly interesting, imaginative, clever, and heartfelt. One of my favorite reads of the year, and possibly of all-time.

Also, I can’t stop thinking about the movie I saw with my mom on Sunday:

Crazy, Stupid, Love

That poster doesn’t do it justice. And it’s hard to say what the movie’s about without giving away some of its best surprises. Suffice it to say, I laughed and I cried, and more importantly, so did my hard-to-impress mom. (Minus the crying.)

Both of these things feature incredibly strong writing. So yeah, I’m calling ’em research.

Let sleeping dogs lie

A supplement of sorts to the previous post.

Riley 031

Riley settles in 025

hAndymmock 004

Riley's block 002

New Lumix! 003

king of the bed 002

ridiculous dog 001

Dog days

Your day starts at 6 AM with a dog retching beside your bed. The noise rouses you from dreaming, and you stumble out of the room, urging the dog to follow you to the kitchen and its tiled floor.

Unfortunately, he doesn’t quite make it.

Still half-asleep, you clean up the carpet and then fall back into bed. The dog lies down next to you, wide-eyed and sad, as if he can’t believe his stomach has betrayed him.

An hour later, the alarm goes off, and it’s much too soon. But what can you do? It’s time for breakfast, emails, and work. Not long after that, it’s time for lunch, errands, and work. And a little later, it’s time for dinner and chores, and maybe some more work. The day rolls on, no relief, layering its stresses upon you one tick of the clock at a time.

Finally, when most of your to-do list has been checked off — the rest will have to wait until tomorrow — you settle on the sofa, curling into the corner and sinking into the cushions. The TV is on but you barely hear it. Your eyes are open, but your mind is in Sleep Mode. You feel… nothing.

Minutes pass. Then something moves in the corner of your vision. A paw.

You turn to see your dog tucked into the opposite corner of the sofa, a furry ball of sleep. You watch him. His little belly rises and falls with each slow, soothing breath. His nose twitches. His ears are askew. His eyes have disappeared into the black spots that surround them. His tail is wrapped around him like punctuation mark, and his head is nestled between his front legs.

You smile.

Peace settles over you like a warm blanket. You feel grateful for this one tiny moment, this perfect picture of serenity. You realize that life is a two-sided coin: everything is balanced. Suddenly you don’t feel so stressed.

When you get up, the dog follows. He stands in your closet while you change into pajamas. He sits at your feet while you brush your teeth. He looks at you hopefully when you open the fridge for a glass of water. He jumps onto the sheets when you turn off the lights and slip into bed.

At 11 PM your day ends with a dog resting his head on your leg. You both sleep soundly.

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