Friday, November 15, 2013

Goal: To be the poster child for "If SHE can do it then I can too!"

So I've been invited to run in a half marathon in June. Mind you, I'm NOT a runner. I don't like running and I'm not good at it. I cuss while I run. A lot. It feels very difficult and painful and never over when I'd like it to be. So of course, it makes perfect sense that I agreed to run a race with Heidi (another non-runner). The good news is, it's not until June. The bad news is, I think I'm hurting myself each time I run and will ultimately render myself arthritic before this is all over.

Part of my training process is to find all the unlikely people who have succeeded in running:
Oprah Winfrey

Pamela Anderson

This 100-year old man, Fauja Singh

This kid

The big picture -- even I can do this. I've been giving myself the same pep talk when it comes to writing. I've been sniffing around the long form of writing for a couple years now, and have experience doing non-fiction, but I think I'd like to try my hand at writing fiction.

I've been reading this book, Why We Write by Meredith Maran, in an attempt to understand other writers' processes. It's remarkable how many successful writers fail for so many years, yet manage to rise above it. I have read plenty of terrible books in my lifetime, and I'm certain that even I can write a terrible book. My big problem is I want to write a GOOD book. Not sure how to do that, but I think it's about time I get my act together and try. 

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Create Post? I don't mind if I do.

I finished a book last night -- A Visit From The Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan. I liked it well enough, although I could have benefitted from a flow chart of characters and timelines. It jumped around quite a bit. 

I started a little black journal in 2003 to list the books I've read and my two cents about them. I have a problem remembering what books I've read and who wrote them. (Of course, if you'd like me to recite  obscure movie quotes from 1982-present, I'm happy to oblige.) Anyway, I think the black book was swallowed by my nightstand for several years, because I haven't written in it since 2009. I wish I had, because I've enjoyed looking back at my two-sentence book reports. Here is a sampling, complete with the official Amazon summary for comparison:

The World According to Gap, by John Iriving
Amazon says: "This is the life and times of T. S. Garp, the bastard son of Jenny Fields--a feminist leader ahead of her times.  This is the life and death of a famous mother and her almost-famous son; theirs is a world of sexual extremes--even of sexual assassinations.  It is a novel rich with "lunacy
and sorrow"; yet the dark, violent events of the story do not undermine a comedy both ribald and robust."

Stacey says: I bought it because I identified with the description of the mother on page 1. I've always equated having large breasts as being somewhat floozy-like. Perhaps I've compensated for that at times.

The Good Earth, by Pearl Buck
Amazon says: "Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the William Dean Howells Award, The Good Earth was an Oprah’s Book Club choice in 2004. A readers’ favorite for generations, this powerful and beautifully written fable resonates with universal themes of hope and family unity."

Stacey says: It'll stay with me but I don't know what all the fuss is about.

Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, by Dave Eggers
Amazon says: "The literary sensation of the year, a book that redefines both family and narrative for the twenty-first century."

Stacey says: Top 5. Loved it. Loved his style and voice.

And now, my favorite review:
The Year of Magical Thinking, by Joan DidionAmazon says: From one of America’s iconic writers, a stunning book of electric honesty and passion. Joan Didion explores an intensely personal yet universal experience: a portrait of a marriage--and a life, in good times and bad--that will speak to anyone who has ever loved a husband or wife or child. **PS this book chronicles the year following Didion's husband's sudden death at her kitchen table.

Stacey says: Fantastic. A glimpse of somebody's future -- mine or Shane's?

I read that last one to Shane and giggled. "You know, one of us is going to have to throw out the other's shoes someday." His response? "I hope we die at the same time."

So if it ever comes that Shane and I have perished together in some crazy accident or twin poisoning episode (probably sushi), please come to the funeral and know that we're happy we didn't have to clean out each other's closets. While we're on the subject: I'd like to be cremated, but I've made him a deal that if we do go together, we can be buried. In the same casket (my request). And now you know!

I looked for a picture of old shoes to post, and I found this creeparific image. Enjoy