Saturday, March 22, 2008

Saturday Stuff

What I’m Reading: Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn and A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah

What I’m working on: Not being so lazy. (I mean, we came home from the beach today. You’d think I’d be up to working hard again.) (Please note the sarcasm.)

New Words Friday: 165

New Words today: 167

Saturday Stuff

1) I’m in a melancholy mood. I’m sure there are plenty of reasons, but the biggest is probably that I have to go back to work on Monday. No more spring break. The second is surely that I didn’t get anywhere close to as much work done as I should have. (Almost none at all.) My brain just shut off and all I could do was sleep in, be entertained by TV (which I never find time to watch) and books (my favorite time thief), and lay around on a couch or in the sun. Anything more was just too taxing on the brain. Third reason for my melancholy: I’ve been reading non-fiction. I just finished Mountains Beyond Mountains and I’m in the middle of A Long Way Gone. The former depicts the apathy of the industrialized world toward the sick poor. It ends well. Dr. Paul Farmer is brilliant and noble, but it’s a very meaty read. I probably should have stuck with light romance over break, but I couldn’t have handled meaty while working. (Plus the book has been selected by dozens of colleges for their Freshmen Year Experience community read. I had to see what the buzz was about.) I’m doing the listen/read thing with A Long Way Gone. It’s amazing to hear such a powerful story read by the author himself. (I got to hear him speak when I was in NY. Wow.) But it’s emotionally draining. So, there. Now you understand the melancholy.

2) I’m at that point in a story (The Slayer’s Circle) that I HATE. I’m about 80% done. And it all SUCKS. I’m at the point where none of it is good enough. The characters aren’t real enough. The plot isn’t strong enough. The writing isn’t perfect. Blah, blah, blah.

3) I’m taking both Empowering Character Emotions and Discovering Story Magic at the same time. (“Fool,” you say.) Yes. Pretty much. I’ve discovered (no pun intended) two things. One: My focus currently is on DSM – and it should be. I think it will help with the suck-age problem in #2. So, I’m checking my email every 10 minutes or so to see if I have comments from the brilliant Laura and Robin yet. I, unfortunately, have to put ECE on the back burner. Oh, I’m printing all the lectures and they’re GREAT, but it seems to me it’s more of a finishing up sort of thing rather than I’m-in-the-thick-of-it sort of thing.

4) My husband has challenged me not to buy any new books until May 1st. I have PLENTY to read so I don’t NEED to buy them. Of course, he challenged me yesterday and I went and bought some today. (Can anyone direct me to a good 12 step program for book addiction?) However, they don’t count. I was filling up a care package to send to my brother’s family in Rome, Italy. By brother is a book worm, too. He travels a lot and hence reads on the airplane. My oldest niece is 12 and has a college reading level. (She finished Flags of Our Fathers in just a few days and was able to discuss it very intelligently.) She’s a bit like me. Books and writing are her thing. The bummer of living in Rome is there are no American bookstores. To get English books, you have to go Naples (2 hours) and buy them at the base. The selection is marginal. All that to say, I send a care package every couple of months. I fill it with books for my nieces (10 and 12) and brother and magazines for my sister-in-law. The packages are a BIG deal to them and they gather around to see what everyone got. The last book I sent my oldest niece was Ally Carter’s I’d Tell You I Love You, but Then I’d Have to Kill You. She got it on a Friday and was done the next day. (You can see why buying books for them doesn’t count!)

5) I’ve stalled enough. The dryer is finished which means I can put the clean sheets on the bed and settle back into reading again. Uh, I mean I can park my butt in front of my MIP and get busy!!!



Dara Edmondson said...

Vacations are not for work - they're for the relaxation we require to give work our best. So, don't beat yourself up for not writing as much as you'd planned. Why not turn your niece and brother on to e-books;-) They cost nothing to ship and require no traveling!

Lara Dien said...

Dara's right. Next time, PLAN to take the time off and surprise yourself with how much you got done!

It's burnout--one way or another, all you do is work. We need to set up a reward system. Hey, I think I'll email you about it. One of these days we're bound to hit on just the right combo ...