Saturday, July 31, 2010

Readin' and Writin' But Not What You'd Think

So this has been an exciting week. At least I think it has. I don't really remember most of it. But I know the firetruck came. I remember that, although I honestly can't recall if it was Thursday or Friday. The fire's out now - that's all that matters.

I've been writing. I've been writing so much that I forgot to eat for 3 days (except for the 3 Krispy Kreme donuts I ate while waiting for Camille to get out of ballet and I don't suggest you do that on a totally empty stomach) - and my pants are loose and this is totally thrilling (although I don't recommend that anyone forget to eat for 3 days because that would make me reckless and irresponsible.)

So initially I was going to write about how our house is haunted in the way that Hollywood Movie Houses are haunted (with pictures to prove it) - but then I had to make the 911 call to the fire department, and so I decided to blog about the way they couldn't find our farm because some genius changed our street name but didn't tell anyone (at least not emergency response people), and about how the volunteer fire department finally found us and one of the firefighters was in shorts and sneakers.....and the other was in jeans and boots and a big Tejano belt buckle because THAT would have made a good blog post title and possibly a good blog post. But then? We decided to go to the movies to see Inception like everyone else, only it was sold out, so we went to the bookstore instead. And now I'm going to blog about that. The Trip To The Bookstore.

So. We went to Borders. Actually, first we went to Canyon Cafe at The Quarry. When I went to take a sip of my water I discovered that the outside of my glass was COVERED IN FOOD. Lots of dried on chunks-o-food. Now I am no stranger to dried on chunks-o-food because I am a notoriously lazy dishwasher loader, but I don't like to get dried on chunks-o-food when I dine out. I showed my crusty glass to the waiter. He apologized and brought me a new glass but seriously? If that were my restaurant I'd be so free-desserting or free-drinking the customer because hello! she might have a blog!

Anyway - off to Borders.

So I mentioned I've been writing, correct? I am a published author of non-fiction stories, essays, poetry, and of course, my newspaper columns (no longer writing them). I've written fictional short stories but never sought publication. I've begun novels and never finished them. I always have lofty, high-brow goals for my novels. I like to read Anna Quindlen and Barbara Kingsolver. I'm currently reading Love In The Time Of Cholera. I want so badly to write like that. Ellie was reading aloud to me out of a novel by Kurt Zonnegut and I was like, "why oh why can't I write like that??? what wit!!" And she said, "Mom, you have to accept the fact that someone is always going to write better than you and live with it." This was wise. I said, "I guess you have to learn that with piano performance, right?" and she said, "I have. That's why I'm always constipated." *For the record, she is not always constipated. She is anal retentive and she can't help it - she had a horrible childhood. At least that's what I imagine she'll write in her book some day.

So I've tried to write like Barbara Kingsolver. I suck at that. I tried to write a first-person YA novel and it was actually pretty good - but I grew bored. So then I just started writing this story about people, because I'm always entertaining myself with fictional crazy people (often with real-life crazy people, too) and have done so since childhood. When I was a kid I would do this at school (because school was boring) I can remember more than one teacher embarrassing me by asking me what I was making faces about....well...I was watching a movie in my head and sometimes it was funny or sometimes it was scary or whatever. It was always more interesting than whatever it was that the teacher was reading to us (that does seem to be mostly what my teachers did - read aloud or ask us to - from boring books). Anyway, I still entertain myself with bedtime stories in my head, that is how I fall asleep at night, and so I decided to just start writing and see what happened. And so its going pretty well. But it ain't no Kingsolver.

I hate to admit it, but I think I'm writing Chick Lit. My critique/writing buddy (she is ROCKING AWESOME by the way) is really helping me. She reads all kinds of stuff, including some chick lit and romance, and she suggested I read some of that (since it seems to be what I'm writing) and so I went to the bookstore with a mission. Now, if you've been reading my blog for any amount of time you'll know that I have had (past tense - I'm recovered) an addiction to what can only be described as vampire porn. It was a dark moment in my life...and I'm not even talking Anne Rice - I'm talking Anita Blake Vampire Hunter and I swear, don't go grab one of those books and read it now because I'll just be embarrassed - but I've never been a romance reader. I have enjoyed a bit of Chick Lit now and again - but the protagonists are getting a little young for me - I don't identify with them. So, why am I writing this sort of thing? I don't know. But I secretly think I'm kind of good at it.

Where was I? Oh yes, in Borders. Jeff took off to do whatever he does in the bookstore - which is usually look at Clive Cussler novels because he likes to sew and cook and stuff like that so he gets his manly kicks by reading Big Manly Books.....he often reads them more than once while trying to figure out the entire time if he's already read it....Clive Cussler books are a little bit like Steven Segal movies (remember those?). They're pretty much all the same. He also likes to head to the "gardening" section where he peruses books on growing marijuana. Now before you call the police (not that they could find us - just ask the fire department), let me just state unequivocally that he does not grow pot. He reads about growing pot, which is even stranger than actually growing pot. And he only does it in the bookstore - he's never actually bought a How To Grow Cannabis book.

So - I diligently headed over to the Chick Lit and Romance section - but made a few stops along the way. I'm a sick girl and here's what I bought.
1) Russell Brand's My Booky Wook...A Memoir of Sex, Drugs, and Stand-Up
(In my next life I fully intend to go into stand-up and I ADORE Russell because he talks adorably adorable and I do like his rock star hair - although I do not find Russell Himself to be all that attractive as he is a little on the skinny side and his smile is too gummy.)
2) Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
(Because I've been meaning to buy this book for a certain person's graduation gift as a replacement book for the one Ellie took out of the graduate's gift bag and promptly dog-eared every stinking page.)
3) I Was Told There'd Be Cake...Essays by Sloane Crosley
(Because I love humor them love them love them...but Sloane looks to be about 20 and so I automatically do not think she's all that funny.)
4) Carnal Innocence by Nora Roberts
(YES! Mission Accomplished - I bought some smut.)

What I Almost Bought But Couldn't Buy Everything Because DUH It Costs $$$
1)When You Are Engulfed In Flames by David Sedaris
(OK - I'm regretting this. WHY didn't I get it? Instead of the Sloane Crosley book? I feel like I just cheated on David. I love him so much and I left him there on the half-price table.)
2) God is Not Great...How Religion Poisons Everything by Christopher Hitchens
(Because sometimes I just feel like being an a$$hole - but ultimately this is the kind of book I buy and never read.)

What I Was Not Tempted to Buy
1) Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks
(I hate Nicholas Sparks. I hate his formulaic good girl lovin' on the bad boy stories - and you cannot convince me he's not gay and I don't care how many kids he has. And OMG I just realized I'm writing a Nicholas Sparks book - right Critique Buddy? Is this not the total god awful truth?)
2) Anything At All By Glenn Beck
(I hate him more than Nicholas Sparks but for entirely different reasons.)

After the book store we went by Amy's Ice Cream - not for ice cream - but because Sarah was working there and we had to hug and kiss on her. The line was out the door for ice cream, by the way, and I'm sure the customers SO appreciated us stopping in and loving on Sarah, who was supposed to be scooping ice cream.

There you have it. My big date night. Shall the next post be about hauntings or fire trucks?
Sardine Mama


  1. Well! Wasn't that a fun post!


    I want to hear about the firetrucks.

  2. HAUNTINGS! and thanks for stopping by, it made my night!

  3. Fire trucks couldn't find your house? Hauntings? More writing?
    Fabulous, you have to show the hauntings!

  4. i effing bloody hate glenn beck. he makes my blood pressure completely volcanic.

    and what is this talk of the fire trucks?

    and steven's last name is seagal? not seagull?

  5. Firstly, his name is Kurt VONNEGUT. With a V.
    Secondly, the 10th line in paragraph 5 is why I usually don't read your blog. I should be allowed to proof-read your potentially embarrasing posts before you publish them to your 47 followers and who knows who else.
    Thirdly, you didn't tell me you saw Sarah last night!
    Lastly, I want to read some of your book.

  6. I misspelled Vonnegut AND Seagal? Secondly - the whole "I usually don't read your blog" is why I risked it. Figures. Thirdly - hey, we saw Sarah last night. Lastly - no.

  7. I've never read Nicolas Sparks! Nor have I read the Nora Roberts you bought-- I hope it's a newer one and not one of her Harlequin day books repackaged. She's improved over the years, which is good. If it has a "Nora Roberts" Seal on it, you're good to go. I still vote for you reading the Hollows trilogy by her, especially if you want to write more on HAUNTINGS for you blog. Yes, write more on HAUNTINGS! That's my vote. Yay for writing chick lit and whatever else is fun to write! I hated Love in the Time of Cholera and couldn't even finish it, by the way. Totally bored me. Your writing does NOT bore me.

  8. I've read two Nicholas Sparks books and after I finished the second I came to the conclusion that two was sufficient since those two were pretty much the same book anyway. :D Took three Jodi Picoults for me to figure the same thing out. Of course I read of the Gabaldon books. Telling myself it was 'historical fiction' and not chick-lit. Now I'm reading a biography of Abigail and John Adams to regain a couple brain cells.

    You are too nice to read Hitchens, BTW.

    You must go see Inception. Great movie. Chris, Max and I went last night. Max was a perfect sleeping,nursing baby so HAH!! to the lady sitting a few rows behind us, stage whispering to her husband about how people shouldn't take babies to movies and just stay home etc....although I don't think I can pull that off much longer :( he's just getting too big.
    Oh, and I gave you the benefit of the doubt that Vonnegut was a typo. Don't ever admit to misspelling things...they are ALWAYS typos. :D

  9. btw, we were at the Quarry too. What showing did you try and see. We went to PF Changs (my post-conference, post-dh on vacation with boys-treat) and then the 7:55 show. Don't get why they are putting such a popular movie in one of their smallest theaters.

  10. One day when I'm old, I plan to sit down and actually read a book. Don't get me wrong, I love books. But mostly for decoration.
    I am wanting to hear about the hauntings and I want to see pictures.
    And even though I love Rush Limbaugh, I can't stand Glen Beck either. You would think I would, right? But no, there's something off about him.
    Oh, I wanted to tell you. I haven't pass along your compliment to my co-worker Chrissy about her hair. I haven't shared my Blog with her yet. I mean, she may have discovered it but at this point, I don't feel like letting her know about it.
    Alright, Love Ya, gotta go.
    Your Friend, m.

  11. Wow. So much to comment with this one! In no particular, cohesive order: I love Barbara Kingsolver. Hate Love in the Time of Cholera. Bleh. Love David Sedaris, and why didn't I buy that book either? I was holding it and then I just put it right down. My favorite of his is Naked. HYSTERICAL!

    And Glenn Beck? Yucky poo poo.

    I would love to know the titles of some of the things you have published!

    And if you ever publish any chick lit I will totally read it.