Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Friday, May 25, 2007
Thursday, May 24, 2007
What is it that makes a book good or bad? How do we decide if we like it, and whether to recommend it? It depends, of course, in part, on what we were looking for. On whether the book resonates, whether it engages us. Whether it changes us in some way, makes us think or feel. Every book is different, and even the same book is different which each rereading, and over time, as our experiences and outlooks change.
Last night I told my partner that the book I was currently reading, While I was Gone, by Sue Miller, disturbed me. The grammar checker said to write the last sentence that way, so it I did, but in truth, my original wording might be more accurate. The book did not disturb me; I was disturbed by the book.
I had purchased the book at a used bookstore because, in part, I had met the author when she spoke at my college. (This was not that long ago; I was an “adult” student.) (I should have bought the book new, so she would have gotten her due, her small cut. But I’m unemployed, a paltry excuse. If I were to write a book, I would need an income from it. I would want people to buy it, since I am otherwise unemployed, since writing would be my job and an income is appropriate for a job.)
I was disturbed by the book because it seemed as if a woman, Jo Becker, who loved her husband and was happy in her life was about to begin an affair. I was terrified by this because I want my own marriage to not be blemished by infidelity, and it seems so casual, so easy, and the wounds so deep. My partner suggested I put the book down and “stop reading fiction.” I did not and will not. But I was uncomfortable and unhappy while reading the book. Scared for the protagonists, scared for my partner and myself. The fear came from inside me. And yet, she manufactured that fear, she, Sue Miller. She shaped it. She related it to a universal fear. She disturbed me, with her book.
The back-story was familiar to me: life in a group home, a sort of commune, during the sixties. Things had gone terribly wrong. I enjoyed reading about life in the group home because it brought back memories of my younger days. The intensity, the idealism. And the story was compelling. Spellbinding. I didn’t want to leave it to do the necessary things in my life. (Now there’s a good reason not to read fiction!)
I don’t want to give away the ending. I hate it when reviewers do that. I liked the book. It was “good.” It engaged me, it resonated for me, it terrified me. Would I recommend it? Not for light reading. Not for escapism. Not for the pat kind of happy ending. But for an engaging read, yes. I would. I would definitely recommend it.
Tell me about it. Leave a rainy-day comment. Or a sunny-day comment would be nice, too.
I do all of the above, and more. Or less. Read.
Write a new poem. Write a new story. Unpack a box. Hold my sweetie. Take a photograph.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Friday, May 18, 2007
These forget-me-nots were growing in my mother's garden as I was preparing to leave her house for the last time after she died. I felt it was a little request--"Don't forget me!" Don't worry, I won't, Mom! (wahn!). I really miss my mother, and it hasn't subsided at all yet. Grief is a strange being that sits heavy on the heart and is not eager to depart.
They are in a small vase of hers on the front of Biker Buddy's car, which is reflecting the sky.
I posted 4 other flower photos to Photique 3, including trilliums au natural a wild geranium and the mighty lion. If interested in the others, click home while there and scroll to May 14. (I back-posted them for the flower challenge.)
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Yes, I know this is a CRAYFISH, but I'm a crab, LOL!
Blogger has gotten so much harder I almost don't want to bother with it at all. And that's just one of my problems. I'm still dealing with my mother's estate and while I was away, I got huge piles of snailmail and email, and I'm not caught up yet. I am feeling crabby about it all, so watch out! (To say nothing of canceled and multiply rescheduled and recanceled doctor's appointments and worse yet, the health issues behind them.)
Why did blogger make blogging harder and less user friendly than it was before? Any ideas?
It will be a while before I can blog regularly again, I'm so so far behind.
I did, however, post some new posts including some juvenalia self portraits and two newer ones, some of my father's paintings. I have written some "real" posts but haven't had time to download them yet.
An interpretation of feeling overwhelmed, On the Street, for Self-portrait challenge, One of the juvenalias (click home while there to see the rest), one of Pa's unfinished paintings (click home while there to see more), one of my new pieces (click home while there to see more--I think there are at least 4 new pieces).
I took the crayfish photo last night at the tiny beach along Lakeshore while walking with Biker Buddy.