Wednesday, September 23, 2009

What's on Your Bedside Table?

Here's a snapshot of what I'm currently reading. Notice where The Story of Edgar Sawtelle is....way at the bottom. And notice the bookmark--in the middle somewhere. I've been trying to get through this one for the better part of a month. Someone enlighten me here, please! I've already given this book way too much of my valuable time, but a friend me some words of encouragement. "Once you hit the middle, it really takes off." Wow. I have to wait more than 250 pages for the book to take off. You know this irks me because I'm pretty sure the agents I'm querying wouldn't be as patient with me, waiting for MY story to "take off" at page 250. And yes, that is Kathy Griffin's memoir, Official Book Club Selection. I can't help it. I love KG and I'm speeding through this fun read. No waiting around for 200+ pages for her story to take flight. It takes off like a shot, but I'm a fan and I need a light read every now and then. I picked up Time of My Life thanks to another blogger's suggestion. I'm only 20 pages in, but liking it so far. I have to say though, I've already seen this movie twice--once as The Family Man, with Nicholas Cage, and the other, 13 Going on 30, just reversed. I haven't started Home yet, but look forward to reading it as Marilynne Robinson is a wonderful writer. And this isn't unusual, me having three or four books piled high on my nightstand. What about you? Only one book at a time, or several? And what's on your bedside table?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

So Long, Summer

Fall is creeping into northeast Ohio. I love fall. It's my favorite season and one that flies by too quickly, I think. Before I know it we'll be hip deep in snow and scraping ice from our windshields. So...I thought I'd share our lovely flower border that we enjoyed all summer. These flowers lined the entire walkway across our house, and caused some people to almost have accidents, so mesmerized were they by the sea of pink and white. (People told me this--I didn't actually see any near fender-benders, or hear any screeching brakes).

Also, for anyone who's interested, my handy husband is hard at work on the other side of my office. He's framed in the fireplace and the guy came last week to run the gas line. Here's what it looks like so far. I'm eager for him to complete the work, but I'm a little concerned about how warm the room will be once I turn on the fireplace. I may have to open a window in the dead of winter--and remember, I live just outside of Cleveland!

As for writing, I'm busy sending out a short story that, thanks to my writer's group, is getting a second chance. Seems I didn't have enough faith and give it a real shot during the first round of submissions. It's going everywhere. I hope it finds a home!!
Also went to see Julie & Julia--with my husband, this time--and really enjoyed the movie. The first time I tried to see it I was too stressed out, worrying about what was coming around the bend to assault my daughters' eyes and ears. The movie is definitely light fare, but what cracked us up was when Julie receives 65 phone messages--all from agents and publishers--wanting to talk to her about her blog and possible book deal. I found it funny that my husband laughed so hard at that one. I turned to him and said, "Yeah...we're livin' that dream aren't we, honey?"

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Just a Couple of Suggestions

A short post today, but want to share two things--one a book, the other a blog--I now count as a few of my favorite things in life.
First, the book. I just finished reading Elizabeth Strout's Pulitzer Prize winning book, Olive Kitteridge. Loved it. Olive is the main character of the novel but sometimes only appears as someone passing through a room in this set of linked stories. I also appreciate the format--a whole book of linked stories about the people in Crosby, Maine. I highly recommend this read and we writers can definitely learn from Ms. Strout's storytelling ability. Her book, Amy and Isabelle, is another favorite of mine from a few years back.
Second, the blog. I just happened upon this one that focuses on rejection--sharing of rejection letters, etc.--handled with (what I think is) a great sense of humor. Laughing along with other writers as we experience opening the dreaded SASE we mailed out with our ms just makes me feel better. Go check it out at: and have a great Labor Day!!