Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Writer's Block

WB showed up at my house today. He showed up first thing this morning. He left me alone while I was drinking my coffee, but as soon as I turned on the computer, he changed the screen from WORD to my e-mail account. I was unable to switch the screen for at least 20 minutes. Finally, after trying unsuccessfully for so long, the screen went back to WORD.
I thought WB had left the area and I was able to utilize WORD for about five minutes.
Unable to control it, the screen then switched to Epicurious.com and it appeared WB was planning tonight's dinner. The planning took quite some time while WB searched for the perfect dinner using cilantro.
In a moment of luck, I was able to switch back to WORD without interference from WB and successfully wrote a few words in the next ten minutes. WB whispered in my ear, though, that those words weren't any good and I should start over.
Just when I had erased those words, WB opened CNN.com to catch up on the latest news. He searched through the latest stories, the entertainment news, and landed in the travel section, where he lingered for about 15 minutes. I heard the printer printing and noticed various travel articles in the output tray.
At that point, I stepped away from the computer since it was lunch time. I don't know what WB did for the next 30 minutes, but I ate my lunch.
After lunch, WB had taken my chair and I couldn't even sit at the computer anymore. I asked him kindly to move, but there was no response. I asked again and still -- no response.
So I gave up and decided to go weed the garden.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

I did it again.

I just sealed another manuscript in an envelope and tomorrow I'll send it in.
This time, it's for acceptance into a regional writer's retreat. If I get accepted, I'll get to go to a wonderful resort near Seattle in November and spend time with an accomplished writer/writing teacher and an editor -- not to mention other writers. It'll be a lot of work. The schedule is packed and, from previous experience with retreats and with critique groups, I know I'll be overwhelmed. I'm scared (as usual), but hopeful.

Books, books and more books

I have a confession to make... I love to buy books. That sounds innocent enough, but my problem is that I like to buy lots of books and then it takes me forever to get around to reading them. Sometimes I never read them. I still have books that I've had for YEARS that I haven't read yet. It's not that I don't want to read them. Sometimes I get started and I get interrupted by the temptation of another book. Sometimes life interrupts. Sometimes I just don't really like the book and I've given myself permission NOT to finish a book if I don't like it by 100 pages. The truth is, I usually only read when I'm in bed. And when I'm in bed, I get sleepy. So it takes me a while to read a whole book. It's a challenge to finish a book in a timely manner when one only reads a paragraph or two at a time. Seems wrong, doesn't it? Anyway, just as an exercise, I thought I'd make a list of all the books I've bought (or that I've been given) that I have not read yet. Please don't be offended if you find the title of a book you gave me and I haven't read it. Just 'cause it's on the list doesn't mean I'm NEVER going to read it. And, it doesn't mean I haven't started it. It just means I haven't read it yet.

Okay, here goes (in no particular order):

Oral History - Lee Smith
Lamb in His Bosom - Caroline Miller
Cavedweller - Dorothy Allison
Belong to Me - Marisa de los Santos
The Bridges of Madison County - Robert James Waller
Gone With the Wind - Margaret Mitchell
Learning to Speak Alzheimer's - Joanne Koenig Coste
Three Cups of Tea - Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
When Your Hormones Go Haywire - Pamela Smith, R. D.
Eat, Pray, Love - Elizabeth Gilbert
Life of the Beloved - Henri Nouwen
A Remarkable Mother - Jimmy Carter
The Toughest Indian in the World - Sherman Alexie
50 Simple Things You Can Do to Save the Earth - John, Sophie, & Jessie Javna
Can't Wait to Get to Heaven - Fannie Flagg
The Glass Castle - Jeannette Walls
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn - Betty Smith
Abraham - Bruce Feiler
Where We Stand - Edited by Anthony Dunbar
Listening is an Act of Love - Edited by Dave Isay
Turn My Mourning into Dancing - Henri Nouwen
Divining Women - Kaye Gibbons
A Soul Survivor - Philip Yancey
Writings from The New Yorker 1927-1976 - E. B. White
Heartbreak Town - Marsha Moyer
Don't Lets Go to the Dogs Tonight - Alexandra Fuller
Party of the Century - Deborah Davis
The 36 Hour Day - Nancy L. Mace and Peter V. Rabins
Living the Good Life - Helen and Scott Nearing
The Heart of Chrisitanity - Marcus J. Borg
The Joyful Christian - C. S. Lewis
The Great Divorce - C. S. Lewis
A Grief Observed - C. S. Lewis
Long Time Leaving Dispatches from Up South - Roy Blount, Jr.
Reading Like a Writer - Francine Prose
A Separate Peace - John Knowles
Sacajawea - Anna Lee Waldo
The Last Girls - Lee Smith
Writer Mama - Christina Katz
The Art of Eating - M. F. K. Fisher
1001 Things Everyone Should Know About the South - John Shelton Reed and Dale Volberg Reed
Searching for Home - M. Craig Barnes
Esther - Charles R. Swindoll
David - Charles R. Swindoll
Fit Over Forty - Sherri McMillan
The Right Words at the Right Time Volume 2 Your Turn - Marlo Thomas and Friends
Chicken Soup for the Mother's Soul
Chicken Soup for the Mother's Soul 2
The Artist's Way - Julia Cameron
On Agate Hill - Lee Smith
You: Staying Young - Michael R. Roizen, M.D., Mehmet C. Oz, M. D.
8 Weeks to Optimum Health - Andrew Weil, M.D.

Which one of the above books should I read next?