Friday, June 21, 2013

On Taking A Book for Granted

I admit to two things about my reading. I never reread books, and I read more slowly than I wish. I am sure they are connected. I read slow, there are so many books to devour, thus I have no time to reread anything, even my long deepest loves. Or so I have thought.

The looming end of school next week has got me running. So much to get done before kids are home. Finish the last draft for a new story, read and read some more. The books have been smaller, and they've been read more quickly. I've been proud of this, that my rate of devouring might just be getting better. Barbara Pym's 'Excellent Women' flew by in a few days, as did Ania Szado's 'Studio St Ex', and I loved it. The characters and images flashing across my eyes, their stories running forward and taking me with them. This was how I figured summer would be.

Until I met Anakana Schofield's 'Our Woman' and made the mistake of carrying on as I had been.

Schofield's novel, 'Malarky' does not run, nor does it scoop you up comfortably and carry you along with ease. It is a story that dips and turns and lets you feel you're on solid ground before spinning back on itself, leaving the floor to drop out from beneath your feet. It's not easy and it's beautiful. The main character, middle-aged 'Our Woman' is trying to figure things out, as much as the reader is, providing what may or may not have brought her to the place she is at the end of the novel; her furious love for a son whom she finds doing unspeakable things in the barn with another man, her almost 'coming of age' affair with a man after discovering her husband has been up to unspeakable things of his own. She is learning about grief and not pushing it away while at the same time trying to hold on to something. To do so, her path is anything but linear, like Schofield's writing of this novel- in-episodes, and it should have slowed me down.

I finished this book wondering, knowing, I would read again and this made me take great attention to Lisa Moore's guest post on the Anansi website this week about rereading books and why it may be important, despite the desire to gobble up more and more of what else is out there. Moore writes that "this may be a lesson, concerning the desire to know a whole story without allowing the proper passage of time to absorb it into the bloodstream." And for me, by reading 'Malarky' as quickly as I did, the time I may have saved wasn't worth it. I should have expected more of this book from the start and of myself. I should have taken the extra bath, stayed awake a little later at night, let the kids play on the Lego website a little longer.  So I'm going back to my slower reading for the summer, will not worry about keeping a tally of the books I've read by the end of August because if I've visited and revisited characters like 'Our Woman' and even if the weeds in my garden are embarrassingly tall, I'll be all the better for it.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A thought and a wonderful line

I just realized that next month I get to wake up in the UK eight times.

"I've learned to act rather than wonder."  Anakana Schofield, 'Malarky'.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Happy and Good

Things are good around here, great really. Lots to be happy about.

William turned eight!

He had a party, friends over for Lego and games and cakes. He was thrilled, day deemed 'best day ever - EPIC!" We let him choose dinner, take-out burgers and fries and ice cream and cupcakes all while watching Batman Lego movie. Dog was sick and let us eat on the couch in peace. William's big now, 8 is big! He's almost finished reading a book without pictures and over three hundred pages and I must contain my excitement for fear of scaring him off and sending him back to the world of comic books forever.

Other good things now.

Sunday morning walks. Grab some breakfast and go to the park or somewhere new.

Stopping to watch a minor league baseball game. William thinks he'd like to play.

 Coming home and making mudpies and grass salads for dinner.

Finding these in our vegetable garden.

Making myself more bunting for my office while Scott bbq's dinner.

Warm enough for pjs in the backyard for Bingo's last outing of the day. Out in a garden that's been attended to and loved.

**And things to look forward too.

Excellent books lined up to read, including newly discovered Barbara Pym.

Trip to England at the end of July!

My first publication this summer! Don't want to say anything else yet except that it's an essay in a lovely collection of women's writing.

(I just erased four exclamation marks, they were making me tired.)

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Still here!

Hello! I'm still here. Whenever I've had the chance however, I've been writing, working on one story in particular. And besides, it's May, birthday month around here. I turned another year old (a number I'm rather enjoying) and William turned 8.

I will write more soon, but today is rainy and grey and started not on the best footing. But I'm home for a little while more before leaving for work, with some tea and "Excellent Women" by Barbara Pym which could not be more perfect for today. That and I have Lisa Moore's "Caught" (which I got for my birthday) waiting in the wings.

 (Just after his birthday. 8 feels so big but in this picture his face and mouth remind me of his baby days.)