Monthly Archives: May 2005

Incredible book

You know how bookstores just grab you the minute you walk in the door? Well, I discovered a new bookstore in Austin and it did more than grab me. It entranced me. It’s called BookPeople and it was so amazing.
I walked through the entire fiction section looking for something to jump out and beg me to take it home. The book I found is Peace Like a River by Leif Enger. One the back Tom Walker from The Denver Post has written, ” Once in a great while, a book comes along that has such wonderful characters and marvelous prose, that you read it as much for the pure joy it offers on every page as to find out how it ends.”
Dan Cryer from Newsday says, “What allows Peace Like a River to transcend any limitations of belief and genre is its broad, sagaious humanity….There is magic here, none more potent than Enger’s prose.”

Both reviews are so true. I would’ve never picked up the book if the people at BookPeople hadn’t marked it as a must read. So often book stores mark the Oprah books or pretentious literary novels that leave me with a headache. Book People definitely had some of those marked, but they had TONS of books marked. There was no snobby disregard for genre fiction. Even romance was hilighted. It was great.
Peace Like a River isn’t a romance. The back cover blurb sums it up perfectly: “in its conclusion [it] shows how family love and faith can stand up to the most terrifying of enemies and the most tragic of fates.”
I hope this book stands the test of time. Its hero, 11-yr-old Rueben Land, will stay with me a long time. He’s quite possibly the most vivid character I’ve ever read. (And that’s saying a lot because I’ve read MILLIONS of books) If you get a chance, pick up the book. It is sheer joy to read.

Would the writer in the house please stand up?

So what happens when you take a girl away from her computer, her Internet, her family for three days?
She has a vacation.
State was great, but we didn’t win. 😦 Still even making it is a huge accomplishment and I’m proud of my student for getting there. Austin was awesome. UT even better. The admissions counselor from the Liberal Arts program gave some great words of wisdom: Whatever you do, however you do it, you’re either opening doors or closing them.
So true!
Definitely words to live by.
Now that I’m back and rested, I need to get myself back on a schedule.
One last thing…If you’re ever in Austin and you like Mexican food, check out Manuel’s on 4th and Colorado. It’s incredible.

weigh down update

UGH! I’m never going to lose weight again. I’ve been this same weight up and down a pound for a month.
I know I could drop my Points, but I don’t want to. I don’t want to treat this like a diet. But DANG I hate plateaus.

I also hate TV timeouts on playoff basketball. How can 3 minutes take 30 minutes to play?! I know this has nothing to do with weigh down. But it was on while I was working out, so I got all caught up in the game and then had to leave the gym BEFORE the game was over. 😦

the second hand

Some of my earliest memories center on the television. Fame. 21 Jump Street. TGiF. Dallas. Miami Vice.
The one and only time I ever heard my mother cuss was while we were sitting around the TV watching Dallas. Momma looked at Daddy and said, “That Sue Ellen is such a B****”
I was floored. My mother just shrugged and said sometimes you couldn’t describe a person with any other word.
As I got older I definitely understood what she meant, but my nine-year-old brain was just afraid she was going to burn in hell.
I know I waste a lot of time watching TV. I tell myself it’s an exercise in quality writing. I mean anything that can bring out the kind of passion that makes my mother cuss is something special. 🙂 I watch for hooks, for story lines, for characterization. Heck I watch Desperate Housewives for sheer fun. Tonight after DW, I planned on writing. Instead I watched Grey’s Anatomy. I love the show. I excuse watching it by saying the theme is so well developed for each episode, that the characters sparkle, that the writing eclipses a lot of what’s out there.
But then since I watch Survivor and Amazing Race with the zeal of a reality TV addict, I know there’s a good chance I’d watch the show just because.
I know TV’s taking up too much of my time. It’s eating away at my writing schedule and I’m letting it.
So that’s got to change.
You can’t get published if you don’t write. I keep telling myself that while I’m flipping through the 121 cable TV stations I now have.
I need to remember how to put down the remote. I need to remember how to hit the off button. I need to remember the joy of creating my own characters, my own stories, my own themes that run through entire books.
I can’t get back the minutes I lose. They’re gone.
And memories of a great TV show aren’t going to offer a lot of comfort if I still have a load of unpublished manuscripts sitting in my desk and the beginning of a new work on my computer by the end of this school year.
The clock’s ticking. I better get busy.