Select, Salivate, Read and Savor

I am an excellent reader. When I can’t think of what to write, then I just fuhgeddaboudit and read a book instead. I’ve actually become a bit of a book snob. Not snobby in the sense that I can only read “literature” or best sellers, or award winners, or that I even know what I’m talking about when it comes to books. No, I’m just snobby in the sense that I try only to select books that really interest me, because I find that reading for pleasure is still an effort for me.

I love to read, but it’s an effort? Sounds like a contradiction, so let me explain. I’m not the kind of person that sits down and reads for hours until I finish a book in the wee hours of the morning. I might as well just pop a sleeping pill and go to bed. There are few books that could truly keep me awake if I was tired, and I am always tired. I read in spurts, chapters here and there, always anxious about the next short block of time I can carve out just for reading. I sometimes read during my lunch hour, in the car at soccer practice, or before I go to bed at night. My progression through a book is a little like watching a soap opera, except that unlike watching soaps, eventually I do finish the stories.

This technique is known in scientific circles as SSRS. That’s no BS, truly. You can tell that’s no BS because there are no vowels in either SSRS or BS, so it must be true. It goes like this – SSRS – select, salivate (um, figuratively), read, and savor. After going through this process, then I rush to the book shelf to start over… SSRS. So exciting! Yeah, I really don’t get out so much…

It sounds hokey, but to me reading a book is a little like opening a door and stepping into a different reality … what’s behind door number one? Number two? Lots of little doors I have opened this year so far, fourteen to be exact. A modest accomplishment for some people, but I’m pretty sure it’s a record for me, and it’s still just October.

I try to finish every single book I start, so I definitely don’t want to select a stinker because I will feel compelled to read it anyway. After all, someone spent a year to write the dang thing, I should at least be willing to spend a few hours a week to read it. Not sure why I’m like that, maybe I don’t want to hurt the author’s feelings. Only a couple of times in my entire life have I started a book (meaning, a novel) that I didn’t finish, and deep down I felt a little guilty when I closed those books and decided to put them back on the shelf. One of the books was as dull as dry toast. I don’t remember a thing about it except reading words for about ten pages and suddenly thinking, I am reading this book but the story is missing. Then skipping back a few pages and trying to find the story. Forward ho again for twenty more pages, and then, I just couldn’t do it anymore. I’m so sorry, nameless author, I couldn’t finish your nameless storyless book. The other one, Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities. Definitely a story here, but I couldn’t get past the first five pages. I attempted it because it is my friend Carrie’s favorite book (or one of them) and, of course, it’s a classic. I enjoy classic literature sometimes, but this one is more difficult than most. Either that, or I am not such an excellent reader after all. Or maybe I wasn’t in the mood to think so deeply.  Whatever, that book is a bi-atch! It still sits on my shelf, daring me to pick it up, and I will… someday.

So, check out the books I’ve read on the Just Books tab, if you wish. That tab holds a few of my excuses for not writing regular posts for my blog. There are about a million other excuses why I don’t post regularly, but that’s another blog post. Still, my blog tugs at me from time to time, when I ignore it for weeks on end. It is like a living being begging me for attention, not so different from Zoe bringing me a smelly sock. Write me, it says. No, I’m reading, I say. Then bite me, it says, but I just can’t listen to such negativity.

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Nuthin’ but words

I have finally done it. I have emptied out my brain. Gotten mired in the bog. Used up all my reserves. Let’s face it folks, I have the dreaded Blogger’s Block, and it’s difficult to move forward. I lose steam lately after the first couple of sentences. See, losing steam already, but I must forge ahead. My blog is withering.

Today my friends, the subject is nothing. My intent here is to get words on the screen, to prove to myself that I can do just that. Can I write 300 words about nothing? Yes, I think I can!!! Many people write something about nothing every day, so why shouldn’t I? I’ve already done that, you say? Touché.

In my defense, I never started this adventure to write something profound every day, er week, er whenever, and it appears that I have succeeded enormously in not doing that very thing. For an example of my fine work about nothing, see “Does This Make My Butt Look Big?” Interestingly, this benign, dumb little post continues to be the one with the highest readership. Seriously, not my best work, yet here I am referring to it. I guess people just can’t get enough of THAT question. I’ve even thought about removing THAT post, and I’m kind of sorry that I really wrote THAT one. I would lose most of my “by chance” readers, though. All those people who expend so much energy researching how butts are perceived. An important group of people for me, it turns out.

Speaking as someone who would love to write something more than a blog some day, I’m not exactly gaining ground on that particular goal. I have great dreams/ideas about what I’m going to write next, then when I have the time to sit down and write, a big fat nothing comes out. Why IS that? Do I not have a life? Actually, I have several lives, all contiguous. I meet myself coming and going, so no, it’s not that I don’t have a life.

Rather, my problem seems to be whether I can write 300 words about something sort of interesting. Is my life interesting? Incredibly so, at least to me. To others? Maybe, but the words just won’t flow right now. Keep checking back, though. My intentions are the best, and I hope to have something worthwhile to read soon-ish.

Squat

Anyone notice that I haven’t written squat lately?  Well, I haven’t written squat lately, and I haven’t written any other words either.  The ol’ blog is teetering towards irrelevance.  Hell, it tottered into irrelevance the day it began almost a year ago.  Do you ever notice that when some people’s blogiversaries roll around, they write a post like this … what the hell, my blog is a year old, and I’m doing this why???  Well, you’re reading another one.  Both of you.

I guess a better word would be extinction.  This blog is teetering towards extinction.  Going the way of the Black Rhino, the Mountain Gorilla, and the Short-tailed Albatross (all listed first on the Top Ten Most Endangered Species List, depending on which website you believe), albeit not so devastating.  So, hurry up and send in those donations, folks … maybe together we can Save Carla’s BlogJust teasing …

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What’s new that hasn’t already been thought of, hasn’t already been written, hasn’t already been read?  Not much.  Yet, here I am, rearranging words and waiting for inspiration to hit me between the eyes.  Until next time …  

Proximidad … indeed!

Yes, for me!!!!  Another surprise!  It’s a pretty award – The Charming Blog award – I got from my friend Delaney over at Delaney’s World.  Read the paragraph below – sums it up perfectly …

“This blog invests and believes, in ‘proximity’ [meaning, that blogging makes us ‘close’ – being close through proxy] “They are all charming blogs, and the majority of them aim to show the marvels of friendship; there are persons who are not interested when we give them a prize, and then they help to cut these bows; do we want that they are cut, or that they propagate?”Then let’s try to give more attention to them! So with this prize we must deliver it to eight bloggers that in turn must make the same thing and put this text.”

While I don’t have eight bloggers in my little world to pass this to, I can at least pass it to a couple.  What the above paragraph says to me is that we bloggers should encourage each other.  This keeping of a blog is not an easy thing, at least not for me.   Those that reach milestones and spend time entertaining, educating or just writing in a thoughtful manner for others, should be appreciated for their efforts.  I pass this award to the following blogs that I enjoy reading, and hope that these bloggers will continue to pass it on.

The only other two blogs I consistently check in on are Delaney’s World (http://delaney55.wordpress.com/) and Crone & Bear It (http://croneandbearit.wordpress.com/).  These ladies already have this award, but they deserve a double!

Cheers!

Well, whaddaya know!?!

Hey, check it out – someone likes my blog!  Delaney over at “Delaney’s World”  (http://delaney55.wordpress.com/) passed the award below to me.  Thank you, Delaney – I am flattered!  Thanks for checking in with my blog – and I suggest that my other friends check out Delaney’s blog also.  It will put a smile on your face!  The infamous chuckle of the day, great pictures, and thoughtful posts.  It’s all there! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I would like to pass this award along to my good friend Char whose blog “Rambling is Therapeutic” (http://charmarie221.wordpress.com/) was the first blog I ever read on a regular basis.  She’s a great friend and, as a matter of fact, first suggested I start a blog.  To which I said … huh?   Anyway, awesome writing (insightful and humorous) on her blog.  Check it out!  Char – take this award and pass it on!

Fritz, Pepe, Bo & Dudley

Work has sapped the blogging right out of me.  So, this is random.  I’ll just spew forth on the page…whatever I think of I will type…ooooh dangerous!  Thank goodness for editing features.  Like I could ever write something without editing.  I’m a constant editor in that I can barely finish a sentence before I start messing with it.  I’m making a conscious effort now not to change anything until I’m finished with this, but you can bet your sweet bippy (remember that phrase, all you older than 40ish people?) I will be changing something before it’s over.  Yep, already did!  

I wish I could sneak away and get my camera right now, but if I do, the Kodak moment will be gone.  My dog, Fritz, is lying on his tummy froggy-style, with his back two legs splayed out as if he has not a bone in them.  If he was a person, you would call this position “the splits.”  Maybe he’s a doggie gymnast when I’m not at home.  After all, he’s agile, flexible, speedy, and somewhat graceful.  If only he could nail the mount and dismount.  Poor little guy does try on occasion.  Apparently, the “surgery” worked nicely on him, because he’s only amorous when Zoe (my other dog) has been in the pool.  Something about Zoe’s wet fur turns him into a spotted Pepe Le Pew (another dated reference), but without the fumes.  He chases her relentlessly when she steps out of the pool.  “Mmmmmm, Zoe, vous êtes un chien très sexy… permettez-moi de “sniffer” de votre queue… Je tiens à ma pratique la gymnastique …”   Tis the language of love, or lust in Pepe’s, er Fritz’s, case.

 

To put it in human terms, Fritz must envision Zoe in this way as she steps out of the pool:  

 

You could also say Fritz resembles the irresistible Dudley as he first lays eyes on Bo in the movie “10.”  I’m picturing Fritz, er Dudley, jumping from towel to towel across the molten sand to get closer to Zoe, er Bo (my absolute favorite scene).  If you’re under 40, you probably don’t even know these people…

My, how far I’ve digressed!

 

Life in Between

This writing thing is hard.  I’ve always wanted to write, and now here I am writing and what I’ve written pops up on the screen for people to read.  Although few (and I do mean a miniscule few!) people are reading what I’ve written, and I’m not writing for money, it doesn’t matter, I’m suddenly a writer.  It has become addictive.  I constantly think about it, but figuring out something to write about frustrates me at times.  I know, and I’ve read, that the inspiration is out there everywhere you turn.  I do believe you have to get in the habit of noticing life, and stop barreling through to get to your next appointment, for in between is where the inspiration is.  I’m trying to do that, but old habits are hard to break.

Now, saying I’m a writer does not mean that if someone asks me, “Why, what do you do, my dear Carla?” that I would say I’m a writer.  I would definitely not say that!  I’ve written before, but not lately, so this blog thing is a new-ish journey of self-discovery for me.  I could never claim to be a writer in the way that people who write as a profession do.  I met a writer, meaning someone who has had her work published, a while back.  Not to wax political, but I met her at the Democratic caucus.  If you remember, thousands of people showed up unexpectedly at the polls and chaos was the only order.  We were standing squished together competing for oxygen in a small and stifling church foyer waiting for the magical moment when the regular voting was complete and the caucus voting would begin.  Normally when I stand that close to strangers, I feel a little uncomfortable, that whole invasion of space thing, but we had no choice but to bump cheeks (and I’m not talking about the ones on our faces).  We naturally fell into conversation.  One person on one side of me said to the person on my other side, “I think I know you, aren’t you the writer that lives in my neighborhood?”  Writer?  My ears perked up and I followed their conversation for a moment, much like following a tennis match.  After a bit, I piped in and asked her what she writes.  Her name, well I forget her real name, but her pen name is Adele Ashworth, and she writes historical romances.  Somebody deems her writing good enough that she gets paid to write books.  Nevermind that I rarely read from the romance genre, she gained instant celebrity status in my eyes. 

We talked about how she became a writer, and I won’t go into our discussion here, but I left with a feeling that I had met an interesting and incredibly self-motivating person.  I imagined what it would be like to see your work in print and bound, to fill in “writer” on the occupation line of all the mundane forms you have to fill out from time to time, to knock about the house every day in slippers from the coffee pot to your desk, and to be able to make your living by writing stories.  While not a glamourous vision, it does sound appealing and satisfying.

I know that a writer is someone who writes.  You can still be a writer even though it’s not your occupation.  I also know from talking with Adele Ashworth that as a writer she has a life not unlike my own, in that she lives in a similar neighborhood, same community, has a family, and is obviously concerned about the nation.  I’m just intrigued by how she and others like her make their living.  Now that I’ve started this blog, I have more respect for writers.  Just keeping up with this blog is a challenge for me.  Meeting Adele Ashworth was a coincidence, and a moment of inspiration for me.  I am now on the lookout for inspiration in all its forms…if I can just train myself to notice all the life that occurs between appointments!