Saturday, September 12, 2009

No writing. Lots of reading

After my writing frenzy last weekend, I didn't write anything else all week. I have lots of excuses, and some of them are even good ones.

My family needed me this week.

I wrote about young son's problem becoming my problem on Tuesday. Then last night, we celebrated his birthday with 9 freshman boys spending the night, tearing through pizza like they might never see it again, repeatedly trying to sneak in a round of UFC on the living room floor when I wasn't looking, and watching slasher movies until 3 or 4 in the morning. Fun, but exhausting.

My boys needed me in other ways this week as well. I remember when my boys were babies, thinking how much easier it would be to meet their needs when they were older and could tell me what they needed or wanted. Any parents of teenagers out there are probably laughing ruefully now. I know. I've come to realize there will never be a stage in their lives in which my heart doesn't seize in my chest because I can't fix all their problems. The older they get, the less fixable their problems become. The best you can do is teach them how to cope with the curve balls life throws them, and in the words of Dorie from Finding Nemo, "Just keep swimming."

The physical and emotional exhaustion took its toll this week, and I didn't write. I know professional writers put their butt in the chair and write even when the world is falling down around their ears. They have to. It's their livelihood. My livelihood is teaching, and I soldiered on in my classroom. I didn't have enough left in the tank at the end of the day to open the manuscript. Honestly, I was a little afraid. The writing went so well last weekend. What if I struggled again?

When I don't have the mental fortitude to work on my own book, I go to my fall-back position. I read. I read three books in the last four days. People engage in all sorts of unhealthy behaviors to forget their problems. I read. I disappear into someone else's world for a while. I'll end this blog post by sharing a snippet of those worlds.

STORM OF SHADOWS: Christina Dodd's follow-up to STORM OF VISIONS. This book features a Native American art thief turned Chosen. He has to protect the bookish, socially inept heroine. The characters made this book fun.

CATCHING FIRE: The second book in THE HUNGER GAMES trilogy. I found Katniss' adventures as compelling in this book as I did the first. Suzanne Collins weaves social commentary into page-turning storytelling. It's no wonder her books have "caught fire." I stayed awake until 3am one morning finishing it. The problem, of course, is waiting a year for the third book, and second books in trilogies tend to leave you hanging in a major way.

SUCCUBUS BLUES: I bought this book solely because of the title. How can you not like that title? The heroine is a conflicted succubus whose job is to use her feminine wiles to steal men's souls for the forces of evil. Seriously. This is a new author for me: Richelle Mead. Her sense of humor is right up my alley, so I enjoyed the book. The sequel is already in print, and now I'm gonna have to go find it

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