Do you use Goodreads? I use it like Facebook for readers: A place where I loiter about, looking into other people’s windows and judging their choices while not inviting anybody into my house. (I never write reviews. I wish I did. I should. But I won’t for now.) Some people would simply make a list of the titles they want to read, but there is something so much more satisfying in clicking the “read” button and seeing the number in my “currently-reading” shelf fall than scratching out a few words on a piece of paper. But, I got a little obsessive a few years ago and decided to list any and all books I want to read or re-read on my “to-read” shelf. Right now, there are 498 titles there. I wonder if I’ll live to read them all. That’s kind of a crazy thought.
I’m in two live-and-in-person book clubs, and one of the clubs chose a book a couple years ago that I have yet to finish. I have re-started it several times, but it remains on my “currently-reading” shelf, and damn it if I don’t finish something I start. I’m re-committing to it. I will finish it. One day.
I am still reading Sweetbitter, by Stephanie Danler, and am getting close to the end. I have to be about 70% done with the book, and I’m still waiting to know what the damn conflict is, or why I should care about any of the characters. I hope that, in the end, the main character completely writes off the two other important characters and decides she hates the restaurant and the city and goes back to “the Midwest.” I doubt that will happen. If it does, I’ll give it something better than the C I’m grading it right now.
The podcast I’m featuring this week is Grammar Girl.
Though my writing here may not show it, I’ve always been fascinated by the rules of language. I wanted to study linguistics for a little bit in college. I did, for one whole semester. This is a great podcast for word nerds and writers. The episodes tend to be 15 minutes or shorter.
That’s it for today.
Listen. I have it easy. I know that. My husband likes, maybe even loves, to cook. I really, really wish I didn’t have to deal with food at all. Did you watch Fringe? That one show on Fox a few years ago? With the scientist who eats Twizzlers and plays with brains and a cow? In their alternate or parallel universe or whatever it was, they had egg sticks. I remember that one character peeled back the plastic on a string cheese-looking thing that packed the protein of an egg. Sometimes, I wish I were an astronaut for the food. So contained and convenient!
My husband likes to do all things food — he does all of the grocery shopping, too. On occasion, I’ll add some items to the grocery list. An example: “String cheese. Kraft, no off-brand shit.” All of this is to say I don’t have to deal much with food until Husband leaves town. Today is a weekend before Husband goes out of town. I am freaking out about dinners while he’s away.
Listen. I love to plan and to schedule. I plan ahead. If I could, though, I’d have the same thing to eat every day. Egg sticks and coffee. The kids, however, need better than that.
What shall I do? The big kid, who is 3 1/2, reliably eats peanut butter and that’s about it. Sometimes he asks for peanut butter without the bread. ? The little one, who is 18 months, reliably eats anything you put in front of her.
There’s always pizza, and some day, egg sticks.
What am I writing nowadays? When do I do it? What good questions I ask myself nearly every day. Sometimes the answers are “nothing” and “never,” but I want the answers to more often be “something” and “whenever I can shove it in a 30-minute block of time between working and mothering and wife-ing.”
I did have two flash fiction pieces published late last year.
The Dog in the Moonlight was published in Flash Fiction Magazine.
Copycat can be found at 101 Words.
Next, a big fat novel! No, not really. Not for a few more years. I’d have to truly start it first. My writing accountability partner and I share 1,000 words of original work every week. By that I mean she sends me her 1,000 words, and I send her 1,000 words of excuses for not creating work. Now that I think about it, I wonder if that would meet my word count… However, my project at the moment is to write a stand-alone piece of fiction in a 30-minute chunk of time whenever I can do it. Ideally, that would be every day. Realistically, maybe twice a week. Maybe.
I’ll keep this space updated on that progress.
I read a lot. I read a lot and I drive a lot. How does that connect? Well, I consider listening to audiobooks to be reading. I also consume a lot of my news and information through podcasts. I can do all things audio while I’m driving to and from clients (and while my kids are not in the car with me).
One of my book clubs is reading Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler.
Do I like it? It’s earning a C- from me at the moment. It’s reading like Coyote Ugly with more drugs. I’m really put off by the opening: A young woman with no experience serving gets a job doing just that at a supposedly fancy restaurant in New York City. Why does it always have to be New York City? And how would she get the job, with no experience? I think the restaurant was called “the best restaurant” at one point. Details like that make me mad and put me at odds with whatever follows, even if it is written well. Also, I really could care less about food, so a book about the work in a restaurant isn’t going to find an easy audience in me.
The other book club just finished A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara.
This, I read on my Kindle (and phone) while rocking my daughter to sleep at night. Well! If you ever want to come home from your day and think, “What other horrors can befall a person, and how can I be so excited to find out?” pick it up. I loved it while hating that I didn’t detect a message. Life sucks for most, but most for this guy? A B+ from me.
Podcasts count for reading, too, and this week the podcast I’m featuring is Stop Podcasting Yourself.
So damn funny. Two Canadian comedians who seem to have been friends for years get together and talk about whatever is on their minds while including a sometimes-funny (usually comedian) guest. The episodes are always long — usually over an hour — but I always laugh out loud at least once. That’s saying something.
I’m Erin. I’m married, a mother, and a business owner. All of those things are begun: the wedding began the marriage, the pregnancy made me a mother, and the business was born with a handful of clients and an LLC. What I haven’t yet begun in earnest is a writing habit. I’ll call it a habit, when really I want it to be a lifestyle or perhaps, one day, a career.
What I’m doing about it:
Enlisting the support and encouragement from an awesome writer penpal.
Writing on occasion.
Setting a goal to publish. (I do have two short pieces published.)
Here you have it. I’ll write more as I’m able.