Friday, October 05, 2007


I may have no readers left; I've not posted in so long. I had a fine summer with lots of reading done while I enjoyed my job at the bookstore and spent long hours watering and caring for my yard and flowers. But alas, my work on Reading For My Life (working title of my memoir of reading and growing up) languished. I was entranced with current fiction this summer and most of the fiction of the 1950s just pales in comparison.

I do, however, truly desire to continue and (if I live long enough) complete My Big Fat Reading Project and the memoir. Thanks to some guardian angel of writers, I have one friend and fellow writer who is interested in reading more. Fall is here with its reminders of beginning the school year and learning new things, so in the last few weeks I returned to the list for 1953, which is the one I am supposed to be reading from. It is a long list and has some truly nap-inducing tomes on it, especially among the bestsellers, but I have gritted my teeth and plunged back in. What is wrong with naps anyway? Absolutely nothing.

Last week, I read an inspiring and educational little book about writing: Ron Carlson Writes a Story, by Ron Carlson, who teaches creative writing at UC Irvine and has published countless short stories. If you are any kind of writer, I recommend it. I learned some good things from his 112 pages, one of which is that one doesn't necessarily need to know how a story will end before writing it. I think the dreaded writer's block is not a vague malaise but a specific thing at a specific time for any writer, which boils down to some dumb idea one didn't know one was operating on that has dried up the writing urge. Anyway, it appears that thinking I needed to know where I was going in writing was holding me up.

Then I took a look at what worked to get me through the last couple chapters and it was posting it on the blog and at least imagining that there were some people waiting to read it. So I have returned to the blogosphere and am hoping it works for me and keeps me going. I have the reading done for 1951 and 1952 with the chapters boiling in my mind but not written down. I will finish the reading for 1953 in the next few weeks. So here goes!

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