Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Story Binge

I've been on a fiction binge and have finished 7 novels in the last two weeks: Son of a Witch by Gregory MaGuire; The Year They Burned the Book by Nancy Garden; The Wig my Father Wore by Anne Enright; Friends, Lovers, Chocolate by Alexander McCall Smith; and the first three volumes of Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events: Bad Beginnings,The Reptile Room, and The Wide Window.

My twelve-year-old niece loaned me the first six volumes of the Lemony Snicket series, passing them on to me as fast as she finishes them herself this summer. I finaly picked them up last week during the heat wave while I was sick and in need of something fun and easy to read to take my mind off my own feelings that life was picking on me. They are addictive and I am having to resist the temptation to read straight through but I brought home Madeleine Albright's The Mighty and the Almighty from the library Monday which I've been in queue for a couple months and I'll be briniging home Crashing the Gates on Friday and I've been waiting my turn for that one for half a year or more. My neice will be dissappointed in me. She is trying to wean me off of politics and war. She thinks I waaaaaay overdo it. And when I look at the dozens of books on my shelfs through her eyes, I almost agree.

She wants me to read more fiction because she wants me to write more fiction. I let her read one of my stories a couple weeks ago and she enthused over it so much I was almost embarrassed. She said things like: I can't believe I know the person who wrote this! You have to write more because I have to read them!! She stopped short of saying that I didn't have the right not to write more stories if I could write like that. But I think that was what she was groping towards trying to express. I spent a lot of the time while fever-scorched eyes made reading impossible, contemplating her assessment and I think there may be more wisdom than middle-school whimsy in what she said. It fits with the advice of Joseph Campbell to 'follow your bliss' and I've know for decades that my bliss lies in the realm of story.

I'm going to have more to say about this soon I'm sure as I've done so much thinking about it lately. I'll also have more to say about the books I finished recently too, book reviews are in the works.

2 tell me a story:

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