Saturday, June 28, 2008

My Brain on Books II

I'm off an running. As soon as I post this. As as I did for October's Read-a-thon, I will be updating this post for the duration. I know this means my updates won't be caught by the feed. But I also know that if I needed to make new posts each time, I wouldn't post nearly as often. So my updates will be stacked under this paragraph in a similar manner to blog posts--with the latest on top. Be sure and check in with Dewey frequently for the latest updates, mini-challenges and drawings.

7:55 AM: Finis. Just turned the last page of Messi@h. Only one more hour to go. But I can't do any more.

5:44 AM:
I am, I believe, still awake. I have twenty pages left to go. But I've been on the last five pages for over thirty minutes. Not auspicious. In fact I just caught myself with my eyes closed and I think I need to re-read the last two or more pages to make sure that what I think I read was really on those pages and not on the back of my eyelids or my dreams doing a riff on the story. Messi@h is so surrealistic it is hard to tell the difference between it and a fever dream--or a sugar, caffeine, sleep deprivation induced hallucination.

My niece finished her book an hour ago and then crashed within ten minutes. She said she had reread the last few pages about fifteen times. I think she was exaggerating some. But maybe not.

I don't know if I'm gonna make it this time. I think I'm going to take a break to get the few dishes we used washed up. Maybe getting active will help. And it has to be done before I can go to bed anyway.

How I would like to be able to at least post the update announcing that I had finished Messi@h.

2:55 AM:
Coming up for air. Been reading pretty solid for the last two hours. Have fifty pages to go. My niece has twenty to go in hers. We've both hit a rough patch in the last half hour. Droopy eyes. Yawns. The Rockstar energy drink Ed got me at 11PM which I sipped slowly over the next two hours has worn off suddenly. If I don't snap out of it in the next thirty minutes I may switch to The Roald Dahl Treasury and spend an hour with his charming irreverence which is of a different caliber of irreverence than Andrei Codrescu.

Or I could stop reading for awhile and do some cheering on of whoever is left in the trenches out there. I haven't checked on anyone or any of the challenges since noon. I've been so intent on finishing this ONE book. If I don't finish at least this one book which I didn't even start Saturday morning but six days before that, I will be a tad bit frusturated. Especially after all the hoopla I made about the stacks of short novels I brought home from the library just for the occasion. Sigh.

We've been sitting on the front porch since shortly after 9PM and it is actually starting to feel chilly. The thermometer reads 65. A long drop from the 102 or so it hit Saturday afternoon. My niece would like to move back in the house but I discouraged it because I didn't want to take the fifteen to twenty minutes to move in the books, laptop and lamp and put the porch furniture back in place. I'm sure it would take a full half hour or more to be completely resettled in the house. But on the other hand. Maybe the activity would revive us. I may rethink it.

12:50 AM:
I didn't mean to wait so long to update. After the last update, I read for another hour and then my niece and I stopped to make a salad together out of arugala , portobella mushrooms and tomatoes. While we ate a lighting storm began and went on intermittently for the next two hours. We turned off the PC just in case of a power outage and I was planning to go back to my room and do a quick update and then power down the laptop too. But I got distracted by something. Between 8 and 9 PM we were both reading silently again in the living room.

Then at 9PM my niece went outside to check the thermometer on the porch and came back saying it was cooler outside. So we moved back out to the back yard where we could hook Merlin's leash to his stake out there and take advantage of the bright sodium vapor lamp illuminating the trailer park's pool area behind our yard.

We had no sooner got settled when Ed and his folks got back from the races, over an hour before we expected them. Turned out they had had the lightning storm worse then we had and it knocked the power out at the track and rained hard enough to lay a quarter inch of water on the clay track. They had sat out there in the dark for over two hours and then were told that the power would not be back on before 10PM so they were all given rain checks because the events had never started.

Ed came out to the back yard to tell us all about it and while he talked the lightning started flashing again and he suggested we better move back to the front porch. There was way too much distraction there what with the TV on just inside the door and Ed talking excitedly about the storm and the heat trials and the blown down trees they saw on the way home.

It took Ed two hours to wind down and he chattered constantly. Not always to me but still in that two hours I only advanced about ten pages.

I'm still reading the same book I started with. So is my niece though I think she is very close to finishing Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. That was the book she chose out of my stack of library books. I was a bit nervous about that, her being only fourteen. But she is a completely different order of fourteen than I was in the 70s!

I have 80 pages left in Messi@h. This wasn't the way I'd been planning my Read-a-thon but I'm not really sorry. It is a story worth taking time over and very much worth spending time with.

4:44 PM:
Ed and his parents left for the dirt track races about 2:30 and shortly after that my niece and I shut up the front of the house and turned on the cooler. A few minutes later I was lost in my story and barely looked up again for over ninety minutes.

And I'm anxious to get back to it. Not to mention anxious to get back to the cool front room! My room is like a sauna and the laptop seems to be funneling the heat of hell. I suppose I should move it into the other room. Maybe I'll take the time to do that on my next break.

1:40 PM:
I can't believe my good fortune. I just won another prize. Yesterday I won the coffee mug in the drawing. I just won my choice of book off the prize list. I chose The Maternal is Political which I've wanted ever since I read Dewey's review and our library doesn't have it.

I wonder if my fortune has anything to do with the symbolism of the Wheel of Fortune in Messi@h, the novel I am reading. Kinda spooky. But I'm not dissing it. :)

You can assume I'm still reading Messi@h until I say different. I just passed the half way mark which means I've around 180 pages to go. In a good hour, with prose as dense as this with POV popping in and out of a cast of dozens, I am lucky to read 30-40 pages.

My niece and I have moved inside in front of the fans. It is only the fans that make it bearable inside a tin box on day so hot. I was afraid to look at the thermometer on the porch. I'm sweating inside my glasses. eww.

12:12 PM:
Still reading Messi@h. Will be for awhile. Came in from the yard for a drink of water and to check my comments and the hub at Dewey's and visited a couple of readers. I've spent way longer than I intended and the heat off the keyboard is becoming enervating. I'm heading back out to the yard under the shade from the neighbor's tree where there is a teeeensy breeze yet. But I have a feeling we're going to have to move indoors soon.

At least I got my tongue and lips disorder under control without the help of duct tape. :) My niece and I have been reading silently for nearly the whole of the last hour.

10:45 AM:
Still reading Messi@h of course. And only advanced about forty pages. I would blame it on my visual impairment except that it probably has more to do with a tongue and lips impairment this time. The kind of impairment that could be cured by a strip of duct tape. :)

My niece and I are sitting out in the back yard reading. It is cooler out there for the moment. Although it is already in the 80s. We are expecting 100s this afternoon. UGH!!!

9 AM:
I am kicking things off with Messi@h by Andrei Cordescu as described in last night's post. Not an easy or short read at all. But I didn't get it finished in time.

17 tell me a story:

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