Saturday, April 25, 2015

My Brain on Books XVI

I am reading for The Office of Letters and Lights the folks who bring us NaNoWriMo today as I love what they are doing for literacy with their Young Writer's Programs and because I've participated in NaNo every year since 2004 and will again next fall.  I have been blessed to have it in my life and would like to give something back if only kudos and link love.  I'm putting this plug at the top in hopes some who stop by will check out their site and see all the great things they do to foster love of reading and writing and story in kids. If you happen to be doing NaNo or Camp NaNo this year you can find me there as joywrite

This post will be organized like a blog inside a blog with recent updates stacked atop previous ones. I may be posting some updates on Twitter @Joystory and the Joystory fb fanpage. But this is where I do anything more than a line or two.  Including mini-challenges unless required to have a separate post..   




Be sure to scroll to bottom of this post for advice on how to ward off those scary nap attacks. You won't be sorry.





Ode to Dewey
by Joy Renee
We Miss You Dewey







5:00 AM - And it's done. I did manage to read one book start to finish during the thon: How to Avoid Making Art (or Anything Else You Enjoy) by Julia Cameron and Elizabeth Cameron (artist).  The 80 some cartoons depicting artistic people making excuses for not doing their art was hilarious and struck way too close to home way too many times.

4:00 AM - With an hour to go I feel I could do another twelve. In the last hour I spent some time with:

SURFACES AND ESSENCES: ANALOGY AS THE FUEL AND FIRE OF THINKING by DOUGLAS HOFSTADTER & EMMANUEL SANDER.  Very intriguing concepts.  I'd try to explain why but Thon fiatigue has settled in my head so that I'm having a worse time than usual putting the heavily visual/emotional based language of my thoughts into words.

I think I may have been dipping in and out of the hypnogogic state in which images from memory and dreams swim with the fragmented images of the things surrounding me including the book, the cat and the 'puter.

Words are crawling on the page and screen

Well less than half an hour to go.  I think I'll take Dexter to bed with me.  Not exactly a bedtime story but I'm still needing the book to substitute for the Netflix stream I was so addicted to last week. and will be again as soon as I've slept.

So this is goodbye until the fall thon.  I really think I'm going to make it

I've been awake since noon Friday and am once again feeling the turmoil of the surf reflected in my own eyes.  [surf?  I've no idea what I really meant to say there.  maybe I was already asleep?]

1:00 AM - Having a productive night so far.  Since around 10pm I've spent significant time in each of these novels:

A Dual Inheritance by Johanna Hershon
Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay
Missing Melissa by Alretha Thomas [ARC from Inde Author]

I generally don't like to have multiple novels going at once but A Dual Inheritance is the novel I have been plugging away at for months. It's comprised of long stories from different points of view separated by years following three generations of the families of two men who were unlikely friends in college in the 60s. It is literary, complex, deep and needs occasional savoring or simmering.  So several times I've broken away between stories to read a short and often light genre novel.

Missing Melissa is an ARC that I'd targeted as the novel to read start to finish for the thon but was when I thought I'd have finished A Dual Inheritance  beforehand.  And I would have if I hadn't been streaming hour on hour of Netflix for the last three weeks.  Which brings me to...

Darkly Dreaming Dexter is my bribe or reward for resisting the urge to watch an episode of Dexter on Netflix.  I've been on a Dexter binge since Early in April.  Began with season one and just began season 8 Thursday night.  It has been soooo tempting to go back to it.  Just one episode maybe.  Ha.  I can't do just one.  The book is quite different tho.  I'm not sure yet whether it is different good or different bad.  Maybe it's neither.

Just under three hours to go as I prepare to click update.  I think I'm going to make it.

Going to grab snacks and fluids and maybe start an audio book while I eat. But something non fic. Not the Sara Gruen novel I was anticipating in the intro meme.  I was intending to start and finish that during the thon too but know I can't have a forth novel going as I move into the thon hangover week.  None of them would get a fair deal and one or more would likely get dropped indefinitely...

9:00 PM - Still going strong.  Had  a slump between 4 and 8.  Had to get active to stave off the nap attacks.  What with the yawning and the tearing that triggered I couldn't see the words.  Do you realize it is nearly impossible to keep your eyes open in the midst of a yawn.  And then the tears blur your vision.

I did a little declutter of my area, fixed snacks and drinks, got on mini-tramp (after clearing it off of the bags of yarn, thread and fiber art projects which should have been done yesterday!)  I drank a half liter of water.

And finally,shortly before 8, I reached for the Adderal.  Don't worry.  It's a prescription (for ADD) and it's for two a day but the second is optional and most days I try to avoid taking it and especially avoid taking it after 2pm.  But today I knew I would need it and wanted to push it as late as I could towards 9pm but no later.

I really intended to update more often and maybe even do a mini-challenge or two by now.  But the updates I did this morning and the lurking on the thon blog and a few others ate up my morning so from 10am to 4pm I was focused on reading.

I did finish Laura Stack's What To Do When Theres Too Much T'o Do shortly after noon and after that I flitted and fluttered among several NF and short story collections, reading a single story, essay, intro or preface in each, advancing my bookmarks in:

From Where You Dream by Robert Olen Butler
No Plot? No Problem! A Low-Stress, High-Velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days by Chris Baty (founder of NaNoWriMo)
A Scream Goes Through the House: What Literature Teaches Us About Life by Arnold Weinstein
Reading Like a Writer: a Guide for People Who Love Books and For Those Who Want to Write Them by Francine Prose
The Mindful Way Through Depression: Freeing Yourself From Chronic Unhappiness by Mark Williams
Collected Stories by William Faulkner
Managing Your Depression by Susan J. Noonan
Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson
How to Avoid Making Art (or Anything Else You Enjoy) by Julia Cameron and Elizabeth Cameron (artist).  80 some cartoons illustrating the excuses creative people use to not create.
World Famous Cults and Fanatics by Colin Wilson
Literary Fables of Yriarte by Tom S de Iriarte
Little Black Book of Stories by A. S Byatt

This is something I love to do--graze in a plethora of books comprising a variety of styles, genre, subjects, eras.  It's ultra stimulating.  The ideas and images and stories stew in my simmering brain for days and weeks.  I once wrote an essay about this titled Emerson Whispering Sweet Somethings in Einstein's Ear.

Hmm. I just reread that for the first time in nearly a decade.  I think it is time to rewrite and update and repost it here.  That link is to Joyread one of the web pages I started in the late 90s and abandoned soon after I started blogging.  The other was called Joywrite which featured my fiction, poetry and musings on writing but it's host is now nothing but a ghost in the ether and only a few of my Joywrite pages are wisps in the Internet Archives.  Of course I still have all the HTML pages in folders on my computer.  I still dream of putting Joywrite up again and adding all the new material produced in the last decade and reposting all the Joystory book reviews on Joyread....

Time to rehydrate and a get a snack...


7:00 AM - Introductory Meme
1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
Longview WA USA

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
I think probably the audio of Sarah Gruen's Water for Elephants which I'll read while crocheting or winding thread or yarn on my crank yarn ball winder.

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
  It's always the chocolate isn't it? See last night's post for more on my thon snacks. 

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
As a child I would frequently read all night.  I would hide in the bathroom after my folks were in bed so they wouldn't see light coming from my room.  I would read by moon light or the street lamps or take my little high intensity desk lamp under the covers. One time I'd bent the gooseneck on that little lamp until the bulb was less than half an inch from the surface of my beside table.  The light reflecting off the light blue cloth was enough to read by but I hoped not enough to be visible from my parent's doorway at the other end of the hall.

But one night I fell asleep reading with the lamp like that and Mom found me and woke me to show me the round scorch mark on the cloth.  She didn't punish me.  She didn't even raise her voice then or ever on the subject.  She just asked me in a soft voice that wouldn't rouse my baby sister, sleeping next to me in the double bed we had just recently begun to share and would share until I was 19 and our brother left home to go to tech school, "What if I hadn't found it before the bed was on fire?" She looked pointedly back and forth between my eyes and my three year old sister's sleeping face. My eyes filled with tears.

I never did that again.  But I continued to read half the night away several times a month all through my childhood, young adulthood, and right on through to the middle of my sixth decade.  Yes.  Still.

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?
This is my 16th Dewey Thon.  I'm excited that I don't have to take the Trazadone anymore as I did the last four Thons. Thus I get to stay awake the full 24 again.

5:15AM -I'm awake.  Still.

  Guess I was too jazzed, too wound.

  I woke at noon on Friday after apprximately six hours of sleep split by a half hour attempt to establish a vid chat with my husband at 8:20.  Connection issues frustrated us and triggered another episode of vertigo for me sending me back to bed for another three hours.

Waking at noon probably played a role in not being ready for sleep before the wee hours.

I dont know what not sleeping before the thon is going to mean for my hopes of lasting the full 24.  But before the Trazadone became one of my daily antidepressants it was common for me to be awake upwards of 24 hours several times a month.

Now that the Traz has been stepped back to an occassional sleep aid that means I dont have to take it by midnight or risk nasty withdrawal symptoms so after four Thons interrupted by involuntary sleep at both ends--nap attacks at the start while the Traz is wearing off and lights out at the end after taking it again--I was hoping to have another true 24 hour thon experience.

I probably should have used the Traz to get to sleep last night but wanted to avoid the 3-6 hours of grog noggin upon waking.

We shall see.  I will probably abuse caffiene today.  And go ahead and take that second Adderal.  And get on the mini-tramp more often. And drink lots of water...

Yes, water I learned recently is an energizer! Our bodies afterall are hydroelectric machines.

I am going to start off the morning with Laura Stack's What To Do When Theres Too Much T'o Do.  It is one of the books in which my bookmark is less than 100 pages from the finish and it is below average difficulty level. And an eBook so I can have fonts whatever size my eyes need.

I'm going to stay in bed for the next several hours. Fewer distractions. I have my Nexus 7 for posting, my Blaze cell and Nexus both loaded with books and music so I can read on one while listening on the other, and coffee and tea in thermoses to drink while nibbling on a protein cookie.

All set.


[I have this scheduled to go live at 4:44am.  But if this bracketed paragraph is still here on top after 5am I don't have my eyes unglued enough to check in yet.  I will be here soon as I can.]




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