Monday, August 29, 2011

Monday, Monday

I really need to stop sleeping in over the weekend, because then Monday comes and I am so...effing...tired, and all the coffee Juan Valdez can pack over to me on his mule cannot keep me awake.  All day I dream of napping, and it's crazy hectic at work, and then I get home and it's make dinner get OD to her cello lesson take The Son to return the shoes he doesn't like go to the grocery store get everyone showered/homeworked/tucked and pluck George The Superpet's ear hair (yes, I do that) and then one would think I would be ready for bed and SURPRISE!  I'm wide awake.  Sure to be dead ass tired again tomorrow.

I did start this book last night, which is terrific so far:


It's a dog book, so I'm sucked in.  I read these books and I get engrossed, but there's also this voice in the back of my head that says, "You need to write your book" and I say "I don't have time right now" and the voice pesters me until I start yelling at it, "Do you have any idea how fucking hard it is to write a book!?!  And one that is actually good and has a story and proper English that people will read that doesn't have sparkly vampires in it because that is so 2010?!"

I love a good book.  I have been reading since I was four, and I love nothing better in life than losing myself in a book, where I am so obsessed with it that I can't put it down, and when I'm forced to put it down I can't stop thinking about when I can pick it back up again.  I will take a good book, and I mean a REALLY good book that is one of the obsession books, over sex, coffee, wine, pasta and tiramisu.  THAT is how much I love books. 

There are loads of books I've been this obsessive with in my life, but ones that pop into my mind immediately are - Jane Austen books (except for Northanger Abbey, which was okay but I could put it down and live), Cowboys Are My Weakness by Pam Houston, The Good People of New York and Out of the Girls Room and Into the Night by Thisbe Nissen, Cooked Little Heart and Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, Devil in the White City by Eric Larson, It Happens Every Day by Isabel Gillies, the entire Twilight series, the entire Harry Potter series, Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld, Room by Emma Donoghue, all Jen Lancaster books, the Hunger Games series, and the Dragon Tattoo series by Stieg Larsson.  As a kid, it was Laura Ingalls Wilder, Nancy Drew, The Secret Garden, A Little Princess, The Trumpeter Swan, anything by Judy Blume and of course The Flowers in The Attic series.  Ish.

On deck right now I have A Tale of Two Cities, Portrait of a Lady, Bleachy-Haired Honky Bitch by Hollis Gillespie, It Looked Different on the Model by Laurie Notaro, and am awaiting Stacey Ballis's new book whenever it may come because I did love Good Enough to Eat.  And David Sedaris's Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk.  And With a Little Luck by Caprice Crane.

(I have to stop writing this because I have spent the last 20 minutes going back and adding another book I love to the "obsessed with" list.  Because I'm obsessed.)

But with a Pesky Full Time Job, my work severely cuts into my reading time, and then the Mothering takes over the non-paid-work time, so I find myself reading until all hours of the night and then waking up vowing never to do it again and covering the perpetually deep shadows under my eyes with foundation.  Open Memo to People at Work: I'm not being beaten, I'm reading.

What exactly is my point here?

That I write every single day, and have been writing pretty steadily for 15 years, and I can tell you firsthand that it is DAMN HARD to write a book.  Try it, I dare you.  I'm about 2/3 of the way through my first novel, which is about 60,000 words (the average blog post is about 600-900 words), and I haven't TOUCHED the novel in over a year.  I know how it's going to end.  I just haven't written it down.  And then when you start writing it, it changes.  The book actually takes your thoughts and says, "Bullshit, that would never happen.  THIS is what that character REALLY wants to do!"  I have another book rolling around in my head, and a collection of short stories too.  But guess what?  No publisher is going to pay me to tell them all about the stories and not write them down.  It's that tricky technicality of calling oneself a writer...you actually have to WRITE.

Every week, I say, "once we get through the school year I'll make time to write", then "once we get through the summer, I'll make time to write" and "Once school starts again, I'll make time to write" and now it's "once I finish this freelance project for CH..." and "once we finish the basement..."  One of these days I might actually do it, but honestly people, I'm 42 and I start worrying that I'm never going to purge these words.  It's like John Lennon said, "Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans."

Every time I hear the song, "Unwritten" by Natasha Bedingfield, which I'm pretty sure she wrote specifically for me, I think Get Your Ass In Gear, Girl!  Do you have a lifelong ambition that is unmet?  Do you have something you are just dying to do and just don't do it?  What is holding you back?  Am I alone in thinking my epitaph is going to be "Unfulfilled potential?"  Lay it on me, Wifers, if Blogger will let you comment.  What is on your mind?  If you can't comment here, go to the FB page and do it there.  I want to know!


14 comments:

Jen said...

Speaking of favorite books that suck you in until the outer world no longer exists.... Try the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. BEST. BOOKS. EVER!!! And she's the kind of author who ruins every other author in the world for you, because she is so immensely talented. I've read the entire series about 8 times, and I can't wait for the next book to come out!!

Ya know how there's never a perfect time to buy a home, to have kids, to yadayada...? Well, there's never going to be a perfect time for you to write that book. Don't be a perfectionist. Just start writing. I promise I'll buy it. Your mom and her two non-English speaking friends won't be the only ones to own a copy :)

Julie The Wife said...

Ooh! Ooh! You are so right about that - I read the first Outlander book last year, and I'm dying to read the next one. Thanks for the reminder!

pegzhere said...

I thougt it was gettng my masters degree but it turns out that took away too much reading time...especially once I started working too. Then I thought it would be being really good at a job again but it turns out I am too distracted by family/home to be really good at the job so mediocre will suffice. I am definitely dying to be in kick ass shape but apparently not dying enough. I am thinking my new lifelong ambition might be to read your lst of obsession books. And of course your novel... :)

Anonymous said...

Yes I'm sure I'm like a lot of American women out there and life holds you back. Unlike men women seem to do what needs to be done to get by and men actually get to do what they want.

chasing empty pavements said...

Firstly, I love The Art of Racing in the Rain! I think by the end you will be deep in love with the author. Also, I will own a copy of your book as well :) You remind me of a smarter, wittier version of Jen Lancaster and she became famous before she even wrote her books...her blog did all the work for her. I see a very bright future ahead for you!

Shirley said...

I want to open a bakery. Unfortunately, my kids need new shoes every two weeks (I think they chew on them in their sleep) and I like being able to pay my bills. So nursing it is! I think of it as time to perfect my recipes.

Julie the Wife said...

Sheesh. My ego is totally inflated now and I'll be impossible to live with. Where are you people and why aren't we getting together for drinks so we can avoid fulfilling our lifelong dreams together?

Anonymous said...

I'm a reader /want to be author too! and "The Art of Racing in the Rain" is worth staying up for! oh yeah - "unfulfilled potential" - I think my mother cursed me with that... why aren't you.... or you could do.... fill in the blank! You have plenty of time to write your books... the blog is great and I am sure we will all buy your book when it happens. Those kids will grow up soon and leave home and after you catch your breath there will be plenty of time to finish the novel! and read....

pegzhere said...

By the way me not being in kick ass shape has nothing to do with dying. Except maybe that is how I feel when I actually TRY to get in shape. Or maybe I should have allowed that typo to stick, then you might feel pressure to finish you book in case I did start dying enough and needed to read it fast

GrandeMocha said...

I too would buy your book and would love to get "together for drinks so we can avoid fulfilling our lifelong dreams together." I'm stuck here and you are there and I'm not sure if or when.

GrandeMocha said...

I want to get paid to shop & do lunch.

Rhonda said...

i would totally buy your book.

and yes i have several half written books that eventually i'm going to make time for. i try to do more than one at a time because then if i get stuck in one i just change gears to the other.

btw your obsessed reading list sounds a lot like mine.

Pat said...

At least the bartender at RL thinks you are going to be a famous author.

Echo said...

I also would so love to write a novel or even a short story at this point, but I'm so afraid of change and of failing at something, that I never get more than a page or so. Any advice for me?

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