As I sit down this morning I am reminded of how long it has been since I last put something up on my blog. It has been nearly two months but it feels like it has been longer. I have been keeping myself busy and life has a way of filling the spaces that we leave open. Today, I thought I would just let my mind wander and let the writing take me where it wants to go.
So, what have I been up to? Well, I have been writing, but most of the writing has been working on my novel and getting it ready for Amazon’s yearly Breakthrough Novel Award contest. If you have a novel ready to go you can still enter here: https://www.createspace.com/abna I think the thing that strikes me most when I enter a contest like this is that there are a many, many, many people out there writing novels in their rooms hoping someday that they will be read. Writers certainly have the ability to imagine whole new worlds but our greatest use of imagination is the dream that some day our work will be published and read.
Speaking of published, I have been reading some interesting books lately. I really haven’t had a full confession about my problem with books and reading, but let me assure you, I spend too much money on books and I have too many books. I am reminded of what Phil Gramm once said when running for President, “I have as many guns as I need, I just don’t have as many guns as I want.” I don’t want or need guns, my problem is with books. I have more books than I need, but I really want more of them. The second part of my confession is that I cannot just read one book at a time. It probably would be more efficient to focus on one at a time, but I read as my mood dictates. For example, I have about seven books I am currently reading, but of the seven in process I have three that are on the top of the stack: The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach, Breathing the Page by Betsy Warland, and A Little Circle of Kindred Minds: Joyce in Paris by Conor Fennell.
The Art of Fielding is really a fun novel and it has been getting a lot of publicity so I won’t say too much about it. Breathing the Page is a dense little book about writing. If you write and can get your hands on a copy I would highly suggest it. Warland is a Canadian and I just happened to find the book while I was wandering around a bookstore in Victoria, BC. (People with drinking problems go to bars, people with book problems go to bookstores.) I don’t know why, but outside of Canada the book is very expensive, maybe the pages are made from Canadian Maple.
The final of my top three books is on James Joyce in Paris. Now if you have an obsession with 1920’s Paris or Joyce then this is a book for you. I would compare it favorably to the three classics written about this time period: Being Geniuses Together by Robert McAlmon, Charmed Circle by James Mellow, and Sylvia Beach and the Lost Generation by Noel Riley Fitch. I have about 1/3 of the book left, but so far it has been an informative and fun book to read. I will write more about this book when I finish it.
It is good to be back.