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Tag Archives: reading

I Should Make a Better Blog Post

I can hardly have a Wrist to Forehead Sunday when I have Monday off, can I? I mean, isn’t that the main reason we feel inclined to swoon, dramatically posed with the back of one wrist to our forehead (I feel better if I explain it every time): the thought that we return to the work-a-day world tomorrow? I should feel relaxed and happy, shouldn’t I? Then again, when have I ever done what I should?

The only thing I got done today was the grocery shopping, which was actually kind of a big deal, since I blew it off last Sunday. I went around eight this morning to beat the crowd, but I didn’t finish putting away all the groceries till just now. In fact, since my bottle of shampoo is sitting at the bottom of the stairs waiting for me to take it up the next time I go, one could argue that I still haven’t put them all away. Hey, at least the ice cream made it to the freezer.

I spent most of the day reading a romance novel. In my defense, it was by Georgette Heyer, the queen of Recency romance. Perhaps that is not much of a defense, but I do what I can. Judge me if you are so inclined.

I went for a walk just before finishing putting the groceries away. You see, I started to make this post, realized I had very little to say and thought to do a Pedestrian Post. Additionally, I thought it might help me sleep better. I had tried to take a walk first thing this morning but cut it short, because my stomach was upset. Unfortunately it was a very uneventful walk.

Dull days make for dull blog posts. On the brighter side, if you could call it that, now that I have made a dull blog post, I have a reason to swoon, wrist to forehead fashion. If you have continued reading thus far, thank you for tuning in.

Beat the Heat with Books!

The heat wave continues in the Mohawk Valley, and I do not have air conditioning.  However, libraries do!  In the last two days, I went to two, so I thought I would give them a shout out instead of having my usual Tired Tuesday post.

Monday I went to Basloe Library in Herkimer, NY.  I actually went so I could print out the script to Where’s the Cheesecake?, the play I am in during Little Falls Cheese Festival, July 14 (I’ll make tomorrow’s blog post about that, by the way) (preview of coming attractions).  I still don’t have a printer, but I was just as happy to go to the library.   As I paid for my printed pages, I remarked that it might be time to purchase a printer of my own.

“Then again, I’m not too unhappy to be here in the air conditioning,” I told the clerk.  She agreed that this was a good place to be, especially since they also have books.  With that in mind, I found a few books.  Then I sat down and tried to write.  That did not go so well, because I had a headache.  As I left the library, I saw they had changed the sandwich board outside to say, “Come on in!  It’s cool and we have books!” I only wish I had had my Tablet with me to take a picture.

Today I went to Weller Library in Mohawk. I was determined to write more.  For one reason, I did not have a headache.  For another reason, they have the most beautiful reading room.  Once again, I ought to have had my Tablet with me.  Next time!

Well, once again, the writing did not go so well, so I looked for books. I thought I found a couple of Agatha Christie’s I had not read, only to discover that they were novelizations based on, I don’t know, a movie or a play.  I put them back on the shelf and found a couple of authentic Agatha Christie novels, one of which I actually have not read. Score!

I managed to get a little writing done: some on a novel that I fear is not going to go anyplace, and some on a murder mystery for the fall.  I think the murder mystery is going to work out. I’ll write more on it tomorrow.

So, my advice to anybody who is tired of the head and doesn’t have air conditioning:  go to the library!  It’s cool, and they have books!


Wrist to Scattered Sunday

It’s that time on a Sunday when all I want to do is settle down with a glass of wine, my knitting, and watch Snapped, and I remember I have not yet done my blog post.   And Snapped isn’t on!  We find a Snapped On Demand and I try to type in a fast Wrist to Forehead Sunday post so I can get back to my activities of choice.

It has actually been a delightful Sunday.  I worked for a half hour in the yard and got quite a lot done. Steven was happy when he came home and saw the progress I had made.  I got the dishes done, took a shower, and put on a cute outfit (although perhaps I flatter myself). I made myself a cup of tea and worked on my novel.   I finished a letter to a friend, wrote my weekly postcards and walked to the post office, taking a convoluted route home to make a 35 minute walk.

After Steven got home, we went to Little Falls to the Mohawk Valley Center for the Arts for a reading featuring two local authors, one of whom is a theatre friend of mine.  That was fun; I must write a full post about it.  Then we had a delightful dinner at Ruggiero’s Trattoria.  Yum!  While Steven stepped outside to smoke a cigarette, I wrote a few more notes on my novel.  Maybe if I ever finish one and publish it, I can have a reading at the Center for the Arts.

So I’m going to hit Publish and call this a Scattered Sunday.  After all, I have knitting to do, wine to drink, and Snapped to watch.  Happy Sunday, everyone!


NOW I’ll Pour the Wine!

Oh, thank Heaven it’s Lame Post Friday and Wine O’clock.  If only it was also Steve-fifteen, my life would be perfect.  Full disclosure:  I have not yet poured myself a glass of wine.  That’s next.  First I need to make a blog post.

I have been experiencing great resistance to writing lately (yes, I know, some people call that laziness; they could be right but I am not up to arguing semantics today).  Twice this week I’ve brought plays to work to read, to avoid staring at a blank page in my notebook.  I really have to stop doing that.   I mean, sometimes it’s fine.  I read the play on breaks, I put the play away and work. Sometimes not so much.

When I was reading Leading Ladies I made rather a spectacle of myself by laughing out loud as I read.  That did not bother me nearly as much as when I read Wrong Turn at Lungfish and started to cry.  I sat at the break table with the tears streaming down my face.  Finally I got up and went to the usual refuge for crying, the ladies room.  I went into the back and sobbed.  That would not have been so bad, except the guy was in there cleaning at the time.  How embarrassing.

Nothing particularly embarrassing happened with the plays I read this week.  The problem was, though, they were so good I could not put them down.  Well, one must put down reading materials and return to work.  Those are the rules.  This is why I stopped bringing books to work (no, not the crying thing; I rarely cry over what I read).

I have managed to write at least a little bit on my banana play each day.  I hope to write even more this weekend, among other activities planned.  One thing I have definitely planned is to write some non-lame blog posts.  However, those plans are for the future.  For today, this is what you get.  Happy Friday, everyone.


Damn You, Dominick Dunne

This is going to be another Wuss-out Wednesday post. I did spend some time on breaks at work writing. I have two blog posts started but can’t seem to finish them. I never have been good at making myself write. Or do anything else for that matter.

I might have been able to finish one of the posts to my satisfaction but for one circumstance. I inadvisedly picked up a book I purchased some time ago but had not read yet. People Like Us by Dominick Dunne. I ADORE Dominick Dunne, may he rest in peace. Oh, what a writer he is. His fiction is so layered and satisfying. His people don’t sound like ones I spend much time with, but they feel so real. I’m not reading a book; I’m spending time in another world.

I could wish it was a happier world. I’m sitting here feeling quite upset that this character’s husband is leaving her (not for any good reason) and that character is dying of AIDS (in the early days of the AIDS epidemic, when it was little understood and always a death sentence, and being gay was considered by many to be a dreadful shame). And don’t even get me started on the writer’s story, which echoes Dominick Dunne’s own tragic experience.

Most of Dunne’s novels are considered roman a clefs. That is, they are thinly disguised versions of actual happenings. The Two Mrs. Grenvilles was based on the true story of Billy and Anne Woodward, a society boy who married a showgirl who later shot him. I’m not sure what People Like Us is based on, if anything. But it’s a good, good, good read. I’m going to go back and keep reading it.

Friday Christmas Adventures

Last night Steven and I got into the Christmas spirit by going to Barnes & Noble in New Hartford, NY to hear a reading of Polar Bear Express by WKTV weatherman Bill Kardas and writer Dave Dellecese. I suppose it would have been nice to provide ourselves with a small child for such an event, but we made do with enjoying the kids that were there.

First we had to negotiate Christmas season rush hour traffic. Yikes! It can get a little hairy around Consumer Square, where Barnes & Noble is located. We first went a little beyond that destination to Olive Garden for dinner. I know, Mohawk Valley Girl likes local, unique restaurants and stores, but Friday I went to two chains. It happens.

After a good dinner with great service, we headed out. We had extra time, so we made a quick stop at Bremer’s Liquor Store, where they were having a wine tasting (ooh, that’s a local, unique place!). Unfortunately I did not have the notebook I like to put tasting notes in, but we did purchase a red blend called RedVolution in a Bota Box. Yum.

For one more stop, we walked around 5 Below, two doors down from the bookstore. Everything there is $5 or less. That was kind of fun to walk around, but nothing tempted us, so we were on to our destination.

Some nice young men were offering gift wrapping for donations as a fundraiser for their school (I foolishly did not make a note of the school; sorry). They gave us a card to give the cashier if we purchased anything, because the store would donate a portion of the sale to the school. I had planned to get Steven Leonard Maltin’s 2015 Movie Guide, which he had asked for. This way he got his present early plus a little frisson of virtue for helping the school. We also got some coffee, which got the school another small donation. Every little bit helps!

We enjoyed the reading of the book. Dave was dressed as the conductor, which was fun. A man had a train whistle, so there were sound effects, too. A number of kids were there, one dressed in pajamas. Everybody seemed to have a good time. A slight disruption occurred when Dave said he was sure everyone present had been good and would get presents from Santa, and a woman in the audience piped up, “Steven was bad!” (I guess I don’t have to tell you who that was).

According to Bill Kardas’ Facebook page, Polar Express has become a tradition for Bill and Dave. It may become a tradition for me and Steven too.

I Want to Watch World’s Dumbest!

It is a sad thing to be Tired on Tuesday when you are pretty sure you are going to Wuss-out on Wednesday. And yet, here I am.

As usual, I knew this would happen. I knew I should write a blog post while at work today. But there were cryptogram puzzles to solve and husbands to call (OK, just one husband; I thought it would be more symmetrical to make it plural) (I did solve more than one cryptogram puzzle). That’s OK, I thought. We planned to go to the laundromat after work. I can always write at the laundromat.

At the laundromat, after putting our clothes in the washer and bringing the detergent and bleach back out to the SUV, I sat down with my notebook. I opened it to the next blank page. I wrote the date. And I sat there. Oh yeah, I can’t always write at the laundromat.

Steven discovered some People magazine. No, no, I had to write. I looked at the notebook. I read the magazine. Actually, I mostly paged through it and looked at some of the pictures. I don’t know most of the current celebrities. I am so not mainstream.

I tried again after we got the clothes into the drier. Still no luck. This time I read The New Yorker. I felt pretty classy till I realized I wasn’t finishing any of the articles I started. I gave up and paged through looking at the cartoons. And I thought I was an intellectual.

Eventually we finished the burdensome chore and came home. I had sensibly put some stuff in the crock pot, so dinner was forthcoming. I can usually write better after a good meal.

As you can see, not so much. So here is today’s post, about not being able to write a post. I don’t promise a better post for tomorrow, but we can hope. I’m going to watch television and knit till bedtime.

Hit Publish and Go Back to Enjoying my Sunday

It is Wrist to Forehead Sunday. I haven’t worked on my novel, I haven’t even written in the TV Journal. My brain is on strike or vacation or maybe it was never that good to begin with (say is ain’t so!).

This is the part where I usually surprise myself and come up with another 200 words or so that are not that unreadable. I hit publish and go back to enjoying my Sunday. But today, it seems, it is not going to be that easy.

The weather is delightful. It has been a beautiful weekend, sunny and warm. I had a very enjoyable Saturday afternoon and evening with my husband, Steven, including two or three Mohawk Valley adventures. Really, I have no reason to feel I have nothing to write about.

I suppose these things happen to a writer sometimes. I keep thinking I will write an extra post and keep it in my Drafts section for just such an emergency. Sometimes I get a post or so ahead, but I always use them right away. Well, I wouldn’t want them to get stale or outdated.

Today I haven’t had any Mohawk Valley adventures, unless you count a trip to Hannaford for groceries. Ooh, wait, I did write a post about that once, a long time ago. I mostly spent the day re-reading an Agatha Christie novel. It is very instructive to re-read a mystery novel. You see where the writer put in all the clues and say, “How the blankety-blank did I miss THAT?”

So it looks as if I have once again written over 200 words. Perhaps I’ll go work on my novel now.

Blame the Book

First, a confession. I took the day off.

Not from work, of course. I went to my place of employment and did what they pay me to do (remember: not a work blog). But I wrote nothing. No novel, no blog post, no letter, not even a grocery list. I read a book.

In my defense, it’s a library book that I have to finish and get back to the library. And it is a history book, so I am educating myself. Becoming more erudite and informed. Oh, who am I kidding? It’s easier to read than to write, so today I read.

The fact is, I love to read even more than I love to write. If I don’t have anything else to read, I’ll read the backs of cereal boxes. But I almost always have something else to read. Libraries, used book sales, garage sales, thrift stores and even Barnes and Noble supply me with my drug of choice (um, that’s reading) (I didn’t need to clarify that, did I?).

I actually read less now than I used to. I used to read to the exclusion of interacting with people. I have this problem of getting absorbed in a book. I used to read and watch TV at the same time. That would drive anybody else in the room nuts when I would constantly ask what I had missed on the TV show because I was reading.

“Get your nose out of that book!” was a phrase I often heard. When I bothered to listen.

In addition to interacting with people, I use free time at work to write. I didn’t used to do that so much with the result that I used to write a whole lot less than I write now. Read more, wrote less; read less, write more (in that sentence the first “read” is past tense, the second is present) (have you ever noticed it’s the SAME WORD?).

So this has been my Friday Lame Post. My miserable excuse for not writing a better post. I feel it will be understood by others who suffer from a similar addiction.

I Can’t Facebook It

I have been composing a Facebook status in my head that goes something like this:

Let’s see who reads my posts all the way through. Still reading? If so, that is where you and I differ, because I usually stop reading when thus challenged. This post should go on to be sentimental about friends, or self-righteous about some disease or judging others, or even silly about we just got arrested. Then it would get manipulative and sneer at uncaring people who “just keep scrolling.” For heavens’ sake, what’s wrong with scrolling? If we didn’t scroll, we couldn’t read very many posts now, could we? Anybody still reading? Or have you gone back to scrolling (like I would have). Of those still reading, I suppose some of you are huffing, “Well I DO care about Facebook friends and cancer patients and all those other issues, I am NOT self-righteous and I would NEVER manipulate anybody!”

That is pretty much as far as I’ve gotten. I can’t think of a zippy conclusion. In fact, I only really like the first three sentences.

Oh, let’s be honest, I’m not going to post anything like that on Facebook. I really just typed it in here, because I needed a post for Non-Sequitur Thursday. A Facebook post that I do not intend to put on Facebook is non-sequitur enough for me. Hope to see you on Lame Post Friday.