Sunday, September 3, 2006

A Bookish Meme

Well, my friends, shortly after writing the previous post, all Hell done broke loose at my work. For the whole following week we were so busy that we had to hire more temps, and all of us worked an hour and a half of overtime every day. No only did I not have the time or energy to write, I frequently skipped my breaks because I couldn't leave so many people needing to be helped.

And though I would get home so tired that I could barely sit upright, I really enjoyed the work. The pace was so frenetic, yet the activity so neatly organized, that I simply didn't have time to think from eight a.m. to five-thirty. And as an escapist, I always enjoy an opportunity to not think.

But after school started, we had just one day of complete overwhelming activity (more than we'd had on any day the previous week), made up largely of parents who hadn't realized that they couldn't just show up at the school on the first day and drop their kids off. The line to register went out the door, down the hall, down a staircase, and halfway up the hall below... and these are pretty spacious halls, too, so that line was about a hundred yards long. Going over our sign-in sheets at the end of the day, we discovered that we had served more than five hundred families in that one day and registered or transfered nearly a thousand students.

After that, it petered down to a trickle much like the first weeks, mostly people who had just recently moved here, and those who had registered their children at one school but didn't care for it once it got started and wanted to try something else. We are expecting another rush on Tuesday, since the traditional starting time for schools is the day after Labor Day, but it's going to be small potatoes from here on out.

So maybe I'll get some more writing done. I have started an outline for the rest of the book, but I haven't quite made up my mind how to pace the second half, and am not entirely sure how to incorporate the different facets of the investigation into a final unveiling. I'm also a little unsure how to proceed with the developing romantic relationships, since romantic relationships aren't exactly something I know a lot about. I'll just have to keep slogging along and wait for inspiration to strike.

In the meantime, here's a nice little meme I snagged from Jeffrey, which I thought you might enjoy (and which gives me a chance to schill for Amazon... all of the following links go there):


One book that changed your life: Odd as it might sound, I got the most profoundly life-changing experience from reading Anne Rice's Memnoch the Devil. It gave me a very different way of looking at God and religion and evolution that completely altered the way I thought about these things, which in turn led me to a spiritual relationship with a Higher Power that has radically altered the quality of my life. It wasn't that Rice gave me a God I could believe in, rather she suggested a way of looking at God that was so different from what I was taught that I was able to finally divorce my mind from the God of my upbringing (who is an asshole).

One book you have read more than once: I always read books more than once, unless they're truly dreadful. But one that I've read so many times that my first paperback copy fell apart and I had to buy it again in hardback so I could read it a few more times is The Persian Boy by Mary Renault. It's about the conquests of Alexander the Great, told by his eunuch lover Bagoas. That book really speaks to me, and I never get tired of it.

One book on a desert island: The Oxford English Dictionary, the great big tiny-printed one with the magnifying glass. That could keep me fully entertained while I slowly went out of my mind from loneliness.

One book that made you laugh: Oh, so many books make me laugh... I love comic novels. The entire Jeeves & Wooster series by P.G. Wodehouse, for example, can always be relied upon for a good guffaw. And Jeffrey's recommendation for Blue Heaven is dead on (though I still think the follow-up novel, Putting on the Ritz is funnier). But for sheer side-splitting hilarity all in one volume, David Sedaris's Me Talk Pretty One Day is the absolute best.

One book that made you cry: Greg Herren's Murder in the Rue St Ann. The ending was so sad! It's the only time a book has ever made me cry. I generally only cry at movies, and in self-pity... books are too internal and slow-moving to evoke such emotions.

One book you wish you had written: Aside from the one I'm writing now? (Oh how I wish I could get to the past tense on that) I can't really think of anything... though there are times I've read an author and wished I could write like that. Alan Hollinghurst, for example, or Stephen Fry. But I can't think of a particular book. Well, I guess I might wish I'd written the Harry Potter series, I could totally use the money.

One book you wish had never been written: I can't think of a book whose existence I would wish to negate... not even the Bible or the Q'uran (I would wish to negate the existence of certain people who use those books as a justification for their own evil, but the books aren't evil themselves). I have read a few books that were so badly written that I wish they'd never been published... I just can't find the titles right now, I've either packed them away or sold them back to the store long since.

One book you are currently reading: I just finished Christian McLaughlin's Glamourpuss, and have just started rereading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (just because I found it when I was looking for something else on the floor near my bed). I'm eyeing Leon Uris' Trinity for my next attempt, I bought the book at a yard sale years ago and have never even looked inside it. I don't even know what it's about or whether or not it's supposed to be any good... I only noticed it today because I was wondering why there was this one green leaf on an otherwise quite dead plant that I haven't watered in six months at least, and the big blue book was right next to the plant.

One book you have been meaning to read: Marcel Proust's Remembrance of Things Past (or In Search of Lost Time, whichever you prefer). I know that's not one book, it's eight or nine, but I think of them as this monolithic single object. I've always wanted to read The Lord of the Rings, but I don't think I ever will... I tried twice, and it bored me stupid. But everyone else has read it, and I feel left out.


I'm supposed to tag five others, but I don't think five people read this blog with any regularity anymore. So I'll just tag Dana Marie and leave the other spots as open invitation to anyone who reads me.

So now I'm going back to bed. It's Labor Day Weekend, and I've picked up a slight cold from the thousands upon thousands of people with whom I've had to share an enclosed space over the last ten days, so I'm trying to take it easy as much as I can for as long as I can. Hope you're having a fun holiday!