With Blueprints going on sale in paperback this week, I just reread it to refresh my memory. Does it surprise you that I would need to do that? But consider this. I’ve written and published more than 80 books. No human mind can keep straight all the details of 80 books. Moreover, it’s been two years since I finished writing Blueprints, and since then, I’ve been immersed in writing The Make Up Artist. I’ve often made the analogy that moving from book to book is like cramming for final exams. You jam as much as you possibly can into your mind, take the exam, then push it all out to make room for the next subject.
A reader just wrote that she heard I was retiring. Who said that?
No. I’m not retiring. Let’s be clear about it. I. Am. Not. Retiring.
Not that I haven’t considered it in moments of frustration. Life for a writer has changed. When I started – more than 30 years ago – all I had to do was write. Ha ha. That’s funny. I was a full-time mother of three young sons, a full-time wife, a full-time homemaker. And all I had to do was write.
I swore I wouldn’t. Social media is only good if you do it well, but how many social media sites can one writer do well and still write her book? I’ve done Facebook for a long while and have a healthy following. For posting news, sharing events, offering contests, and simply getting the opinions of readers who matter, Facebook is my go-to site.
So why join Instagram? Instagram is just about taking pictures, right? But pictures alone? Why would a writer do that?
Last week was for audio, but here are three books I recently read in the flesh, as so many of you choose to do as well. Audio or print, the stories remain the same. If something in one of these books appeals to you and you’re an audiobook person, by all means, listen.
First, The Marriage of Opposites, by Alice Hoffman.
I have loved Alice Hoffman’s books for years, and “The Marriage of Opposites” didn’t entirely disappoint. Her portrayal of setting is exquisite – in this case, St. Thomas in the first half of the 1800’s, then Paris. Her imagery is vivid, and her research through. I have no doubt but that the historical detail offered in “The Marriage of Opposites” is accurate.
Commitments is my 42nd child – but every single child of mine is special to me. Their birthdays are cause for celebration, which is what I’m doing today. I’m celebrating the birth of Commitments as an eBook.
It’s about time! Commitments was first published in 1988 and has been issued in every other format but digital. Why? For one thing, because eBooks didn’t exist in 1988, when “electronic rights” weren’t even on publishers’ radar screens. For another, because more and more of you are reading electronically each year. And for a third, because my current publisher agreed that publishing Commitments digitally is long overdue.
Eclectic. That’s how I’d describe my reading so far this summer. If you read Part 1 of “My Recent Reading,” you’ll know that by early July, I had finished reading a light-hearted summer novel, a memoir, and the new Harper Lee. This next batch of book reviews include an adventure novel, a magical YA novel, an audiobook, and a book about Huntington’s Disease. Here goes.
Several years ago, I read – and loved – “The Girls,” so when I saw that its author, Lori Lansens, had a new book out, “The Mountain Story,” I quickly bought it.
There are many things on my to-blog-about list, like multi-tasking, cat videos, and food expiration dates. But you read my blogs because you read my books, and right now, in the thick of the summer reading season, I need to blog about books – specifically the ones I’ve read.
Summer is a great reading time for me. Last weekend being a quiet one, no guests, just DH and me, I read all day Saturday and Sunday, AND continued listening to an audiobook for six hours, back and forth to the lake.
I’ve done a lot of reading this summer. I’ve also spent a lot of time studying reader reviews on Amazon, as well as taking part in discussion groups on Goodreads. Two of the books I’ve read, in particular – Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman and Lisa Genova’s Inside the O’Briens – had endings with which readers took issue. And I don’t just mean readers saying they didn’t like the ending. I mean readers saying that the ending “stank,” that the author “blew it,” that the ending “ruined” the book. We’re talking over-the-top stridency.
I do. I admit it. I’m a hopeless romantic who, yes, does believe in love at first sight. I’m not saying it’s the only way love happens. But – skeptics be damned – I’ve known too many couples who were partners from the start. They felt an instant connection, and it wasn’t only physical, but emotional and intellectual as well.
If the attraction is only physical, that would be lust at first sight. I’ve known couples like that, too – couples who lay eyes on each other for the very first time and feel a powerful chemical attraction, if little else. In instances where chemical attraction evolves into emotion, love may follow. Otherwise, the prognosis is not good. If something happens to the physical – illness, accident, wanderlust – and there’s nothing else, what’s left?
Peter Pan had it right. If growing up means no more fun and adventure, I don’t want to grow up either. I like fun and adventure – like doing new things – like challenging myself. I like doing something I never imagined myself doing. Oh yeah, sometime it’s daunting. I have a comfort zone, just like you all.
But life is about growing. Have you done anything new in the last year? Taken a new job? Signed up for a new course? Tried a new diet? Taken up a new sport? Befriended someone new?