I'm alive! I'm back! Did ya miss me? I missed me. Holy crap, what a week. Couldn't take too many more of those. So here are some highlights.
We had our very first Heathrow Literary Society book discussion on Tuesday. We had all read "Last Night on Twisted River" by John Irving, and every one of us had opinions. I won't go into the details...I will leave that for my review next week. But I think my takeaway was that this club contains an amazing group of bibliophiles. We have young and old, serious and passionate readers, and overall some of the most well-read folks I've ever met. I left the meeting feeling elated. We had some confusion about what we will be reading next, but finally determined that this month we will read The Book Thief, next month Ape House, and the following month Freedom. A pretty decent line-up I think.
Wednesday at 6:30am, my kids and I, along with a friend of my son's, headed for Washington DC. Every second of our lives was planned once we landed. On Wednesday, we visited two Smithsonian museums (Natural History and American History) and Mount Vernon. Thursday we tramped around Jamestown and Williamsburg (in 53 degree rain)...needless to say at the end of that day, the parents stormed the bar at the hotel like a pack of wild dogs. Friday we toured the Capitol, two more Smithsonians (American Indian and Air and Space), the Lincoln Memorial and Korean War Memorial. Our plane was scheduled to leave at 10:15pm, but it broke, and it wasn't until 11:30 until we finally took off for home. We fell into bed around 2:30am. The whole trip was a whirlwind and I felt I'd been nearly bludgeoned to death, but we got to see some great things.
We popped out of bed Saturday morning and headed to Jacksonville for my son's final football bowl game. We apparently brought DC back with us, because it was in the mid-forties at our game. It reminded me of football weather in Indiana! Unfortunately the boys did not win, but it was just for fun so I was less intense about the whole thing. We blew off some steam and celebrated a successful (and long) season at a sports bar next to the hotel.
Somewhere in the middle of this, I remembered I had just crossed the two year mark for my blog. I guess I should have made a bigger deal, but you know how it is. Still, I'm feeling pretty good about this accomplishment. Three years ago I would have had a good laugh if you would have told me I'd be a blogger.
My reading life, as you can imagine, has been less than stellar. I did finish "Backseat Saints" on audio, and felt like I needed some more fun, so I am working my way though "Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim" by David Sedaris. I never get tired of that man. He makes me laugh. The kids and I still have not found our next car audiobook. No time to get to the library. Maybe today? We'll see.
I also finished "Before I Fall" by Lauren Oliver. In fact, I sat my butt on my reading chair on Monday until I finished the thing. I totally loved that book, and have passed it on to my daughter to read next. I really struggled with what to read after that. I knew I was facing some plane and bus rides, but wasn't sure how much I'd be able to concentrate. So I brought "Zora and Me", a middle-reader OKRA pick, and was able to knock that out quickly. I also brought "Doctor Zhivago", a read-along that is about to start. That did not work AT ALL. Over a period of three days, I read 7 pages. I'm going to give it a few more days before I throw in the towel.
On the way up and back from Jacksonville, I read "Mr. Mendoza's Paintbrush" and started "What It Is", both amazing graphic novels. A writer friend of mine told me about "What It Is" by Lynda Barry, which is basically a visual feast of thoughts on finding inspiration to write. It covers memory, images, past experiences, and how to use all of that in your writing. For anyone in the process of writing (NaNo participants? Aspiring authors? Seasoned authors?) you really need to take a peek at this book.
Today my husband takes off for Poland for the next five days, so I am hoping to use this time to get caught up on my reviews and my reading. Then when he gets back, the two of us, along with another couple, will leave for Napa for five days. Which is where I will be next Sunday. Until then...