Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Twas September of 2001 and the second night of college--whoever it was pulled the dormitory fire alarm that night, I've got a lot to thank you for.

Out on the median in the middle of the street I met a boy named Corey--cute, funny, sweet.  I'd forgotten to grab my college ID on the way out, so he promised to vouch for me when we went back inside.

A five-minute conversation, a flash of the baby blues, and I was hooked for life.

Nearly 9 years later we're married.  The minute he leaves, no matter where he's going or for how long, I start thinking about when I'll see him again.

Last night was our 2nd wedding anniversary, so I came down to Denver and we painted the town red.

What's better than palling around with your best friend?  Especially if that best friend happens to be good-looking.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The morning

The morning has so many secrets I would otherwise not know about, if not for a sleepless night.

So thank you worries, thank you concerns...

...in truth you never got the best of me.

And I'm reading this book:

I demand you go out and buy a copy today.  It may be making it into my Top 5 Ever.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Weekly Reader

It's quiet here on the mountaintop.  Yesterday--the first day of summer--was marked by an elk herd sighting, and, get this, a baby deer sighting as well! (I was furious with myself for not having my camera with me.) I had never seen a baby deer before.  I had no idea they were so small.  For some reason when I thought of a baby deer I was picturing the baby cow that's born out on the trail in the movie City Slickers.  But no, they are adorably little, and speckled, and this one was hopping like a bunny just following his (or her) mom down a big hill with his (or her) little head darting all around looking at the great big world.  For a moment I wanted to be a deer, so I could have deer babies...


In other news, I wanted to share the book I'm reading with all of you--I know I did this just a few days ago, but when the really good ones come along, I think I've got a duty to share.  I mentioned in that post that I was intrigued by Julie Orringer's new book, The Invisible Bridge.  Well, before I started that one, I thought it would be good to read her first book, a short story collection called How to Breathe Underwater.  I picked it up from the library last night around 7:30pm and at 12:30pm today I've got about 60 pages left to go.  Yes, it was one of those that I sort of, um, stayed up all night reading.  Most of the stories have to do with girls coming of age, and as someone who tends to read a lot of women's literature, I'd be hard pressed to think of anything I've read that achieves such a pitch-perfect portrayal of what it is to be a girl, in terms of our relationships with men, each other, our families, and ourselves.  It's just beautiful, and makes me so excited to pick up The Invisible Bridge.  Before I started How to Breathe Underwater, I had been reading Major Pettigrew's Last Stand, a book about which I've read and heard many excellent reviews.  But I just couldn't get into it--it's just so British, like the petroleumOther than the Immortal Bard, Brit Lit has just never been my thing.  Think I'll wait until it's out in paperback so I can slog through it on my own time and not have to beg the library for one more week.

I titled this post "The Weekly Reader" thinking it was a clever title for a weekly reading update, but then it reminded me of an old elementary school memory.  Remember Weekly Readers?

(wow, found a very retro one)

And that reminded me of another elementary school memory.  Scholastic book orders!  Do they still do those?
 (Yep, looks like they do.  Sadly the one pictured above is offering "American Idol" books.  What?)

On book order day I would literally go mad.  The teacher would bring in the box after lunch--the white one, with the Scholastic red.  She'd say, "If we have time, we'll hand these out at the end of the day."  I'd spend the rest of the afternoon eyeing that box behind her desk, and if I felt like she was forgetting, I'd go up to her desk and remind her.  Having to wait until tomorrow was simply not an option.

Many are happy it's summer.  I am too--seems like summertime always produces a few happy, carefree times.  But I'd be lying if I said I wasn't happy that we are now on the down slope--the days will all be getting shorter, fall is the next immediate season.  But I shall attempt to live in the moment.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Celtic Pride

This day started out wonderfully.

We're talking tea, with a really funny name...

Yes, I NEED my morning thunder.

And it was supped against an inexplicably beautiful backdrop...

And accompanied by a good book, and a good fruit...

Then in the evening I met cute husband at a pizza joint--we hadn't seen each other in three days.  It was a joyful reunion.  The reason we went to the pizza joint was to watch the beginning of the Boston Celtics-LA Lakers basketball game.  It was game 7.  High stakes.

We left after the first quarter and headed for home--the Celtics were up, we had great hope, though of course we lived in fear, as any true fan will.

Nearly six years ago, in the winter of 2004, a college girl sat in her heat-less, mouse-infested apartment in Boston, Mass. sipping her morning coffee.  The anchor of the early morning local news came on the television and reported that the Boston Celtics had lost yet another game.  With a dismissive grin and a shake of his head he said, "Ah, folks.  The Celtics aren't just bad, they're completely irrelevant."

Meanwhile, the college girl's boyfriend--a die hard NBA basketball fan--often spoke to her about his favorite basketball player, a man--an intense, passionate man--by the name of Kevin Garnett.  They called him KG for short.  He played--toiled, really--for an abysmal team called the Minnesota Timberwolves.  The college girl's boyfriend worried that he would be stuck in cold and unforgiving Minnesota forever, never living up to his potential, the world never knowing how great he could be.

A couple of years passed, the college girl and her boyfriend left Boston for good.

Then, like a miracle, in 2007, that player--KG--got traded.  To the irrelevant Boston Celtics.  And in June of 2008, KG and the Celtics won the Championship.  They beat the LA Lakers.  And oh the victory was sweet.

The no-longer college girl and her boyfriend celebrated by getting married that very month, and nearly two years into their marriage, there was a rematch.  Lakers v. Celts in the Finals.

They watched each game with their hearts in their throats. 

And on the evening of June 17th, 2010 as the clock neared 10pm mountain time, their hearts were broken.  The Celtics lost.

Doc Rivers--the majestic coach, Rajon Rondo--the boy wonder, Paul Pierce--the warrior, Ray Allen--the shooter, Big Baby (Glen Davis)--the gentle giant, and Kevin Garnett--the unbreakable heart of the team.  They lost.

And though our hearts are broken, to loosely quote Denzel Washington in Remember the Titans, "They're Hall of Fame in our book."

I love you guys.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Summer reading

Between the local library and the small but excellent indie bookstore at the bottom of the mountain, I've been doing more reading up here than I've done in a long time.  (This is not necessarily a good thing, considering there's some other stuff I need to be doing, but really, when is reading great books bad?)

This summer has so far produced a wealth of interesting-seeming books that have now been bumped to the top of my list.  Cases in point: The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer, The Passage by Justin Cronin, The Stormchasers by Jenna Blum, and The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall (both Brady Udall and Jenna Blum have visited or will soon visit that great local bookstore at the bottom of the mountain that I was talking about).  I'm also intrigued by Brady Udall's older book, The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint.

But this week I'm reading Day for Night by Frederick Reiken, who happens to have been one of my college profs.  Before I got to college, and with the goal in mind of taking a course from him, I read his earlier two books--The Odd Sea and The Lost Legends of New Jersey--just because I was so excited to be taking class from a real live published author I could find at Barnes & Noble!  Both of his books were quite good, but this one that I'm reading this week is leaps and bounds beyond quite good.  It's amazing to see how much he's changed and grown, even within the confines of his own specific set of excellent skills.

I don't want to give too much away about the book--it's one of those that it's best to go into it sort of blind--but I will say that it's got me rethinking the way that I write in the sense that it's telling a story in a truly daring and different way.  When I sit down to write, I tend to think very linearly and very straightforwardly in terms of narrative, description, character development, and all those other writerly (and annoying) buzzwords.  Reiken's book knocks all that on its head to great effect, and does so without being even remotely showy or bizarre.

I've updated my to-read list (jeez, now it's just gotten out of hand) on the right, so take a peek and maybe we can all read something great together.

Now, a transcendent mountain photo.

I decided to just recycle a rainbow photo, since books are a great way to get to the end of the rainbow, no wishes or leprechauns necessary. 

Speaking of...


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Last night...

...this happened:

Snow on June 12th.  Others complained, I put on my boots and frolicked.

Then my brother, cute husband and I stayed up watching the snow fall and drinking Colorado beer.

It was one of those nights you just know you'll always remember.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The unlikely scientist

I was sitting this evening in a chair.  Stock-still.  Thinking about this and that, about how I want to write a novel, and about all of the sane and not so sane reasons that I want to do so.  A few:

- prove I am worthy

- make the expensive education mean something

- begin my journey to accepting an Academy Award for best adapted screenplay (taken from my own novel)

- back up my passion with something actual (indeed, the goal of any life worth living)

And it occurred to me that writing, while part art, is other part science.

There is the figuring out what you really want to say to the world.  Then there is the saying it.  Then there is the saying it better.  And better.  As good as you can get it.  It takes hours in the mind's own laboratory, attempting this, that, and the other thing until what you were searching for reveals itself.

Writing is not invention, but discovery.  Everything is already there--the story waiting to be told, screaming, gasping, hoping to get out of the thought cave and into the world.  Will this writer give me life? it asks.  The writer is the searcher, the try-anything-you-never-know and the one-more-day-and-I'll-get-there sayer, the trial and error maker, the believer in the ultimate power of her work.  And it's a belief so vivid, so her, that it easily washes out the non-believers.

She never stops.  She believes strongly that a world without her words is not acceptable, that Academy Award or no, her laboratory is a legitimate one, and one ordinary evening, in the fading light, what she was meant to know, she will know.

What if someone whispered: it's there just over the hilltop...

Sunday, June 6, 2010

A few shining moments

Due to rapid snow melt, the water rose 2 feet overnight, making the river rapids unbelievably fast.

A mountain rainbow and some fine Scotch whisky, and that's about all you need.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Poor little bookworm

I really relate to this New Yorker cover:

But the desire for extra schooling can actually be blamed entirely on my parents--more specifically, on my mom's large book collection: Book Owners Have Smarter Kids, Salon.com.  And my dad saw fit to read me T.S. Eliot by the age of three, so I'm completely doomed.

Best part of the article: according to a study, "...simply giving low-income children 12 books (of their own choosing) on the first day of summer vacation 'may be as effective as summer school' in preventing 'summer slide' -- the degree to which lower-income students slip behind their more affluent peers academically every year."

Hope for our weary world folks, hope for our weary world...

Seriously, the oil spill is making me scream and stomp.  I'll concede the argument that God gave us oil along with water and all of the creatures that live in or near the water, but we all just need to buy bikes now.
Related Posts with Thumbnails