Friday, July 25, 2014

Reading, Writing, Raining

Perhaps it is the summer monsoon season that has descended upon us. The most I seem to see of the outside world is when someone yells, "Rainbow!" or I hear the hens scolding me. The weather is so fickle. Even the dogs seem to be feeling melancholy. Samson won't go outside today.

This is unusual for me. I'm normally bare foot and reading on the patio for as much of the summer as I can. All winter and spring, that is what I planned on doing. Now, even when there is sun, the seats are still wet and I feel ho-hum about going outside to dry them off. Most of today was sunny, yet it stubbornly rained on. I think back to the day when I purchased the tickets for the Stitch-n-Pitch over the phone. I asked the clerk working at Purl's Yarn Emporium if she planned on attending. She scoffed, "I don't do outdoors." Am I becoming like that? There's nothing wrong with being indoorsy. Despite not being much of a green thumb, I just never thought of myself that way.

Part of my current problem is a reading rut. A particularly vicious one. It would also help if I could regulate my sleep patterns so I could actually be awake during normal operating hours. Many mornings last summer began with coffee and a book at the front patio table before the humidity had a chance to set in. Not so this year.

A quick review of the stats does not look good:
Hikes this year: 0
Mornings spent reading on the patio: 0
Days on a farm: 1
Days at a beach: 1
Days spent working outdoors in the sun: 4 (picking up roofing materials)
Days spent sleeping late: too many to count
Late nights tossing in bed: too many to count
Evenings spent squinting at knitting while it storms outside: too many to count
(I'm getting depressed just looking at this.)

I've discussed my reading habits and strongly-held reading beliefs before. But this is ridiculous. I can't seem to finish anything and it's not for want of desire or trying. There is some invisible barrier blocking me. The reader's form of writer's block. Interestingly enough, while this has been plaguing me for weeks, I have been writing notes and researching for one novel, which I've plotted through extensively, and begun notes for a second one. Perhaps there is a connection. Yet I feel compelled to have something reading, just as I feel compelled to have something on the needles, at all times.

Last night I picked up Catherine Bailey's The Secret Rooms: A True Story of a Haunted Castle, a Plotting Duchess, and a Family Secret. As one of my more recent acquisitions from Mr. K's Used Books, Music, & More, it was on top of a stack of books in the to-be-read bookcase. That particular bookcase is home to about 100 to 150 patient (some not-so-patient) titles. Some of those are reference books, so I don't know if they really "count" as TBRs. But, I felt I needed a nonfiction and The Secret Rooms has been looking me in the face for a while now.  I wanted nonfiction to break up a line of neglected paperback fiction glaring at me from the bedside table.

Here are links to articles from The New York Times and The Times Literary Supplement (UK) about The Secret Rooms, but I haven't read them, yet, because I don't want any spoilers. It would be too easy for a reviewer to take all the fun out of a suspenseful nonfiction by simply laying out the facts. I want to see how Bailey's writing does the story justice.

*I'm ending this now because I've been working at it for over two days now. That's pathetic. Drips and drabs, just like the weather. Ugh.

1 comment:

  1. Oh dear, you do sound glum. I do hope the rain has eased, the reading drought is past, and you have your bounce back.


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